Should I Sell My Home Now, if I Just Bought It a Few Years Ago?

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First off, let me state that every person’s scenario is different. There are many factors in determining if you should sell now, or wait. Obviously, home values have declined since 2005/6. Condos and townhomes have especially been hit hard. So be prepared, if you are going to sell now, or soon- you would be selling for less than you bought it for. If you’re okay with this, then we need to look at what they are selling for now, and decide if you’re ready to list it at that going price point, or if you want to keep it and wait until the market returns. The problem here in waiting, is that when is the market going to return? In a year? In two years? 2014? It may be the best option to sell now, instead of waiting for the market. We are seeing an increased amount of Short Sales and Foreclosures in the market. You will have to compete with these “typically lower-priced” homes. Know that interest rates are ideal AND property values are declining, making it a great time for buyers to get into a home. And with the first-time home buyers tax credit of $8,000- it appears to be a good time to sell, for the year.

This brings me to my next point. When selling, you can either price it ahead of the market, or you can price it to where you are chasing the market. The best scenario is to price your house or condo ahead of the market, so that you will sell it quickly. The alternative is to price it similar to the others, where you are continually doing price reductions (with the market) and end up selling where you should have priced it all along in the first place, and it took a much longer period of time (which means -$$).

Great, what is my point? Just make sure you understand that to sell in this market right now, your home has to be priced properly AND has to show very well. The days of just putting your home on the market “right away” are gone. You have fierce competition in your marketplace and neighborhood, and you need to get with your Realtor and have a complete game plan. If you structure your game plan well before you hit the market, then you are aligning yourself with success and will more than likely hit it. Like I mentioned, you are in a fierce, competitive marketplace and if you don’t have a SOLID game plan, you will be left out in the cold. Worse yet, your house will be on the market and become that “stagnant house” down the street. In your game plan, your Realtor will give you an opinion on value of your house, so you must decide whether that price is acceptable to sell, or whether you need to wait and possibly rent. Right now, a lot of sellers have decided they don’t want to sell in this tough market. That is just fine as long as you don’t HAVE to sell right now. Renting out your home might be a viable option right now, but know that being a landlord is work. Problems come up with the house, you get the wrong tenants, etc. It can take a lot of time and money.

As far as what is a good time to put your condo on the market (if you decide to sell and take the hit), I think that now might be the best time. Showings are up during the spring and summer, the $8,000 tax credit is out there, and new construction and sellers are offering fantastic deals and incentives. Typically, the winter months are slower, and I would say that your best chance to sell would be in the Spring and Summer. But with the rates being at where they are now, this gives buyers the chance to get in with a good rate, if qualified.

It is up to you to decide what is best for you. Each scenario is different, and you must make the decision yourself, hopefully with some guidance from your Realtor. It may be best for you to wait, but rates sure are low right now. With unemployment going up, home values will decline further. If you price it right now, and it looks good on the inside, and you have a solid marketing plan, you should be able to compete to sell. A lot of the people sitting on the fence have come out to buy with the way rates are right now, and with the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

Good luck, and do your homework before hiring your Realtor!

Mike Ciucci PhotoAbout Author
Work with a qualified, dedicated agent when you sell your Isle of Palms Real Estate. Find ideal Charleston Realtors at www.BuyingCharlestonRealEstate.com.

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