The answer to your question comes down to two things: Pricing, and the uniqueness of the property.
I have seen homes in this current market go to contract within ten days (just yesterday, I tried to show a house that was just listed July 8th). What did these homes have going for it? Correct pricing, and the homes themselves had something above and beyond their competition. In the particular case of the home yesterday, it had an above-average sized lot and master suite.
There are homes out there that I refer to as "cookie-cutter homes". These homes are built in tract neighborhoods - same or very similar floor-plans as the neighbors, with no uniqueness or upgrades. If you had one of these homes, I would tell you, hands-down, to rent right now. But considering your upgrades, let's get some clarification that can help you make a decision. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide:
Was your home a "good deal" when you bought it, providing you with some equity initially? Typically, it takes 3-5 years to achieve any real equity in a home if it was purchased at market price. Because your home was purchased a year ago, it is doubtful that you have had time to gain any substantial equity, particularly in this market, unless it was a great bargain to begin with.
Is there new construction in your neighborhood, by one or two specific builders? If there is a large amount of new construction in your area (like a phase II or phase II of a subdivision), my advice would be to not compete against the builder. Most of the time, builders have much more leeway in pricing and incentives than normal homeowners. This can create a bidding war where you would be compelled to compete and most likely not come out as the winner.
What are the upgrades in your home? You mentioned hardwood floors, those are definitey a plus in today's market. But the refrigerator? Not so much. Refrigerators aren't usually a major player in a buyer's decision to purchase a home. The etc. etc. you mentioned? That would depend - have you painted with tasteful decorator colors? Have you added professional trim or molding? Is there something that you have added (or that was there originally) that would give this home the edge over others currently on the market? Maybe a screened-in porch or a privacy-fenced yard? Look for the uniqueness of your home and then compare it to others on the market. What made you decide on that home versus the others that you saw? Play up these attributes as much as you can.
That all being said, I can offer you a comparative market analysis (CMA) that will give you a price point at which your home should sell in a reasonable amount of time. This analysis is free of charge and obligation, but it should help you determine whether to sell or rent. I regularly sell homes in the Pooler area and I am familiar with the market there.
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance,
Marian Mercer, Realtor
Southern Homes and Land Real Estate
(912) 536-8945 - cell
The best thing to do is to interview a few local Realtors and find the best one to work with you. The Realtor can give you answers on the questions you have above and advise on what to do. This will be much better advise than what we can do on Trulia without seeing your house. Some agents on Trulia are really good agents, read their answers and their profile and maybe you can find one here.
The other thing might affect you is the new guideline Fannie Mae is putting out on the restriction of using rental income as part of their formula. The guideline is effective 08/01. Ask the agent how this might affect you..
Listing your home for sale as well as lease purchase will be your best option at first.
It sounds like you have made some nice improvements to the property and renting should be your last resort. Most of this depends on your financial situation.
I understand your concerns. You never know what is going to happen to your home if you rent it out. It is definately a chance you are taking. You have to decide if your willing to replace carpet and maybe paint after your tenants leave unless you get the perfect people in there. If you rent make sure to get references of past landlords and follow up on those. Be picky on who you rent to. Tell them no pets / no smoking.
You can also try to sell first and see what happens, if you price it right; at or just below market value you should be able to sell. Your saying that it is in a good neighborhood and on a corner lot. I would personally go this route first. How much time do you have before you have to move?
Your other option is to list it as a lease/purchase but again even though they are signing a contract it is no guarantee they are going to stay after the year, the thing that is better here is that if they decide to leave you keep the earnest money which then you can take and put back into the house if you have to.
You can also list it as a sale and a lease/purchase option and see who responds to it first.
Good Luck in whatever you decide to do
As many of the other agents have suggested pricing has everything to do with selling your home quickly. The market has picked up in your area. Pooler is a hot spot right now and homes are selling. I suggest putting it out there and see what kind of traffic you get. Make sure you go with a Realtor that offers both sales and rentals. When I work with clients in your situation I always provide them with the option of switching their listing over to a rental if the home does not sell in a timely manner. Hope this helps. Please call me if you need any further assistance or would like for me to do a free CMA on your property. I would love to work with you in getting your home sold or rented.
Tonya Henderson, Realtor
You sound as though you have a fabulous home. Priced correctly, your home should sell within a reasonable time. The key to selling your home is exposure which a Realtor should provide. I suggest renting as a last resort, not unless you plan on returning to the area within the next year or two. I will gladly provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision.....at no cost to you as I truly love my job!
It sounds like you did quite a bit of market research before purchasing your current home. It's just as important now for you to research the current market conditions in your immediate area. There are homes all over our area that are selling in a 60-90 day time frame, and yours may be not different.
You mentioned that your home was a good investment. What made it a good investment for you? These same factors might stimulate a potential buyer to make an offer on your property above others. Now is the time to really do some research! It is virtually impossible to make a good decision abot whether to rent or list without gathering information on market conditions, local community trends and how your home stands out among the competition.
Please let me know if I can help. Make it a great day!
(912) 236-5752 Savannah/Southbridge Office
(912) 748-8141 Pooler Office
(912) 655-2323 Cell