Is it better to try and sell now or wait?

Asked by Rebecca, 80123 Thu Sep 25, 2008

We have lived in our townhome for 4 years. We bought near the top of the market, and since then the value has gone down. I think it would be hard to sell the house for what we paid, but we might be able to sell for $5-10 thousand less. We have an FHA loan, and only have about $14000 in equity right now.

We are wanting to move to a bigger house within the next couple years, and we can afford the payments. However, we have been waiting for the market to recover before we try to sell our current house. I think even when the market recovers, it won't go up enough to make a huge difference in our current situation. We might be able to sell for what we paid, or a little higher. I keep seeing all these listings for foreclosures and short sales that are really good deals, and I am wondering if it would be a better idea to try and sell our house now, even though we might lose some money, and buy a house that has a better chance of going up in value in the future.

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Ben Edgson, , Indiana
Thu Sep 25, 2008
Hi Rebecca,

Have you thought about keeping your current home as an investment property? There is definitely a risk in keeping the home and renting it out, and being a landlord can be difficult -- however, many of my clients have found owning investment properties can be very rewarding. If you decide this is a path you'd like to investigate, be sure to research rentals in your immediate neighborhood. If there are plenty of vacancies then it might not be a good idea. However, if investment properties are being rented quickly, then it may make sense financially to do so.

Good luck!

Ben Edgson
Mortgage Banker
1 vote
Margaret Sta…, Agent, Conifer, CO
Thu Sep 25, 2008
Hi Rebeccca:
Everything depends on the Buyer and your competitiveness in the marketplace. If you have limited competition in your neighborhood, this may be the best time to sell. Otherwise, buyers are looking at the market as one big yard sale. If you can't offer the best deal, you may be struggling against the stream. If you can hold out until after the election, or refy for a better rate if you have an ARM or a rate above 6.5%, wait until November. Don't pay any points.

One thing you may want to do, if you do not refinance, find a local lending rate and lock it in for 30-60-90 days. You may have to pay for a 90 day lock. (By the end of the year, experts say, rates will go up, but you'll have a lock on a good rate.)

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1 vote
Margaret Sta…, Agent, Conifer, CO
Fri Jul 24, 2009
Hi Rebecca:
Thanks for ranking my answer highly. I appreciate it. I appreciate your dilemma too. Have you made a decision?
Your townhome may be worth more now than it was last year. Colorado is ranked very highly in recovery, in fact, in the top ranked for best place to live, recovery rate, venture capital investment, and many other rankings. Check out for more information.
I think you might consider selling as soon as possible.
Call me. I can help. 303-618-1925.
0 votes
Kathryn L Ca…, Agent, Conifer, CO
Sat Feb 14, 2009
Greetings Rebecca:

I would hold onto your current place-- and rent it out. The equity in your property-- would cover your closing costs-- and I wouldn't doubt-- that if you sold your property now-- you would have to bring money to the table
Between competition-- of other town homes in your area that are bank owned and short sales-- listed / for sale for a lesser amount. Some bank owned properties are up to 55% under market value.

We would be happy to send you a report-- showing what your property is worth (and comparing to what has sold recently in your area).

I would also get pre-approved for your home-to be-- and go over the FHA Program with 3.5 down-payment.
Fico score of 580 or higher is needed-- w/ an attractive interest rate 30 year fix.
Seller to pay Closing Costs- with your offer to be.

Advice: I would rent it out/ and purchase a home----there are GREAT deals out there.
It will take years before the market turns around/ market value wise.

*********Register for Free: Home Lists and Best Deals in Any Price Range:

We represent Buyers at no cost to them. All the best, Kathryn
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Sep 25, 2008

This is a very common question in today's real estate world.

If you can afford to list it at a price that represents the true market value, you will stand a chance of selling it. But if you can't get to this level the best thing to do is either rent it or remain there until it will sell.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
0 votes
Bill Fung, Agent, Centennial, CO
Thu Sep 25, 2008

This could be a very long answer but will make it as brief as possible.

The answer is yes if you can afford to sell it now. In Denver during 1990-1994 the Denver market experienced a similar down turn in housing prices. Denver's downturn actually started around 1987.

There were a number of sellers who sold their current house for less than what they had bought it for. In fact I had a seller (1991-1992?)who had to bring to the closing $18,000 to sell their current house. After selling their house I helped them buy a new home and in a space of one year they made over $22,000 in the purchase of their replacement home. The market actually allowed them to buy a house they normally could not afford. Believe it or not they are very happy to this day about the decision they made.

Just in the last year or two, again I helped a seller do the same thing and sell their current home. Only in this case, this seller had to bring $30,000 to the closing table. They didn't get what they should have gotten since the market tanked, however they were able to purchase their dream home because the price of their dream home initially was above what they could have afford. For these sellers, in the area they purchased, the homes have actually gone up in value. They too are very happy with their decision.

Rebecca, the final decision rest in you and your family discussing what your future goals are regarding a replacement home. If you would like help or more info or discuss what other questions you need to ask yourself, please feel free to contact me.
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Brian Burke, Agent, Highlands Ranch, CO
Thu Sep 25, 2008
That is a good question. It seems like it is a good time to buy and a not so good time to sell. I think this is something that you need to ask yourself. You will take a hit on the sell and get a good deal with the market the way it is. It may be a wash and you will get a new home. Contact me if you want to talk about this more.
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