When should I start looking for a new home? [Real NEastate]

Realtor Stacey McCarthy will return next week with a new column. This column originally ran in November 2011.

Q: How much of a window should I give myself before I start to look for a new home after my house is on the market? It’s been up a couple months and I don’t know when to start looking. I’m thinking now might be a good time.

A: If you had just put your home on the market, I would usually suggest you wait until your home is under contract since a home you fall in love with might not be available by the time yours is sold. But if your home has been up for sale for several months, you might want to start looking, and in your neighborhood as well, for reasons other than just finding a new home.

If you go out of your way to see some new homes that you might want to buy, maybe you’ll be a little more motivated by your goal to get your home sold quickly. Maybe you won’t need as much money to move as you think and you can reduce the price on your home and get out quicker. Or maybe there’s a homeowner willing to take the contingency of yours getting sold. At least stop by some open houses to see what is out there in your price range.

If your home has been up for a couple months, then yours might not be the best and brightest one out there – the one that homebuyers want. Hit the open houses in your neighborhood, as well. Go out and size up your competition. Are there homes for sale nicer than yours? Are some nicer and cheaper? Maybe you should spiffy-up your own to compete. Or maybe it’s time for a price reduction.

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 here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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