For Sale Sign Now or Wait

Updated on March 05, 2008
J.R. asks from Bay City, MI
32 answers

We bought our house with full intentions of fixing up and selling, so we took out a 7 year ballon mortgage. We now have 1 year left and 90% of the work has been completed (mostly outside work: siding, roof, blown insulation, windows). We have around 2-3 medium sized projects to finish up in each room. We are not desperate to sell since we like our house, so it would not be the end of the world if after a year we had to refinance for the remainder of the $, but our main question is, should we put it up for sale now, with the medium tweaks needed or should we wait until they are all completed?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.W.

answers from Detroit on

Every time a buyer sees work that they need to do they start deducting money from what they will offer you. If you want the best offer wait!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.B.

answers from Detroit on

I would say put the for sale sign in the yard and see what happens. In the Michigan market, you need to be prepared to need to refinance and stay where you are, if necessary.

Now, I am not an expert in the housing market but I think people overrate the value of their home projects to prospective buyers.
Best wishes. Neat posting!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.T.

answers from Lansing on

By putting it up for sale now, you may have to lower the $ amount but it will sell quicker. Due to the housing costs, homes are not selling. Take advantage of the increase from what you have fixed up, and allow the next buyer to do some repairs.
J.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Detroit on

I'm not sure what area you are in, but most of the nation is in a buyer's market. As a real estate agent, one main factor I look at when listing a home is the seller's motivation. If you're on the fence for selling, then I would suggest refinancing with the great interest rates out there. You can always put it up for sale later, but if you have a balloon payment that requires refinancing, you would find it very difficult, if not impossible to refinance while your house is on the market.
K. Wood
Keller Williams Ann Arbor
www.annarborhometown.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jodi, we just moved in September and it took us 8 months to sell our house. We were lucky to sell it and things unfortunatly have gotten worse out there. You could try and put it up for sale. But if I were you I would give it one more year. I think with this next presidential election things are going to change in the economy. Just changing presidents will boost the economy even if only for a short time. I would think next spring would be the best. But that is just my opinion. But if you really want to move you can put it up for sale and try it is the perfect time of year. Make sure you get a really good real estate agent. Find out exactly what he or she is going to do to sell your house. We had to switch realtors and fire the first one we had because she did NOTHING. So make sure there are flyers, open houses, internet, etc. Good luck! J. S

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Jodi,
This is my first time on here responding so hopefully i am doing this right. My husband and I have been in the real estate market for some time now. I would recommend getting a real estate professional there to help you and evualuate the situation. It is a free service. To help you further, i can ask my husband to come and visit you and help you. Let me know! Thanks J. May

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Saginaw on

Interesting connundrum... if you list it now at what you hope to get it for when stuff is finished, people will think the value is dropping as the work is completed (or the price would rise). If you increase the price as you complete the work, it will look strange to people alreaady familiar with the property and expecting the finishing to be done. If you start with the price where you expect it to be when it's finished, the first viewers (and their realtors, whose opinion will carry new buyers to your house... or not) may be turned off the property and unwilling to return when it's complete.

I would speak to a very experienced local realtor about the pricing and options, and ask for advice. In fact, I'd speak to 2. See what differences of opinion they have and see if that helps you make up your mind. Ask what kind of sell-time is usual at this time of year versus later in the year. Where we are, spring and summer sells faster and for a great deal more than fall and winter -- even unfinished.

There is no single 'right' way to sell a house, but there are certainly accepted norms of what works. Generally, a completely-finished house will sell faster and for more when it's well presented than a partially-completed one will. However, if someone is convinced that that partially-finished is a super-great deal, you could be in for a very fast sale very close to what you'd have listed it for after you put in all the extra work, and not have to do it yourself.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I would lock in a interest rate now, they are great!

Finish the home. They market is VERY competitive now.

The market will go up next year '09.

Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.C.

answers from Lansing on

Hi! My advise to you is to wait to put your home up for sale. I am a Mortgage Loan Processor, and have been for 10 years. I work closely with realtors and appraisers and because the market is SO DOWN, your best bet is to finish up the projects, and then put the house on the market. Where do you live? I know that the entire US is in a "depressed value" for the price of homes, so if you can afford to wait and aren't in a rush to sell, I would hold off until the market becomes stable again. Hope that information helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I would say that you should finish the small projects. You will probably have a better chance on selling, and if they are small, why not.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

F.K.

answers from Detroit on

Do not sell now if you don't have to. If you do you will be selling at the lows. If you like your home stay put and if you have the money continue to do the projects. Also, you may want to keep your eye on interest rates. They are low right now. It may be a good time to refinance to a fixed rate.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

If you like your home and really dont want to sell, then refinance your balloon loan now. There should not be any prepayment penalty for doing so AND rates are great right now. Cosmetic needs of the home will not make or break an appraisal. If you truly do want to move in a year, then I suggest putting the home on the market, even with the projects that need to be finished. A Realtor would be able to let you know what they feel should be worked on while the home is listed. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.O.

answers from Detroit on

go ahead and put a sign up..

ther is a house on my street that has been for sale for almost 2 years..

you will have plenty of time to work on repairs.. or even add a new addition to the house.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.V.

answers from Detroit on

Finish the repairs first. I had a house up for sale for 6 months. My renters moved out... very nice older couple, house was clean and no major repairs... and after they moved out I went through and fixed every little thing that there was, right down to fresh paint and new vent covers. Within 2 weeks I had a buyer. The other person was right, you only get one chance at the buyer, don't give them any excuses.

