By Shelley Sakala
For some homeowners, the hardest part about selling your house isn’t the planning, the prepping, or the packing – it’s the waiting. You clean your home, you stage your home, you list your home…and then you wait. Even the most patient people can get a little nervous waiting for a buyer.
Part of the reason is emotional. Once you’ve made the decision to live someplace else, you’re mentally checked-out and ready for the life’s next chapter. They say home is where the heart is. And if your heart is no longer there, the rest of you would rather not be, either.
For some people, it’s a matter of convenience. Living in a house that you’re trying to sell can be stressful. You have to keep things clean for any prospective buyers who want to take a tour. Plus, it’s a good idea to be out of the home when a Realtor is showing your place (requiring you to pack up the family and disappear, sometimes with short notice). On the opposite side of the spectrum, trying to sell a home you no longer live in presents its own challenges. All it takes is a water leak or an air conditioner left running round the clock, and now you’re facing some unexpected costs to go along with that unwanted stress. And as anyone who has ever relocated out of state can tell you, the pressure to get a home sold quickly is very real.
From a financial standpoint, one of the biggest motivating factors for a fast sale shows up every 30 days: your mortgage. That’s a hard check to write when you know it’s going toward a house that you’re selling. In some situations, the mortgage on your next home might be contingent on your old home selling. If the timing isn’t perfect, you could end up losing out on your new home.
The most obvious way to accelerate the sales process is to list it at a price below market value. The downside, of course, is that you walk away with less money. This is where homeowners need to balance the pros & cons of a home’s listing price. If you can get fair market value, but it means you’ll be writing 3 additional months of mortgage checks, would that be worth it to you? If you could get your home sold in 30 days, but it requires you to drop your price by $5,000, are you OK with that? Once you identify your own comfort level, a good Realtor will be able to create a strategy to get your home sold at a price you can live with in a timeframe you can handle.
Shelley Sakala is a Realtor with HomeSmart Elite and a resident of North Phoenix.