I'm thinking of selling. When's the best time?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Our Father's Houses Realty

In a normal market in upstate SC, the best time to sell is spring. I tell clients to plan to list their home in January and expect to sell by June.  Even new agents and part-time agents have good numbers in the spring.  The grass is green and everyone's thinking about change, executives that have been transferred are looking to move their families closer by when school gets out, and houses are just prettier with flowers blooming and birds chirping.

 Sold in 9 days!

2010 will be different, however.  In 2010, I think spring will be the ONLY time to sell.  The tax incentives that reduce what buyers are paying for your home (and inflate your price) will expire April 30th.  The fed is already talking about raising the rates banks can borrow at, which effectively reduces the amount of money any buyer can spend for the same house.  (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125995995923777183.html?mg=com-wsj) And the Fed Reserve Program that has been buying mortgage backed securities and keeping rates low will expire on March 31st, 2010.  So you can imagine that on May 1st, 2010 the market will drastically change - first time home buyer houses get $8,000 more expensive, all other homes get $6500 more expensive, and rates rise from below 5% to around 7% (by industry estimates).  An $800 payment that buys $157,000 house on April 30th (5% interest and $8,000 down) only purchases $120,000 house on May 1st (7% and $0 down).  Does that mean your house is worth less overnight? Maybe not immediately by appraisal, but you can bet that purchases will slow down drastically until the "shock" of that changed market settles with buyers.

So if you're thinking of selling before 2011, you need to get your home on the market in the next few weeks to get the best price.  Give us a call and we'll be happy to come take a look and tell you what you can do to help your home bring the most money, what your home is worth in this market, and talk you through the process of getting it sold!  You can reach Heather at 607-1189 or Ty at 230-2070.  We can't wait to help make this move smoother than your last!

Comments (6)

Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Interesting post. I do not know your market , but in North Georgia it is similiar. Having said that I have had some great winters. Best of luck

Dec 06, 2009 11:59 PM
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI Real Adventures

I love the post!  I think it is time for my team to put something along these lines in print as well.  As we recover I can't see the government extending the tax credit again, I think it will be over after April 31st.

Dec 07, 2009 12:00 AM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I hope you are wrong for 2010 but . . . time to sell usually means a big change for a family and it does help to have a good Realtor to plan their move

Dec 07, 2009 12:03 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
WEDO Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I tell the seller to keep their house as a rental and move up.

Dec 07, 2009 12:03 AM
Susan Thompson-Solomons
Monument Sotheby's International Realty - Solomons, MD
Southern MD Real Estate-Solomons Specialist

Spring is the traditional time to sell in my market as well. However, I hope you are wrong about it being the only time. I hope that taxpayers are paying for these tax credits for buyers to stabilize and sustain the real estate market going forward - we'll see.

Dec 07, 2009 12:20 AM
Real estate with a purpose
Our Father's Houses Realty - Easley, SC

I hope I'm wrong for 2010, too!  But just in case, I want all my clients who are thinking of selling to be aware of the potential pitfalls of waiting - better that they make an informed decision to wait and see than a blind one.  I don't think it's the end of the world, though.  Just another slight dip in pricing for a few months in the second half of 2010, while buyers adjust their expectations.  We never bubbled here to start with - prices only dropped about 3% at the worst, except for luxury lake properties.  But we shall see...

Dec 07, 2009 12:56 AM