Last Updated: March 9, 2009
Existing-home and new home sales are rising, but prices keep falling. That bit of good news-bad news has financial planning implications no matter whether you're a buyer or a seller or both in this market.
According to FPA member, Rick Kahler, CFP®, president of Kahler Financial Group, if you plan on selling your home in the market, consider the following:
- Don't sell unless you have to.
- The first offer is usually the best.
- Price your home at the market. In falling markets the tendency is to price your home at last month's price. That puts you playing catch up. By the time you reduce your price, the market has fallen more. Get it right the first time, when the home first goes on the market. That is when the most excitement is created and you will get your best offer.
- Use a professional real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Pick one after interviewing three Realtors® recommended by friends.
- Don't reject any offer. Tell them what you will do, not what you won't do.
If you're buying a home, Kahler recommends the following:
- Don't offer full price.
- Take your time. Get what you want. There is no need to buy in haste. The price will probably be lower next month.
- Today's interest rates are a bargain.
- Don't buy unless you intend to live in the property for at least three to five years.
- Renting is often superior to buying in down markets.
- Don't over commit yourself and take on too much debt.