Hot Question of the week:  When should I list my home for sale?

I've been getting this question a lot more recently.  There have been many home owners who would like to sell their current house and buy a new home but they have been waiting for the market to turn.

Before you put your home up for sale, have the proper expectations for the current real estate market:

  1. Competition:  There are still a lot of homes on the market.  Check out this Google Real Estate Map to see a birds eye view of just how many homes are on the market in Jacksonville, FL.
  2. Pricing:  If you purchased your home between 2004 and 2008, you most likely paid more than what it is worth today.  You can read about the value drops in a CNN Money magazine article.  If you are attached to what your neighbor sold for in 2006, it's time to get over it and realize yours is worth less in 2010.
  3. Who is Buying:  The main buyers on the market are first time home buyers.  If your house is above $300k or is in need of repairs, it won't match what the majority of the current buyers are looking for in their first home purchase.

The Good News for selling a home Now:

  • Mortgage Rates are very attractive: Your potential buyers will see 5% as a standard 30 year fixed principal and interest APR rate.  That is low and bringing many people into the home market!  If you are able to sell and buy another home, you will most likely get a better rate than what you have today.
  • Good ones sell fast!: I've had several recent listings that have sold within 15 days of putting them on the market.  The key for selling fast was pricing them aggressively from the beginning, very clean houses and yards, great pictures syndicated out to all the major house hunting search engines.
  • Multiple offers: Several homes I've sold in the past few months have had multiple offers within a very short time frame on the market.  Again, they were great homes at great values.
  • Lots of people looking: Listening to the news you would think there isn't anyone out shopping for homes.  To the contrary, I've had so many showings in the same day that realtors and their customers where in the home at the same time....during the slow weekdays!  That's old school 2005 scenarios!

Back to the original question of  "When should I list my home for sale?".

The correct answer is that it's a tough market to sell your house.  If you need to sell, have the right expectations, price it right from the beginning, and keep it in great shape while on the market.  The tax credit is helping to drive the market and that stipulates that the home buyer must be under contract for their new home by April 30th and closed by June 30th.  Don't wait until April to get it on the market if you can help it.  Now is the best time!

If you would like to see information about selling your house, check out our Marketing and Selling Plan.  If you find yourself in the tough situation of owing more than the home is worth, make sure to read about Short Sales.

Posted by Brad Officer on
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