Between the years 2001 and 2004’s hot real estate market where home buyers and investors have capitalized, has finally cooled down. Late 2005 has brought indications of the “bubble” bursting throughout the nation. It is true that the real estate market has slowed down mostly in part of the high interest rates but also of the higher price of homes. Buyers have realized that homes have been considerably overpriced. Yet, most sellers refuse to accept the fact. FSBO’s are now facing a more challenging task of finding interested buyers. Not only are they competing with fellow FSBO’s across the street or the next community, they are being blown away by homes listed with brokers whose homes are not just listed in the MLS, but priced competitively and advertised well.
- If you have decided to trade up, look at your budget and make a realistic determination of how much more you can spend. Include any extra costs a larger home might require such as upkeep, utilities or new furniture. Go through the pre-qualifying process for more accurate information on the kind of mortgage you will need.
Trading down has it’s own set of considerations. Reliable professional tax and financial assistance will help you to not end up paying more than necessary in this area. Your real estate agent is someone who is neutral and may be able to offer you the best advice.
- Take care of the small repairs you may have overlooked such as a sticking door or broken windowpane. Fresh paint inside and out will go a long way in adding to your home’s appeal, as will a newly trimmed lawn, a few seasonal flowers and the elimination of all clutter. And most important of all, clean, scrub and polish till your home sparkles!
- Home Staging is something you may want to consider to present your home in its best light. Builders have been doing this with their model homes for years and it provides the finishing touches that will give your house emotional appeal. This will consist of such things as creating fragrant aromas in the kitchen, making sure fresh towels and soap are in the bath, placing fresh flowers in a vase, rearranging furniture to create a welcome feeling and brightening up rooms with proper lighting.
- If your kitchen or bath need updating, it may be better financially to offer an incentive to a prospective purchaser rather than tackle the expense and trouble of doing the work ahead of a sale. Save your resources for your new home and place your efforts into the cosmetic improvements that will create a cheery and comfortable appearance.
- Consider having a yard sale to clear your space of any possessions you do not plan to take with you or the things that have been hiding in the basement, attic or garage. Or, call your favorite charity and get a tax credit for the donation.
- Take time to think about the emotional detachment that will be necessary. After all, this house has provided you shelter and comfort and there are a lot of memories tied up there. You must now look at your home as simply a piece of property – an investment that has served you well.