According to experts, 2015 is on track to bring something the housing market hasn’t seen in a while: a return to normal. After a decade of economic extremes, normal can seem, well, boring—especially if you’re banking on sharp price increases to sell a home.
We haven’t seen a normal housing market since the turn of the 21st century, so perhaps a refresher’s in order. Here’s a peek at what you can expect going into 2015:
- Home prices continue to rise—but at a steadier pace. We may not see the heated price jumps that marked 2013, but the National Association of Realtors sees this as a sign the market is finally experiencing healthy levels of growth.
- Jobs are up and unemployment is down. Thanks to a banner year for job growth in 2014, consumers are gaining confidence. In fact, a recent Fannie Mae survey found that 68% of consumers say it’s a good time to buy a home—great news for sellers!
Of course, national trends are nice. But when it comes down to it, selling your home is personal. The following questions can help you decide if the time is right for you.
Do You Have Enough Equity?
This is the million-dollar question for most folks. Ideally, you want enough equity to cover the down payment on your next home.
To calculate it, simply subtract your mortgage balance from the current market value of your home. Let’s say your home is worth $150,000 and you owe $120,000. That means you have $30,000 in home equity. So is $30,000 enough? That depends on how much you plan to spend on your next home!
A word of advice: Don’t try to figure out what your home’s worth on your own. This job calls for a pro who knows firsthand what buyers are paying for similar homes in your area. We can provide you with a free comparative market analysis (CMA) to ensure you’re working with accurate numbers.
Can You Afford the Prep Work?
Most people know home equity has financial sway in your decision to sell. But it’s not the only factor to consider. You also need room in your budget to make your home look (and work) its best.
Start by hiring a certified home inspector to assess your home’s condition. A presale inspection might cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s well worth the investment. Why? Because it can keep you from losing big bucks at the negotiation table or, even worse, a home deal.
Don’t worry about checking off every single to-do on your home inspection report. We will work with you to prioritize findings so you know where to focus your dollars. Big-ticket issues—like a saggy roof or limping HVAC system—can scare buyers into asking for way more money than it actually takes to fix it. If you have room in your budget, take care of those before planting the for-sale sign in your yard. First impressions are very important and you don’t want to s
Once you’ve tackled repairs, it’s time to spiff things up. Thankfully, you can knock cleaning and decluttering out on your own to save money. But it’s also important to create a setting buyers can’t resist. Set aside a few extra dollars to make your home really shine. This might include things like fresh paint, landscaping to show off great curb appeal, updated fixtures—or all of the above.
Get the Real Deal From a Pro
Selling your home is a big decision. Before you make your next move, we will provide honest advice so you can do what’s best for you and your budget.
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