I have never even seen your house, its upgrades, curb appeal or that new air conditioner installed not too long ago. But trust me when I tell you that I know why your home isn’t selling. Whether acting alone, or in combination with each other, there are eight factors that scare away buyers worse then teenage girls at a horror movie screening:
The Price is Wrong
This factor sits at number one for a very good reason. Pricing a home above its true market value in a tough market can cause irreparable damage to your probability of success. Pick an agent that a) doesn’t just pretend but truly knows the market and its intricacies and b) you trust (vital!). Use up all your skepticism in scrutinizing agents but once you decide, listen to their pricing advice and price it right or watch it sit.
The real estate market in the Houston Area showed further evidence of visible strengthening in the June 2009 sales figures released by HAR. Numbers moved in lockstep with a three month trend of improvements that has median sales prices rising, total sales falling at a slower pace and sound inventory levels.
- Median Sales Prices rose 2.8% to $164.500 compared to 2008 for the second month in a row. Remember, prices rose about half that in May, they were virtually unchanged in April and they had been falling prior to that. Further evidence of a positive upward trend.
- Average Sales Prices dropped 2.4% to $221,783 compared to 2008. They had been pretty much flat in May. More than a decline in prices, this indicates a shift towards lower priced properties as the first time homebuyer tax credit program works its way and provides incentives to purchase homes before November 30th.
So you cashed out of your local bloated market in California / Florida / Arizona circa 2006 and conquered some sweet new construction deal(s) in the Houston area. You know you weren’t alone as during that time everyone and their lovely mother was doing it. How could you pass it up, anyway? Brand new property, ridiculous price/SF, great cashflow, fully managed, investment heaven. Fast forward thirty six months and you find yourself fighting rising property taxes (a county’s gotta eat) and insurance rates eating away at your ROI like a monkey on a cupcake. Rent mostly covers expenses, but it might be time to exit that investment and go in a different direction.
It is a bit counterintuitive, I’ll give you that, upfront. It seems more rational to find the house you want to purchase first, then pursue financing options. But in this market, more than ever, the exact opposite is true. The preapproval letter from the lender is the necessary passport you must have to start buying a Houston Home. You wouln’t travel to a foreign country without your passport, would you? Didn’t think so.
There are several reasons why you should (and must) get a preapproval letter first...
When the market shifts, like it did in late 2007, it is easy to get caught off guard as your decisions still take into account a market with ever increasing home values and an abundance of buyers. These decisions inevitably lead to an overpriced home that will stay unsold for months causing frustration and confusion. Let me be blunt with you: It does not matter what the home could have or should have sold for in 2006. Those rules no longer apply.
But there are 4 Strategies you can use today to get your Houston Home sold under the current market conditions...
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