To Sell Or Not To Sell; That is the Question, Part 2
To Sell Or Not To Sell; That is the Question, Part 2 ~ By Pat Forger
To continue from last week – There are many reasons to sell your home. You might want to downsize if you are retiring or empty nesters. Or you may need a bigger home to accommodate your growing family. However, it seems that in this economy, the prevalent reason is because you can no longer afford the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and other related costs because of job loss or illness.
Here are additional tips for you once you list your home on the market:
1. Do I really need an open house? Yes you do! When you sign with a Realtor® they will explain to you the two types of open houses. The first type will be to invite other Realtors® to tour the house. This may be done by a caravan where a group of Realtors® from the same office and other offices stop by in the hopes they have potential clients who will be interested. This type of Realtor® open house is normally held during the week.
You may also have an open house for possible Buyers which is normally held on a weekend. In this instance, anyone who sees the open house notice may stop by and look around. Yes, this includes neighbors or those just being nosy but it definitely is a good thing as they may have a friend or relative that would be a perfect fit for your home. Remember, however, you should NOT be present for either open house. Your Realtor® will be there to represent your interests and answer any questions they may have. The worst thing for you to do is to overhear possible criticisms about your home. This only makes the process of selling your home unbearable. Also, the potential buyers may feel ill at ease if they know the owner is present.
2. After the open houses, sit down with your Realtor® and review what comments they have heard throughout both type of open houses. These comments will give you a better indication if the house is priced right for the neighborhood and market and if any further cosmetic touches are required. You may want to think about updating your kitchen or bath. You don’t have to necessarily spend a lot – it may just be replacing a worn out appliance, flooring or fixtures. As I said in last week’s column, you can visit home improvement stores and see what items are on sale, have been returned or on the “scratch and dent” list. Sometimes the scratches and dents are not visible. Remember, the smallest upgrade can bring a large return.
3. So, your home has been on the market for quite some time, you and your Realtor® have dropped the price but the interest is just not there. Look at your finances again. Would it be worthwhile to move out of your house and in with friends or relatives and rent out your home? Would the rent cover the mortgage, taxes and insurance? In most instances, the answer is probably no. Discuss this option with your Realtor® who will be able to tell you what rent amount you can expect to receive. The rental market is volatile right now as more and more people are unable to afford to buy a home, so renting is very desirable. It especially holds true if your home is within walking distance of a beach or lake and has beach rights. You may be able to rent out your home for a few months during the summer at a premium price that would be worth your while to rent and pay the mortgage payments from the rental.
Remember, you need to be patient, work with your Realtor® and lender and keep all lines of communication open. You want to sell your house but not walk away from your mortgage and damage your credit long-term. However, if you have exhausted all options and it’s beginning to affect you and your family, you need to know when to cut your losses and move on.
Next time – Wish list vs. Practicality – what do I really want and need in a home?
Pat Forger, Sales Executive, Realtor®
Turning your dreams into an address!
Neumann Real Estate, Christie’s International Real Estate
72 Route 37
New Fairfield, CT 06812