I've been a REALTOR for 36 years now and sometimes it seems I have seen it all. 18% interest rates and people still bought and sold houses. Oil industry crash that created lots of foreclosures when I was a new agent. The flood of 2016 that impacted so many of my clients.
One of the things that has remained constant is the biggest mistake, I think, that many home sellers make. I have seen it through all my years of real estate. What is it? you might ask! Well, it's waiting too late to make a move and sell the house. The 2 scenarios I see the most are these:
1. Older clients (older than me!) who should sell that big house now, move into a smaller one or into a safe environment like independent or assisted living facilities. The one my mom is in is independent living which means she has an apartment in a facility geared to older people. They provided 2-3 meals a day, a nurse on staff 5 days a week, security at the front desk 24 hours, lots of entertainment and activities to participate in, transportation to the bank, grocery store, doctors, and most importantly, people around you to visit with. Lots of people there have their own cars and still drive. As you get older you start losing your friends, you don't feel as secure in your own home, and basically, you can't take care of it without paying lots of people to do the work. Everyone thinks they have plenty of time, maybe they will move next year. Then time slips away and they are too old, ill health, or one of the couple passes away or just not energetic enough to embrace the change. Their children are left with moving them, sorting through all their belongings and let me tell you, trying to dispose of a lifetime of stuff should not be left for anyone to do for you.
A case in point. I met with the parent of some friends of mine before the flood. The kids needed them to move closer to them. The kids found it harder and harder with their lives to have time to keep running over to take care of mom and dads yard, or the repairs needed or to fix something. I met with the couple, and financially they really needed to move. But they couldn't do it. Less than 6 months later they lost everything in the flood of 2016 and were forced to start over in a place I would have recommended - a nice one story townhouse in a gated community. They love it there. Closer to the children and no upkeep for them either.
2. The other category I have seen is the people whose finances suddenly change and they HOPE that things will turn around quickly. Yet, 2 years later they still don't have a job paying what they were used to, the house has come into disrepair as they have not had the money for upkeep, they are behind in house payments, and now they are going to lose their house and all the equity they could have had 2 years earlier is now gone.
If you see yourself in a situation like this, do not WAIT! Call your REALTOR (or me) to talk through the situation. We can look at the market and the house and see if selling the house will get your out of your situation. Many times I have shown the seller that if we sell their house now, then either go into a rental until they find a job, they will have the equity from their house to see them through AND their credit will be intact. They can buy another house as soon as they are back on their feet. One client sold their $500K house and bought one about half that price and was able to almost pay cash for their new house. Doesn't that take off the financial stress.
Bottom line, your REALTOR is your friend and we really want to help you make the best financial decision for your housing needs. Call us, let us go over your situation and try to help you see your options.
See how happy my mom is with her grand daughter and great granddaughters visiting her!