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Should I wait to sell my home?

Crofton MD Real Estate Q&A

Q. Should I wait to sell my home until the market gets better?

Sold HomeA. None of the experts are projecting a return to the boom years we saw in 2004–2006 and, in fact, most experts suggest we haven’t yet hit bottom on prices. Today’s price may be higher than we see next year.  I hope not, but who knows?

The truth is that we live in “today” – not yesterday or tomorrow.  Do you have a compelling reason to sell now?  Health, expanding family, job transfer, retirement, etc.?  It’s probably a good idea to make your decision based on that instead of the unknown future real estate market. No one knows for sure when the market will get better, i.e. higher prices and a quicker sale time. 

One thing we do know for sure is that interest rates haven’t been lower in my lifetime. Today’s marketwatch report from Bankrate quoted a 4% interest rate for a 30 year loan and 3.3% for a 15–year loan. Buyers CAN afford to buy a home, if they’re willing and they meet today’s super-strict qualifying guidelines.  About those guidelines… just when it seems they can’t get any stricter, the maximum loan amount is reduced or down payment requirements go up.

If you wait to sell and rates go to 6–7% and/or lenders all require 20–25% down payment, just imagine how many home buyers will lose the ability to buy – not to mention, if rates were to push 10%.  Don’t laugh… some of us remember the 80’s, when mortgage rates were 16–17%. 

You can’t just plop a sign into your yard and expect multiple offers overnight, as sometimes occurred 5–6 years ago, but you can sell your home with the help of an experienced agent and a little patience. 

I wouldn’t wait to sell my Crofton home, because there are no guarantees when the market will show any dramatic improvement for home sellers. We know that today’s rates make home-buying affordable, and that’s important.

(If any home buyers are reading this, take note. You may never have a better time to buy if you factor into your decision today’s mortgage interest rates.)

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