With home equity roaring back, and attractive conditions for moving up – or downsizing – many more American homeowners will be seeking to sell their properties this year. Even though some homes may be worth a lot more now than they have been for a while, this doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges. So what may some of the obstacles be for home sellers this year, and how can they overcome them?
While finally seeing home values rise above water, now seems to be the right moment for many to get their homes sold. However, with that said, others are looking to do the same. Some markets are also seeing foreclosures surge. This can pile more distressed properties and REOs onto the market, which may be offered at discounts. In other markets, it could be mountains of new construction coming to market, which might represent the most competition. This doesn’t mean homes can’t be sold, especially with forecasts for strong sales volume this year, but sellers do need to be alert to it.
Finding Capable Realtors
As the U.S. housing market has grown, so has the number of Realtors and real estate firms vying for a piece of the pie. There are some that have aged in the industry, but perhaps many more which have only gotten in since 2008. There are some great real estate agents out there, but it is becoming more difficult for sellers to differentiate between the masses. Then there are other services out there: everything from discount real estate brokerages to cash paying investors. The key is honing in on the best option for personal circumstances and goals, and finding a partner that is responsive, equipped, and motivated.
Finding Qualified Home Buyers
There will certainly be no shortage of interested home buyers in 2015. Between foreign investors, domestic real estate investors, Millennials looking to get in on the action, middle aged buyers getting back into the market after foreclosure, and aging homeowners looking to downsize. However, despite the interest and the appealing market conditions, there will be many that simply don’t have enough to come up with a down payment, or won’t qualify for home loans. Sellers need to make sure they qualify buyers. This may take some work.
Finding Somewhere to Move to
This doesn’t sound like it should be much of a challenge, but it could be for some. High demand areas flush with cash buyers, and highly qualified borrowers will see significant competition for available homes for sale. It’s a great time to move up and score a great deal on a new home.
Preparing Homes for Sale
Preparing and staging homes for sale is critical for ensuring a speedy sale, and selling for the highest possible price. That is, unless homeowners opt for the efficiency of a cash sale. Those that go the conventional listing route will definitely want to tune into the advice of their real estate agents when it comes to readying homes for appraisals, photo shoots, and showings. This can be an emotionally challenging thing. Nobody wants to hear that the rest of the world may not find their home as stunning and attractive as they do. Remember not to take it personally and to focus on the outcome.
Making Sense of the Market
Expect the media to do what it does best: inundate the market with statistics and stories. This will lead some to consider waiting, only to lose out, while others might be given the impression their homes are worth more than they really are. Talking to a good panel of local real estate experts is probably the best way to really get an idea of what a home is worth, and how fast it will sell at a given price point. Getting professional input upfront, even if choosing not to use a real estate agent to sell, can be wise. It can help in being more realistic about the process and timeline, and how much recent improvements are actually worth when it comes to selling a house.
This is set to be a great year for selling houses, and many will successfully exit old residences for fantastic deals on their dream homes. The key is accurately assessing the market, getting professional input, and being mentally prepared to navigate any of the small road bumps in the way.
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