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To Sell Or Not To Sell: Steps That Lead To The Sale You Need

To Sell Or Not To Sell: Steps That Lead To The Sale You Need

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By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent

When to sell is an important question for anyone in the real estate market. Whether you are looking to sell a home, second home or investment property choosing the right timing can be critical. Utilizing the knowledge and expertise of a real estate professional is your greatest resource for making the best decision. As a real estate expert in the Williamsburg and Tidewater area of Virginia this article will address some common questions sellers have asked me in the past. Remember, the only reasons your home or investment property won't sell are location, condition or price.

Question: Should a seller list then buy, or buy then list?

Answer:Get your house under contract before you purchase.

Question: Should a seller do a "for sale by owner"?

Answer:Do not do a "for sale by owner". Find real estate professionals you can trust to help you assess the real estate market in your area. This will help you be certain you have covered all the bases necessary to choose the right price. To learn more about the facts of "for sale by owner" transactions visit www.voncannonrealestate.com and read my article "Debunking The Myth Of More Net Gain With For Sale By Owner".

Question: Should the seller invest in a pre-listing inspection?

Answer:A pre-listing inspection is an important part of educating yourself about the condition of your home. It will help you to price your home realistically and can save you time and energy during the sale itself. Documentation from a recent inspection will appeal to your potential buyers. Make sure the inspector is insured, licensed and certified.

Question: At what point should the seller list the home or investment property?

Answer:After your home has passed an inspection you should begin looking for a new home. Your agent can list the property at this time, but be sure the listing states that a replacement home must be secured before closing.

Question: What is the first step to understanding the real estate market in my region?

Answer:Gather information from a variety of sources and compare the findings. Do not hesitate to approach more than one real estate agent and request a comparable market analysis (CMA). The CMA will show the prices of recently sold homes and homes currently on the market that are comparable to your home in size, condition and location. This provides you with an estimated worth for your property. Also, attend neighborhood open houses to get a feel for the current trends. Be sure to look at home comparable to yours within a three-mile radius of your present home.

Question: How can I keep up to date on the current real estate market interest rates?

Answer:Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan is the agreed upon source for announcements regarding projected changes in the Prime Rate. The Prime Rate reflects the interest rates all lenders will be offering in the United States. However, according to an article by Alan Murray in the Wall Street Journal called "Rates Lay Bare Greenspan Challenge" there have been some questions as to the accuracy of Greenspan's most recent projections. Murray says although the "bank's prime rate" has been raised "along with some short-term lending rates….the interest rates that matter most to the economy-home mortgage rates for individuals; bond rates for companies-have been mostly going down and not up." It is best to follow the Prime Rate trends and keep them in mind, but also review the interest rates of several lenders.

Question: What are the signs of a hot market?

Answer:In today's real estate market you must think creatively. You want to sell while the market is the most active and the most competitive. Watch for an increase in property sales as prices escalate. If other properties in the neighborhood have sold recently it is a good time to sell, it helps with appraisal. In areas of Virginia values have doubled in just two years because of the increasingly fast paced market. Look for this type of accelerated movement if you want to make a quick return on your investment.