J: Meena's "Keep in mind that if you are selling low, you are also buying low in this market. " is a great discussion point. Personally, and if you have the inclination to do so, I would sell now, rent, and wait for a good time to re-enter the market (please DO NOT execute this strategy without first obtaining the help and analysis of a professional Realtor!)
Why sell now, rent, and wait ?
While the predominate amount of foreclosures tied to â€œsubprimeâ€ loan products has passed, we're not in the clear. This chart shows scheduled reset loan volumes for different loan categories: http://docs.Steven-Anthony.com/Resets.pdf
As the chart shows, Subprime loans have pretty much run their course; however, Option/Alt-A/Unsecuritized ARMs are the next phase to provide an unstablizing affect. We have already taken on some of the projected Option ARM pain. This is because Option ARMs have valuation based "triggers" that can cause resetting to occur sooner than originally planned (due to property devaluation and the owner's payment selection). The following chart shows how the resetting of these loans has shifted and I have also provided an explanation.
Right now, I'm suggesting that my buyers hold their cash at least until the end of Q109 and then reassess the direction of the economy. I donâ€™t see anything yet that indicates Q2 will be better. The resulting reduction in jobs will lead to less demand for purchase housing (and will also lead to more distressed supply).
In conclusion, given your primary goal to upgrade, getting off the current "downward spiral" on market value may be a solid strategy. However, this is certainly a decision best made only after comprehensively performing your due diligence!
Best Regards, Steve