Don't wait for your balloon to pop... set a fixed interest rate now. The rates will go back up. If the house doesn't sell right away, you don't want to get stuck with a high mortgage. You can always go through a different lender to refinance. It only has to increase 2 points to make it worth your costs(that's if you plan to live there 5 yrs). Talk to a planner since you are trying to sell.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.E.

answers from Detroit on

I would strongly suggest that you go ahead and put it on the market now. By the time you finish hopefully it will all be completed. When people are looking to purchase a home, they usually can look pass the medium tweaks.

Thanks,
Sonya
Mortgage Consultant/Broker
Mother of six.,

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Detroit on

Jodi-
I suggest that you wait to complete your home before you put it on the market. If you are happy where you are and your intention of buying the home was to flip it, I am assuming that your payment is pretty reasonable. The housing market is very poor right now with an over supply of homes, and decreasing values due to all of the foreclosures. You certainly would not make the return on your investment that you are hoping for. As far as your note is concerned, that will be a gamble....I would watch the rates and see if your lender offers streamline financing. If you can find a good program, with good rates, you may want to refinance now. I know its probably not what your intending, but this markeet is pretty unpredictable, and I tend to be somewhat conservative. Take this time to finish up your honey-do list. We are all hoping for a better market soon, but they are telling us.....not until the end of 2009 at the earliest...we think....just maybe....its possible...huh?! Good luck to you.
I am a 38 year old mom of Lucas (11) and John (6). I have been a Realtor for 12 years with Century21 in Michigan- I love my job...all of them!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Detroit on

I am a full time Realtor who is still selling homes in this tough Mi economy. I say have it completely finished before you put it on the market. You'll need every competitive edge you can get to sell these days, and you'll sell for more money if you do as well! If you need any other ideas or suggestions, please feel free to visit my website or call me directly anytime.
S. Peardon
Keller Williams Realty
###-###-####
www.TheJohnandStacyTeam.com
Realtor Magazine's top 30 under 30 in 2006

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.N.

answers from Detroit on

Depends on alot of things. I am a Broker/Realtor in the Rochester area. Where is your home? What did you buy it for? How much have you put into it? What are the items that still need to be finished??? Alot of questions. If you're close by and in my "territory" I would be happy, without any obligation to take a peek and let you know what I think. I have been in the business for almost 40 years and am among the top 2% of all Realtors nationally in sales. Any questions you might have .... please just ask. Also, alot of banks are extending those balloons so you might not even have to refinance, but with interest rates as good as they are, you may want to consider doing this now rather than later.

C. Nahas
Real Estate One
Rochester
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hello Jodi,
My name is Tammee,(S.'s mom) and I am a realtor. You can put your home up for sale with projects unfinished especially if you are still planning on finishing it. You just let people know what your plans are. I have known people who have posted signs in the rooms that needed work to let the buyers know what the intentions are in there. However, it is such high buyers market at this time if you are not desperate to sell, I would wait for a while to see if the market picks up for sellers. Homes are selling for 20-50,000 less. I have an offer on a home that someone bought for 250,000 in 2005 and it is listed for 139,000. So it is homes like these that will hurt the market value out there. So if you are not in any hurry to sell I would wait a little while. The prediction is that in 2009 things will start to pick up. Best of luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.N.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jodi,

I'm a real estate agent or was I'm now a sahm of two 8mo old boys. I'm still up on the market. I would suggest that you fix up your home. There are alot of homes on the market that are totally updated that have to sell fast or are being fore closed on that you will be up against. The better condition your home is in the better chance you have of getting a good price.

Good luck
Tammy

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Jodi~
I can only answer your question as if I was in your position. Personally, I would continue the work and revisit the issue in a year when you have to make a decision about refinancing. You can continue to finish the work and allow for the market to recover a little (hopefully). If it doesn't and you are comfortable with your home and your payments, stay! In todays market, I would much rather stay in a home I liked and could easily afford. In fact...that's exactly what we did 1 1/2 years ago when our house wouldn't sell. We took it off the market, continued our projects and stayed put!
Good luck in your decision!
~L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.H.

answers from Detroit on

I would say the answer really depends on your read of the current housing marketmore than on the condition of the house. Our neighbor's house was on the market for over a year and they had to really set the price low. My read is that if you can afford to hang onto it, you should, although it may be sometime before the market really rebounds.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.A.

answers from Detroit on

You probably should consult with a financial planner, since this is a large asset and a big part of your life and immediate plans. One financial advisor who has both realestate and stock financial planning experience is at Accurate Tax and Financial Planning ###-###-####. For $25 and up depending on how detailed or how many scenarios you need covered, you should get some sound advice that will stand the test of time for your goals and situation.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.W.

