Real NEastate: Should I sell my home now, or wait for values to increase?

Q: I am selling my home in the Northeast and moving out of the city. The only problem is I need to sell it for a certain amount to be able to do it. I had it appraised in 2010 and I thought I could get what it appraised for, but my real estate agent is telling me no. How can I get the most out of it and move?  Should I try to sell it now or wait until the market turns around?

A: Over the past few years I’ve watched the value of homes in the Northeast decrease. Though the pace of the decrease has been slow, it’s a decrease in value all the same. As a resident of the Northeast myself, I never would have thought I’d see any homes in my neighborhood listed for as low as I’ve seen lately.

Couple that decrease with the fact that an appraised value and actual market value can be two different values altogether, and you’ll find it doesn’t make sense to suppose a person could sell a home for what the property appraised for two years ago. Maybe if there was a ton of work done to the home, but if you’re talking about the same house in the same condition, it’s unlikely.

Low prices mixed with a fantastic interest rate puts the Northeast in reach of many new homebuyers. At this time in a busy spring market at the end of May 2012, you’ve got a great chance of selling your home, provided it is priced right. This could be the year the market turns around, but we won’t know that until we can look back on it. Cross your fingers!

In any market, you’re going to get the very most for your home only if you price your home in the market it’s in and not the market from two years ago. But that number may not match the amount you need to actually move. Take a look at the comparables and if you’re financially unable to price it appropriately, then you could try it. But you’d be better advised to wait a couple more years.

Good luck!

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others hereRead other NEast Philly columns here.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.