One of the things I do pretty much every day is talk with people who are considering putting their home for sale somewhere in the Charlotte Region. Sometimes they already have their home available for sale as a For Sale By Owner, and sometimes they are people who are in the middle of their home buying search and haven't yet put their own home for sale. When I ask why they haven't yet listed their home for sale with a real estate agent, the answers are all over the map. However, sometimes I hear, "I still have some things to do to my home before my house is ready to be listed." Though this can be a very legitimate statement, people ought to consider what NEEDS to be done vs what would be NICE to be done before they waste precious time off the market.
Yesterday I spoke with a very nice woman who has a home valued at around $150,000. She is considering putting her home for sale on the MLS, but she said that it's not ready yet. When I asked what it was that still needed to be done, she said they want to paint some walls and do a few minor repairs. I then asked her when she thought these things would be done. When she told me she would be ready to list her home at the end of September (given that it is now almost the end of August), this concerned me.
Many people are aware that there is currently an $8,000 tax credit being offered to any homebuyer who purchases their first home (and meets certain qualifications) prior to December 1, 2009. Mind you that this does not mean that they pick out their home by November 30th, it means they must have actually PURCHASED the home on or before November 30th. Given that it takes about 45 days to close many loans, that means the home will have to be under contract by mid-October. If this person doesn't put their home on the market until the end of September, that leaves only 2 weeks for a 1st-time homebuyer to take advantage of the tax credit and purchase their home.
Of course most people want to have their home in perfect condition prior to putting it on the market. The problem I find most often is that the little things end up taking much longer to get done than people think. A minor fix that should take a few days often stretches out to a few weeks. Unfortunately, nobody has a crystal ball that will tell the Seller when their buyer will come, so a Seller needs to make their home available as much as possible. Unless your home is an absolute wreck, in most cases it is best to put your home on the market in as good a condition as possible, but continue to work on it as you are listed.
When I was growing up my parents had a saying on our wall that said "Nothing would be done at all if man waited til he could do it so well that nobody could find fault with it." This saying applies to many aspects of life, but can be especially true with selling a home. Regardless of how perfect you think your home is, someone will find some fault with it.
Most people have other things that are important in their lives. Though people want to get their home sold, life often gets in the way. Don't let perfection get in the way of getting your home sold. Though the first time homebuyer credit won't apply to most homes available for sale, buyers in all price ranges are looking for homes right now. Don't let procrastination and perfection get in the way of doing the most important thing you can do to sell your home .... making it available for buyers to buy.
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