First I took a critical look at my old house and tried to guess who the most likely buyer would be. I guessed a young family. I figured they would not have money for paint and carpet and our house had not had either in a long time. I had those done as cheaply as possible and with an eye toward bringing light into the house.
I had the yard weeded and edged and cleaned and trimmed. It was winter but I wanted the house to have the curb appeal of a well manicured home. I did other small things such as replaceing switch plates to match the new paint and replacing my compact florescent bulbs with incandesent bulbs so the house would look brighter as buyers walked thru.
I could have priced it right along with the other houses for sale and come up with a list price of $142000 or so, but I priced it at $137500 instead. I am a real estate broker and listed it with my company. I did not pay a commission to my company but I did pay to the selling company and was glad to do so! It went under contract in about 45 days at full price.
I did guess wrong who would buy the house. I ended up being an older retired couple.
I wanted to sell fast so I would not be making two payments. I am glad I did it the way I did. I did not price it with any bargining room, but instead priced it low enough that it looked wonderful compared to those home priced about the same.
My opinion? Always sell first, get your money in the bank and then rent until you find a great buy. That way, you are postioned to buy with cash and can make an even better "I can close quick" type buy! That puts you in the drivers seat...best place to be in this market.
Since I've posted this question, my wife and I have read the answers here and have decided that we will most likely sell first, rent (one way or another) and THEN buy. Our only issues will be how to price our house (which Glenn was kind enough to expand upon). We still owe quite a bit on the house thus we don't want to price ourselves out of business and diminish our bargaining power (our hope/goal is to use what we glean from the sale to make a sizable down payment on the new place). But, that's what an agent is for, right? ;)
I do have a follow up question to this, but since it changes tack a little (and I want to maintain the continuity of this thread) I'll post it as another separate question.
Thanks again to all, and keep those answers coming. :)
Without going into details about which, the marketing has a lot to desire such as the following:
- First one doesn't have any photos displayed... 20 days on the market and no pictures... that's a big no no.
It says something about the seller giving a carpet allowance, it would tell me that it's really bad inside that I don't want to show it to you.
-Second one has been on the market for 4 months and write up is just blank... I mean not a single word that markets the house... They have a couple of pictures though
-Third one has pictures and a write up... Actually pretty good one too. It's a discount brokerage firm and they are only offering 2% to the buyer's agents. In This market, I would NEVER recommend or offer to a buyer's agent less than 3%. 60 days on the market and priced wayyyy too high IMO for the small size of the house.
See, it's not too bad... ;-)
Actually I'm in the Edgecliff Village area. There's one house on my block has been on the market for at least 6 months. Several others are starting to hit the 3 and 4 month marks.
When we start to seriously look, we'll be focusing on the Crowley/Burleson areas (though we will be open to looking outside that too).
Thanks for the replies and the advice (Naima and William). :)
It doesn't hurt to start looking at what is out there so you can have an idea of what you get in the price range you are looking at and compare neighborhoods etc...
The market is not too bad as the media makes it sound, if the house is priced right and is in good condition it will sell fast. The market is picking up. I already have several clients ready to start looking next week.
I'll be happy to visit your house and give you a market analysis and counsel you about the steps to take.
Putting a contingency on the sale of your house also protects you and you won't lose any earnest money, however usually you have to offer very close to full price for sellers to accept a contingency.