To Sell Or Not to Sell, That Is The Question!
Procrastination. Oops, Sorry, Bad Word. But that is what it is. You put it off some more. Time starts to become more critical, but you still put off making a decision until it is almost too late. What do you do now?
Sadly, that is what happens to many people when they start thinking about selling their home and buying another one. Often costing them thousands of dollars. Maybe your home is becoming outdated, it is too small (all the kids moved out), you want a lovely lakefront home, you want to move to a retirement complex or condo or any of a dozen other reasons. You just cannot make a decision. Then you see in the newspaper that the Federal Reserve has risen their benchmark interest rate again – the third time this year and you are worried about how this affects you. Are you able to buy the next home you want and will you be able to receive the price you want on your current home? Why didn’t you make a decision sooner? Don’t worry, it is not too late!
What you need to do is to take out a piece of paper and a pen and make a plan. Yes, that is right, make a plan. It’s not hard it just takes some honest thinking.
First, write down what you WANT for your home and why you think you that is the right amount. Then write down what you really NEED (what the real value is). That’s right – What you REALLY need. This may be the hardest part. It’s like going to a buffet of really fantastic food a mile long when you are really hungry. You take a plate and start loading on all the food that looks really good, fillet steak, lobster, crab legs, prime rib roast, all the fixings, 5 or so yummy desserts, and the best beverages they have to offer. Now you come to check out and the cashier rings up the total and you pull out your billfold or credit card and find out you are maxed out and can only afford a PB & J sandwich and a glass of water. My mother called it the “Your eyes are too big for your stomach syndrome.” Meaning your eyes (the amount of food you WANT) and your stomach (the amount you can afford) DO NOT MATCH!
The same thing happens when you think about selling. You WANT more for your home than it is really worth. You think your home is a castle when it may be a dated old farmhouse. What you need is an outside unbiased opinion. A professional who knows the current Real Estate market. We will get to that later.
Next, write down what you really NEED in your next home and how much you can afford to spend to buy it. This sometimes hurts because it goes back to “Your eyes are too big for your stomach syndrome,” but it is the most important part. It will become a little easier.
Next are your finances. You can find out a lot by looking at your banking statements – checking, credit card, savings, investments, etc. It is possible not what you wanted to see, but it is what it is.
Next, how much can you afford for the next home and still be able to enjoy a full life? Don’t have that number? Here is where you need professional help. Go to your bank and ask to see someone in their mortgage department. Don’t know anyone there? Then, first ask your friends and family whom they have used when they purchased a home. You need someone who cares, has knowledge of the Real Estate market and someone you can trust. When you find that person and meet with them, take all your financial papers and credit report, tell them what you want to do and ask them to give you a Pre-Approval Certificate to help you buy your next home. It is important to do this BEFORE you even start looking for your next home because in today’s market, a Seller may have a few offers at the same time to consider and a Pre-Approval Certificate will make your offer that much better. Now you have one of my tried and true negotiating tactics.
Now you need to find a Realtor. Again, go through the same process you did to find the kind of Lender you need, a Referral from family and friends. Then call one or more for a free consultation. Please email the person at the end of this report to give you a list of great questions to ask a Realtor to help you find a Realtor who is caring, hardworking, and knowledgeable of today’s Real Estate market and is trustworthy. Someone who will consult with you instead of selling you. Someone who will walk with you and consult with you every step of the way. That person will tell you the truth about the value of your home, even if it is not what you had hoped. And they will help you find your next home (the one you will love and can afford and still have money left to have a full life or fulfill a dream). Please be sure to ask for references, preferably by video so you can see the people and what they have to say.
Now stop procrastinating and have some fun. You deserve it. If you want to skip the hard part and get right to a Realtor who cares, contact Susan Compagner, the founder of the Compagner Real Estate Consulting Group at 616.836.2603 or [email protected] for your free consultation. WWW.SusanCompagner.com