Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thinking about putting your house on the market

Let's face it. Selling your home right now can feel like being a contestant on Survivor.

Which beach should you camp on (staging the house)? Who should you make alliances with (picking a realtor)? Do you have the proper tools for starting a fire (pricing your home)? Where should you look for fresh water (marketing the property)? Are you ready to fight, hunt and trade for the food you need (negotiating with the buyer)? And, finally, how will the producers portray you on TV (ignoring the media)?

The good news is that there is always a winner in Survivor, which means that you can sell your house AND feel great about it.

Think about this. If you have lived in your current home for more than 5 years, your investment has paid off. Say the homes in your area might have sold for $450,000 four years ago, and now those same homes are selling for $415,000. If you bought your home for $400,000 fifteen years ago and raised your children in it, then you just made $15,000.00. Your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it.

People buy and sell homes according to major life changes, not the housing market's ups and downs. Getting married, having a baby, the first big promotion, having another baby, retirement - these are reasons to buy and sell homes, and people are still doing all of those things. One the same token, don't base your life decisions on what you think the housing market may or may not do. And, if your buyer gets a deal on your house, you have to assume that you are getting a deal on the next house you buy as well.

Lately we have had families come to the Sales Offices, tour the models and the clubhouses, and tell our Sales Counselors that XYZ Community is for them but they are waiting to put their house up for sale. All I can say to that is: what are you waiting for? With motivation and hard work, you will sell your home, it doesn't need to be as painful as you think it needs to be, and you can start living your new life.

In short, I know two people that have been on Survivor, one almost won and the other went home halfway through, but they both learned from it and took advantage of the many opportunities that being on the show afforded them in order to make life even better when they came home. But, everyone I know has bought and sold houses and they have always been accompanied with the excitement and fulfillment of starting a new chapter in their lives.