A Great Time to Prepare to Sell Your Home

Another year has passed and you have grown a year older… and so has your home! As the real estate market continues its recovery thoughts of moving into a new home or community is common at this time of year. We look at the year gone by and begin to look at our lives and the quality we are experiencing. Many of you have put off a move due to the rapidly changing real estate market and are wondering when the best time to sell is. That depends!

If you are going to sell next year and purchase a new single family home or condominium, timing is everything. You would want to purchase earlier in the year to take advantage of lower prices due to fewer buyers. Most buyers wait until spring to start their search so if you are a potential buyer you lose your advantage by waiting until spring to purchase as all advantage moves to the seller. That in simple terms relates to you paying significantly more after March then you would in January and February.

When you decide to sell you want to take advantage of buyer traffic so that you will attract the best price possible. Spring is that time when you will have buyers competing for the best values and have the possibility of multiple offers. The spring market typically is off and running by mid-March. This is an especially unique year as most pundits feel that interest will rise as the government begins to step away from mortgage rate support which will create an even greater buyer demand.  

Condition of your home has become more important than ever! When buyers begin their search they will see similar homes in a wide range of presentation. Homes that are staged, where a professional has assisted in the preparation process will do very well as today’s buyers want to do little work and do not wish to invest even in cosmetic updating. New carpeting, painting the interior with the colors these young buyers expect can put many more dollars in your pocket. Remember that for most people the proceeds from your sale will be tax free! Sales under $250,000 will not pay any capital gains as long as you have lived in your home and it has been your primary residence for two of the last five years. Check with your accountant for sales exceeding the $250,000 price limit to know what you would be paying in capital gains. The point I am making is that these proceeds from the sale of your home are extremely important as to your estate planning.

Preparation should begin today! I would suggest called a Realtor that you trust to stop over and give you the information you will need to make the best decision when acting on your desire to move. An experienced agent will walk through your home and look for potential structural issues and well as make suggestions as to what dollars you invest will bring back the greatest returns when selling. The agent will also give you an estimate as to what price you can expect in spring and based on what upgrades and improvement you will make. Many wish to sell ‘as is’ but you want to take care of structural issues before placing your home on the market.

In summary, winter is the time to buy; spring is the time to sell. You can take advantage of both markets when you are both buying and selling. If financing is needed, this is an opportune time to meet with a mortgage lender to investigate your options of using your equity to buy now and then pay it off when you sell. It can be easier than you think! Preparation is the key to your final sales price and this is the best time to get started by gathering information from professionals. They say timing is everything and I believe this year may be your best opportunity to take advantage of the new real estate market!