answers from Detroit on

I think people tend to look at the houses that are newer on the market. I watch shows like desinged to sell and others that say do the work first, and if you get that person that wants it coming through your doors, they won't have anything to try to bring down the price with. If your in no hurry I
would wait till the work is done.
Good luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Definitely wait! You will surely get better offers once the work is done, and a house that sits on the market for a long time only draws lowers offers. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.L.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jodi,
As a Real Estate Professional I would be happy to help you decide that difficult question, but I would need more details in order to give you some facts about the market and what would be your best options. You could call me on my cell phone which is ###-###-####, and I can get more details from you because you don't want those public. I look forward to speaking with you about this tough issue and being able to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Regards,
R.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Saginaw on

HI Jodi,
My suggestion with the way the Michigan market is, you can put it up for sale now and finish the repairs while it is up for sale (unless they will drastically cahnge the selling price) or wait until you have it completed. We tried to put our house up for sale alst year and had no luck...we eventually took it off te market and are putting on a addition this spring instead. The market is just so yucky right now its a hard decision to make. You may want to contact a realtor and have them come look at what still needs to be done and see what they say. Good luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

Jodi,
My thought is take a step back and look at the work that needs to be done. Would you as a buy pay your asking price with that work that needs to be done? I say that because if you put your house on this depressed market and someone comes to look at it you are really only going to get one chance with the buyer and you know what they say about first impressions. By putting your house on the market when it is not ready and sitting it may cause your property to look stale, where again in this market you want to look like the best thing sense sliced bread with all the work you have put into it. Good Luck with a sale!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jodi. I used to work in the Real Estate business, so I feel like I can offer some insight here.

If you bought the house with the intention of turning a nice profit...then I would wait and finish up your projects. The projects you have described: siding, roof, insultion, windows...those are actually considered 'upkeep' maintenance and, although they keep the home from depreciating... they really don't ADD value. Buyers expect to purchase a home with good insulation, a roof that doesn't leak and windows that are efficient.

That being said... if you got a STEAL on the house because these repairs needed to be done...then you could probably get market value for it with the upkeep you've done. I'm not sure where you are located..so I can't really say what the market is doing in your area. Keep in mind, market value is what a BUYER is willing to pay. If buyers were only willing to pay $1 for your house...the market value would be $1. That is simplified of course...but it's the basic principal. You can't sell your house for more then what someone is willing to pay... no matter how much you've put into it.

Where you will get the most bang for your buck is kitchens and baths. It's not dollar for dollar return on investment...but it is a good return. (again, depends on your area and what people are willing to pay for an upgraded kitchen/bath) Paint, carpet, patching holes... again... maintenance kind of stuff that will MAITAIN the value. It is good to do those things because if a buyer walks in your house and sees lots of these maitenance things... they start deducting $$ off their offer price.

My advice to you would be to contact a Realtor and have them do a market analysis for you. A good agent will go through your home, look at what you have (with an unbiased eye...which you do not have) and compare your home against other homes which have sold in the area. This will give you a good representation of what buyers would be willing to pay for a home like yours. You can also discuss with the agent other improvements you were thinking about doing and see what they say about them.

Having a market analysis like this done in NO WAY obligates you to use an agent when selling your home or if you choose to use an agent, use that one. It is just giving you information. Depending on what is going on in your market, it might be wise to do some more projects and wait it out a bit. But having the market analysis will arm you with the appropriate information so you can make an educated decision.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Detroit on

I would wait until you finish the projects. House staging is a really big deal right now. It's a buyer's market, so you'll get a higher dollar with the improvements made. When we listed our house a few years ago, we though it would take forever to sell and we got 3 offers the first day! Plus with it just turning into spring, you have time, it's not like Christmas is coming and you want to move fast. Wait, you won't regret it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Detroit on

Good Morning Jodi,
First I would like to share with you how a buyer would view your home. There are so many homes on the market right now that your home needs to be as close to a 10 as possible for a buyer to even consider a 2nd showing. I say this because I just recently sold a property that the buyers rated a 10. We started out with 15 properties and out of the 15, they chose 3 that made their top 10 list. The next day we were out again for 2nd showings on the final 3. They made their final decision and I wrote the offer on the one that made it. The mechanicals on a house are very important, roof, hotwater heater, High Efficiency Furnace, etc.... That said, depending on the projects you're talking about, you don't have to spend a fortune on remodeling. A fresh coat of paint and having the carpets cleaned can make a world of difference. I would stick with neutral colors. Nothing loud or shocking. I hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions, I'm happy to be of assistants.
Have an awesome day!
K. W.
Coldwell Banker Town & Country RE
###-###-#### off.
###-###-#### fax
###-###-#### cell
[email protected]____.com
"Exceeding Your Real Estate Needs"

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I'm a mortgage loan officer in Battle Creek and thought I'd share my opinion with you. Now is not the time to sell your home if you absolutely don't have to. Home values are way down and the market is plentiful. You may receive much less than you would like for your home and it would also be a slightly harder sell because of the unfinished projects as well. Just an insider's perspective.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches