Many of the folks I talk to ask me whether or not this is the right time for them to sell their home or buy a new one. The question is more easily answered to buyers since right now we are in a buyers market. So, yes it's a great time to buy. We have plenty of inventory to choose from and mortgage rates are still low. And if you are selling your home and looking to buy a home in the same area, it is a good time too. Even though you may not make quite as much on your home sale, you are saving on the purchase. So the money you invest in your next purchase will over time increase in value the same way your existing home would have considering the typical factors of condition, area, etc. But that seems to be such a simple answer. There is definitely more to it.
Folks that are selling their home have a little more criteria to weigh when making the decision and here's why. First, we have to look at what segment of the market your home fits into. If you have a nice ranch home with a two car garage and it's priced under $150,000 you probably will get it sold relatively quickly assuming it is in good condition. However, if your home is in a higher price range, the story may be quite different. This year in York County, SC there have been 677 Active and Sold single family homes on the market in the price range between $350,000 to $500,000. This doesn't include the folks that have tried to sell and couldn't so they took their homes off the market. The average number of days on the market is 136 with the high at 722 (God bless these folks for sticking with it and having faith that it will work out - they must have a good Realtor® who has educated them about this market). If we break these down by town we'll see the following:
Homes in Clover, SC: 33 for sale, 4 sold
Homes in Fort Mill, SC: 226 for sale, 90 sold
Homes in Lake Wylie, SC: 82 for sale, 29 sold
Homes in Rock Hill, SC: 198 for sale, 51 sold
Homes in Tega Cay, SC; 72 for sale, 20 sold
Homes in York, SC: 68 for sale, 16 sold
Other: 3 for sale, 1 sold
So what does this tell us? It tells us that the homes in this price range have quite a bit of competition and you may need to be patient during your home sale process. But what you don't see in these numbers is why some have sold and others haven't. That is when you have to take a good look at your home and your competition and be objective no matter what price range your home falls in. In this competitive market there are quite a few things you can do to help your home stand out and sell quicker than your competition.
First, make sure that you and your Realtor® are on the same page. When you interview your Realtor® find out how they plan on marketing your home. Every Realtors® marketing plan is different. I have seen some that say they are full service that don't advertise anywhere but on their own website and in the MLS. They don't even do a comparable market analysis for you. Make sure you are getting everything you need from your Realtor®. Remember that every home that goes into the mls also goes into Realtor.com but here's the catch, there is only one picture and the description is pulled directly from mls where we write descriptions in a cryptic form because of the limitation of space. With my listings I pay for them to be enhanced. I can add as many photos as I like and I can change the description so that it will intrigue the reader.
Your Realtor® will give you an honest assessment of your home but you need to do the same thing. Take a good look at the condition of your home. Remember that a buyer has no emotional involvement with your home...yet. You want to start from the outside on the street. Check to see if your yard is neat, the leaves are raked, and there aren't any toys or tools lying around. You may need to pressure wash your sidewalks, steps, even your roof. This is the first impression that you give to the homeowner. Once you're inside ask yourself if you need to touch up those fingerprints in the hall? What about getting the carpet in the family room replaced or at least cleaned? Does the master bathroom need a complete overhaul? Some of these changes, although they may seem a bit costly in the short term can result in a quick sale and in the end save you money because you won't be making those extra mortgage payments while your home sits on the market.
Staging your home can also be paramount to a quick sale. This is not always a costly endeavor. A good stager will work within your budget. We know that a huge portion of buyers (around 80%) start their home search on the internet and that if the pictures & description aren't appealing they won't even bother to make an appointment to see your home.
Professional photography - I actually know a homeowner that took three photos of their home and gave them to their Realtor® to post in the mls. Not only were they of poor quality but the Realtor® actually did it. I recommend a professional to take the photos but at the very least I would take about thirty (30) photos and post the best ones on the internet. This seller wondered why no buyers ever came to see her home. If it doesn't appeal to a buyer on the internet, they will never make an appointment to come see it.
Inspections - If you have an inspection done before you even list your home you can have any issue that may be a deal breaker fixed. Then when you fill out your property disclosure, it's not an issue.
Home Warranties - These give a buyer an added sense of security when purchasing a home. A good buyer's agent will ask for it in their offer anyway so you may as well provide one in advance. When you do this, your home is covered by the warranty for the duration of your listing agreement and a year after closing for the buyer. If you have an older home, this can be a cost saver if your water heater or HVAC has a problem while your home is on the market.
Each homeowner's reason for moving may be different. When I work with you, we will sit down and go over all of your needs and goals. If you'd like to set up an appointment please call me at 803-517-3452.