Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ten year-end questions for property sellers

As we approach the end of the year it is prudent for most of us to contemplate year-end actions that might affect our 2011 tax liabilities. For property owners who tried and failed to sell in 2011 and those planning to sell soon, now is also a good time to reevaluate plans and expectations. Following are ten questions that every property seller should be asking themselves.

10: What is the best estimate of actual current market value of my property based strictly on recently sold, comparable properties close in size, condition and location to my property? What that number was last February when you first listed is likely to have changed.

9: Am I asking close to that number and am I willing to sell for close to that estimate or am I praying for a miracle? Like the Florida skunk ape, the existence of the wealthy uninformed buyer with no internet connection who is willing to overpay is still in doubt.

8: What is the supply of similar properties and do I think it's going to increase or decrease?

7: Are there any possible events looming that could affect the value of my property like impending foreclosures in my complex/neighborhood or possible expensive repairs or assessments?

6: Does my property show well?

5: Is it easy to show my property? You may not realize that your tenant has become difficult or that it is difficult for buyer's agents to get showing instructions or that your listing agent keeps the keys in her office rather than using a lockbox. If your listing agent doesn't answer his phone or his office is closed on weekends, you're missing showings to prospective buyers.

4: Is my listing broker offering the buyers' agents the same commission as competing properties? You might be surprised to find that he's keeping more for himself than he's offering out.

3: Do the answers to questions 4 and 5 reveal that your listing agent may be an impediment to the sale of your property? Might be time for a change.

2: How much is it costing me every month that the property isn't sold? In addition to taxes, fees, repairs and interest you have to figure opportunity cost on the equity (if any).

1: And number one; In which direction do I think (based on facts) my property value is headed?

Depending on the answers to all of those questions, it may be time to make some changes in your approach to selling. The market is robust with 655 sold MLS-listed residential properties in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral so far in 2011. That's more than any year's total sales since 2005. Your property will sell if it is priced close to right and your listing agent is doing a good job. As with most of life's endeavors, knowledge is power.

Happy Holidays to all.

"Take your time, hurry up, the choice is yours. Don't be late." __Curt Cobain