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Yes, Now Is A Great Time To Sell Your House

Yes, now.  You hear about how it's a buyers' market, sales are down, prices are sliding... so why is now a great time to sell?

 

Stop and think about what the market was like when you bought your house, and how much equity have you gained over the years.  Is most of your (assumed) equity because the market has made such gigantic gains in the past five years or so?  Did you buy your house in a buyers' market?

 

If you did (buy in a buyers' market), you're in an excellent position to sell in a buyers' market.  Not only are you in a position to still turn a profit, but most likely you can undercut all of your competition.  Think about this - you really want to make $80,000 profit, which would price you right along with the three houses for sale up the street and around the corner.  You could list at the same price, or a couple thousand dollars lower... and sell in three months, just the same as the neighbors.  Or, you could price aggressively, say $7000 - 10,000 cheaper, and sell in a couple of weeks.  How much would it cost you to keep your property on the market for an additional 2 - 3 months?  It's an old but familiar story that the longer a house is listed for sale, the less money you are likely to realize from it.  Factor in any price reductions taken over time, additional cost of upkeep on the property, and potential time lost from work to accommodate showings (hey, you've got to clean and turn on lights before buyers get there, right?), chances are that it will add up to pretty close to your initial price differential.

 

If your current house sells now, then it also strengthens your position as a buyer.  First, at allows you to write an offer contingent on successful transfer of title, as opposed to contingent on the sale of a house (no "recall notice" to worry about).  Second, you're buying in a buyers' market, you can be a little picky about your purchase, instead of feeling like you should put an offer in because the property is availalable and generally meets all your criteria (the old feelings of we'd better take what we can get or there will be nothing to get).

 

Even if you bought your house in a sellers' market, now can still be a great time to sell, if you price aggressively.  The trick is finding a balance point between what you need to clear and what's a reasonable price.  Mix in some inventive marketing, push your internet presence - heck, those help regardless of when you bought your current house - and you can sell.

 

The advice here isn't that you should automatically cut your profit.  It's that you should understand how the real estate market is fluid.  It epitomizes classic free market models:  supply and demand determine the price.  It's a little tough to sell surf boards here in Syracuse, NY.  But if you were to advertise on self-booking travel websites and in local travel agencies, and additionally offer 15% off to anyone with plane tickets to Hawaii, you're going to sell some surf boards.

 

Remember, this is a buyers' market - more houses for sale than buyers to buy.  It is not a dead market.  Houses are still selling because buyers are still buying.

Comment balloon 0 commentsSharon Wager • October 22 2008 12:26PM

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