By Bruce Cathcart
We now know that the Coachella Valley real estate market is a seller’s market. That means that there are more buyers than sellers and that the excess demand is forcing home prices to go up. So is now a good time to sell your home?
Even though home prices have gone up considerably since their low values in 2007-2009, many homeowners still do not have enough equity to even consider this question. For those homeowners that do have an equity position, in other words, they owe less on their mortgage than their home is worth and could sell their home and net some cash from the sale, (note I did not say “make a profit” here), they really have to answer only one question before deciding whether or not now is the right time to sell their home. What are they going to do with the money?
If you are going to sell your current home and use the money to purchase another home then it makes sense to sell now provided you have already located another home to purchase. This is called a “lateral move” as you are selling a home and repurchasing another home in the same market. A “good move” is selling when the market is high and buying later when the market is low… and of course a “bad move” is doing just the opposite. But as long as you are buying and selling in the same market you can change your circumstances and basically stay economically even. If you are planning to sell your home and “invest” the money in another opportunity then it depends on whether you believe that the other opportunity will make you more money in the future than continuing to own your home and selling it in the future. For example, if you sell your home now and put the money in the stock market you are gambling that the stock will make a better profit when you sell it than your house will. I cannot give that type of advice, but I can say that the real estate market is still moving up and while timing any market is not easy, I am not a seller of my investment properties at this time. If you are planning to sell your home and invest the money in a college education for yourself or your children, or pay off bills or anything that involves personal self-improvement or enhancement of the quality of your life, now is a good time to sell your home. This is because you can sell your home and quite easily now. And finally, if you are planning to sell your home and join a cult, well, it really doesn’t matter what I say here.
A lot of thought goes into the decision of whether or not to sell your house at any time. If you have decided that you want to sell your home in this seller’s market you should know that the basics still apply. Sure, every decent home under $300,000.00 is selling right now and many with multiple offers. But if you want the top price with the best chance of getting those multiple offers then de-clutter, clean up, and make those repairs that you have been putting off for the last 5 years. If the interior needs paint, then paint! Homes that show pride of ownership always sell better and for more, no matter what type of market it is. Your agent will help you with this process and recommend what you can do to enhance your homes appearance and maximize your potential sale price.
Despite this being a seller’s market not all homes are selling as soon as they are listed for sale. In the higher priced homes and resort properties it may just be the time of year. After all, if you could afford to be somewhere else during the summer months you would not be here either! But regardless of the time of year, if a home is not selling in the current seller’s market then the simple truth is that it is overpriced. For these homeowners there are two simple solutions. Either reduce the list price or wait for the market to move up. All homes sell in a seller’s market if they are priced right!
This week’s real estate tip: If you are selling your home in the current seller’s market be a little patient, especially if your home is priced under $300,000.00. Do not just accept the first offer that you receive. Wait at least 5 to 7 days before responding to multiple offers. If you are tired of showing your home your agent can place the listing on hold until you complete your negotiations. If you are in a multiple offer situation make sure the prospective buyers have actually seen your home before accepting their offer.
Bruce Cathcart is the Broker/Co-Owner of La Quinta Palms Realty, “The Friendly Professionals” and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.laquintapalmsrealty.com.