Should I sell my home in this market?
Lessons of the Current Real Estate Market in York County
In the current real estate market, the top objective a seller should have is to sell their home. This is not the time to ‘test the market’, to ‘see if a buyer will make an offer even if the list price is too high’, to believe that ‘their home is the best in the neighborhood and others will pay a premium to get it’ or that a real estate agent can ‘get a higher than market price with great advertising’. Hoping the home will sell at 2005 or 2006 prices is not realistic. If a seller is not willing or prepared to recognize that home prices have adjusted and that today’s market values are the new true value, then they need to consider other options like remodeling or simply remaining in the home and enjoying its benefits.
Buyers today know that with a good credit score, no home to sell, and a down payment, they are clearly in the driver’s seat. Buyers have leverage and there is so much inventory from which to choose, they are not compelled to purchase a home unless it meets every criteria. Price and value are givens. They expect the home to be in TOP condition, they do not wish to paint, to remove wall paper, to compromise on upgrades, and they will not see the merit of a low price when the home is outdated and needs repair.
If you are considering selling your home, there are some traps and strategies that no longer apply:
It’s a Price Point Thing
The new Homebuyer Incentive incented a very select group of buyers to move forward. Low interest rates, sellers who had priced competitively, and the limited availability of the $8000 gift were perfect conditions for buyers who had never owned a home. These buyers have made their purchase and we do not expect future incentives. Homes in
It is a tough pill to swallow, but most homes on the market have been on the market for some time. When the economy shifted, many of those who had considered purchasing a home reconsidered. In York County and surrounding areas, the higher the price point, the longer the days on market, and the fewer the sales. This is understandable. Most potential buyers in the higher price ranges already own homes. The changes in the economy have likely impacted their savings, their 401K, their salary, or shaken their confidence. Any one of these reasons alone could cause an individual to re-consider a major purchase.
But I only want what I paid plus the commission to sell …
Those who recognize the benefits of the buyer market and are able to sell their home, or those who may be among the VERY FEW transferred by their company, are the select few who are considering a home purchase. They and their real estate agents have scoured the MLS, the internet, the home websites, and the real estate company websites. They are a very knowledgeable group and they are armed with information that allows them to place a value on a property. They also know that homes in a price range (say $300,000-$350,000) include some homes that are ‘new’ on the market AND those with amenities and options of homes in the $400,000 to $450,000 price range that have had price reductions. In other words, sellers who may have paid $325000 for their home three years ago and wish to list it for $350000 today would be competing with new homes and other resale homes on the market that may have been built or purchased for $450000.
So what does a York County SC seller do?
If your objective is to purchase a larger home in a higher price point, re-read this article as a buyer. Wearing the buyer hat, you can see that it is really a great time to look for a home and to find a property that may be MORE home than you expected to purchase a year ago. You may be able to save $50,000 or more! This up-side is a great reason to move forward.
However, in selling your current home, you must now read the article as a seller. You must be willing to price your home not where the market is, but at an even lower price to ensure that your home is the one that has the highest appeal and the best price. You must get it in TOP condition. Sure, it is a bummer to spend money on upgrading a home you are planning to sell. But, if you think of the home as ‘the dream home for your buyer’, instead of your home ‘where you have roots’, then the mental shift is not so great. After all, your goal is now to take advantage of the great values the higher price point homes have to offer and the buyer market in the higher priced homes. If you are obsessed with ‘what you may be losing’ on your current home, then re-read paragraph one. Decide to stay in your home, remodel it, paint it, purchase new items, repurpose rooms, and value it for all the reasons you fell in love with it.
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