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5 smart questions to ask yourself to decide whether it's a good time to sell your home, according to real estate agents

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  • Selling a house may seem impossible during the coronavirus pandemic, but experts agree that if you need to sell your house now, get it on the market as soon as possible. 
  • If your current living situation isn't economically feasible, consider finding a new one; it's easier to sell your house once you're in a new one.
  • Check the market stability in your area, pander to all-cash buyers, and don't be shocked if your expectations aren't met.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Few, if any, sectors of the economy are operating on a "business as usual" basis, least of all the real-estate industry.
In most states, open houses are a thing of the past for the foreseeable future — both buyers and sellers are jittery about showings, and economic uncertainty has everyone who's in the market to either buy or sell a home wondering if the timing's right.
There's no easy answer to this question, and much depends on the specific market. From the seller's perspective, here are a few considerations to mull over when you're deciding whether or not to put your home on the market:

1. Do your personal circumstances necessitate a sale? 

Maybe you've lost a job and can no longer afford your mortgage, or maybe you need to relocate for a new job. If you absolutely must sell your house within the next few months, experts agree that you should get it on the market as soon as possible.
"Serious buyers and serious sellers are making deals," said Debra Foxx with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Princeton, NJ. "You don't have buyers going out for the fun of it right now. The people who are looking really need to find a home." Spring buyers are also often hoping to purchase and get settled into a new home by the beginning of the school year in September.
Getting your house on the market quickly might be a particularly good idea if you think the prospects for your local economy are poor and you don't think you can hold out for a recovery.
"My concern is that once we get out of the coronavirus crisis, it's not going to be a pretty market," said Mike Acquisto with Rubiola Realty in San Antonio, TX, which has an oil-dependent economy. "Unless oil recovers, those jobs are gone for a while. So if I needed to sell a house in the next year, I would definitely do it now and make sure your realtor is doing everything they can to market it."

2. Is your house empty? 

If you've moved into a new home and your previous property is empty, you may not have the option of waiting to put it on the market.
The good news is you'll be spared the stress of having strangers coming into your occupied home. Some cities have forbidden in-person showings, or have strict rules about who can enter a property. In Denver, said Carla Bartell, an agent with Perry & Co., prospective buyers can't physically enter a home until there's an executed sale contract.
"We're seeing houses come off the market in droves," she said. But lower inventory means less competition for buyers, and that may be good news for sellers who keep their houses on the market.

3. Is the market in your area relatively stable?

While many markets have experienced around a 30% drop in listings along with dramatic price cuts, experts told Business Insider, others are surprisingly stable. This tends to be the case in areas of the country that have not yet had a large number of COVID-19 cases.
"Our company is running right on time with our goals for the year," said Richard Henley at Era Team Real Estate in Conway, AR. "Last April was the biggest month of the year, and right now we need one contract to equal last year."
He shared that while there's a glut of higher-end homes (which he defines as over $400,000) in the market, "we don't have enough smaller homes and we're begging for homes to sell."
Likewise in Edina, MN, where Mark Ashby of Edina Realty said the market, while down around 15%, is still robust.
"We don't have listings sitting around," he said. "They get sold pretty quickly if they're fairly priced."

4. Is your home likely to attract an all-cash buyer

COVID-19 has changed the lending environment. Some banks are demanding that mortgage applicants have higher credit scores (700+) and, said Ashby, "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are tightening their guidelines. It's a little harder for a buyer to qualify. And in our area, they dropped the downpayment assistance program."
Jumbo loans are also harder to get, he shared. None of that matters, of course, if your buyer is able to write a check for the sale price, and that's more likely to happen with higher homes that are sought after by wealthy buyers. But those buyers may have also been more impacted by stock market losses and may be more skittish about plunking down cash.

5. Are you prepared to have realistic expectations regarding price?  

"Anybody who expects to get last year's price is foolish," said Julie Gardner, a realtor with Compass Real Estate in Oakland, CA. "Buyers have been beat up for a decade and have been waiting for a shift in the marketplace, and now they have it." People who wanted to sell at the height of the market have missed that opportunity, she said, and will now have to settle for less.
Those who have owned their homes for decades should still realize substantial gains — but sellers who have only owned their property for a few years should wait if they possibly can because "you'll be taking a hit," said Gardner.
The bottom line, according to Sheila Thunfors of Stone House Properties in West Stockbridge, MA: "Sellers should be talking to a local realtor, getting a sense of what they think the market is likely to be when things open up again." Ask, before COVID-19 changed everything, what kinds of buyers would have been most attracted to your property, and are they likely to be in a good position to buy in the future?
"Also," said Thunfors, "are you at a price point that was active before all this happened? Obviously, some people's finances have been destroyed and they'll be out of the market, but I also think there's going to be pent-up demand."
SEE ALSO: Home buyers, real estate agents, and lawyers reveal the new realities of shopping for a house during a pandemic — and why it's not necessarily a bad time to look
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Source
https://www.businessinsider.com/questions-decide-whether-to-sell-home-during-coronavirus-2020-5?IR=T


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