Foreclosure Crisis: when is the Right Time to Buy or Sell a Home?

We have all watched the changes in the real estate market with interest and concern: but what does it mean to buyers? Is it a good time to buy your dream home, because prices are decreasing in almost every residential area? Some buyers are waiting for further savings, but how long can it go on?

Housing prices have dropped almost 17 percent since April of this year: the rate of decline is on a par with that of the Great Depression. Seasoned analysts predict more drops in the next four months, and then a leveling off which will precede an upturn in prices.

If you are considering taking advantage of the current housing crash to pick up a property at a low price, it may be wise to start looking immediately. Finance wizard Suze Orman has some thoughts on buying in the current market: “All those stressed-out developers are motivated to make deals. That can mean sharp price discounts or great offers to help with your mortgage financing”. She cautions buyers, though, to look carefully at the local area around their home, to be certain they won’t be surrounded by “half-finished properties” that will devalue their own investment.

Waiting too long to buy may end up costing you money: it takes time to find the perfect property. It takes time to get inspections, secure proper financing, and sell your current property. Given predictions for a market upturn in just a few months, you might want to consider shopping around for a deal right now.

If you are selling, you need to ask yourself why you are putting your house on the market. If it is a choice necessitated by financial problems relating to high interest rates and decreasing property values, you are not alone. Here is a quote from Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, regarding selling in the current economic climate. “ Consumers need to find out what is going on at the local level and not necessarily take national headline numbers as a point of reference. Sellers tend to be more stubborn in facing the reality of the market, so people who really need to sell need to come down on prices, given the high inventory and seller competition.”

You must decide if it is necessary to sell your property immediately, or perhaps wait out the troubles that are plaguing the housing market. If you cannot wait, then you must be sure your property shows well and is priced realistically. Too-optimistic pricing levels will only ensure your property remains unsold. A beautifully staged property with a spotless interior and neat landscaping, priced for what the market will bear, has the best chance of competing favorably with all the other properties on the market.

Today’s housing market is challenging for sellers, and confusing for buyers. It takes a lot of research to sort through the information. Rely on professionals with a lot of experience in the industry to guide you.

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