With home prices soaring to record levels and double-digit appreciation in home values over the last year, you'd think the housing market would have been flooded with new inventory by now. However, inventory is still at record lows with the greater Atlanta area hovering around 1.1 months of inventory since the beginning of the year. While many homeowners might be tempted to sell their houses due to record high sales prices, there are four consistent reasons people hesitate.
1. Homeowners don't know where they'll go next. Low inventory leaves few options for purchasing a new home for many would-be sellers. Without a solid plan in place, they might be hesitant to put their home on the market for fear that they might not be able to find somewhere to go.
2. Homeowners aren't sure exactly what their home might sell for. Without a clear understanding of the current market and recent sales, it can be difficult to price a home accurately right now. Home sales from just a few months ago are virtually irrelevant in this market due to the rapid changes and record appreciation. Pricing appropriately in the current market can present a challenge to many home sellers.
3. Homeowners don't know if they need to do repairs or updates prior to selling. While it's true that homes in need of repairs are selling, they're certainly not going for top dollar. Most buyers are looking for move-in-ready homes and, as a result, those are the ones selling for a premium. Homeowners may suspect their home requires updating or repairs prior to going on the market but may not know exactly which ones would maximize their investment.
4. Homeowners can access home equity in other ways. Cash-out refinancing or home equity lines of credit (HELOC) are becoming more popular with the rise in home values. Rather than move, many homeowners are opting to upgrade their current home or tap into their equity for other purposes without the hassle of selling.
The truth is, we've never experienced a real estate market quite like this. The level of uncertainty present in finding a new home, appropriate pricing of their current home, and optimal marketing strategy can have many sellers questioning whether it is a good idea to sell at all, even with the record-setting appreciation in home values. If you have considered selling your home but are hesitating due to any combination of reasons, finding a trusted real estate professional to advise you is critical. He or she can help you overcome any and all of the above barriers so that you can make a smooth transition into a new home and capitalize on every dollar of equity in your current home.
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