Real Estate Slump continues - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Real Estate Slump continues

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October 18, 2007

Albany - If you're looking to buy a house, now's the time. It's a buyer's market out there... lots of inventory and competitive pricing. But it makes it a little tougher if you're hoping to sell your house.

It's a buyers market. If you're a buyer, that's great. You've certainly got a bunch of houses to choose from. "There's a lot of houses for sale currently," said Realtor Lacey McCarty. On the other hand, if you're trying to sell your home, it may take a little longer than you planned. "You've just got to be patient."

If patience isn't a virtue you have, you may just want to take your house off the market, because you're going to need it and here's why: Last September, the median length of time a home stayed on the market was about 8.5 months.

Now, houses are on the market an average of 13.5 months. Because houses are staying on the market longer, you as a seller may have to make concessions, one of them, the price. You may ultimately have to reduce it.

And here are some other suggestions for sellers: "You've got to make sure it's clean and presentable at all times," said McCarty.  "Listen to your realtors, listen to your professionals and be patient out there. The right buyers will come along."

Buyers that can use some of these suggestions, like cleaning up their credit, and buying within their means, which may mean a little price haggling. "Make sure you are negotiating well on your end. You can negotiate. Don't expect the world, because not everybody has to sell their house. Don't expect the world to be given to you, but you can negotiate a good deal on some houses out there."

And although it may seem like we're in a slump, McCartey says the market is actually more realistic right now, and that will ultimately do both buyers and sellers justice in the future.  

Other suggestions for buyers:  Talk to a lending institution about what you need to do to get your finances in order, before you make an offer. 

Pay down your debt.  The better your debt to income ratio, the better chance you have of getting a mortgage.

Sellers:  Landscape.  If your house doesn't look good on the outside, why would anyone want to take a look inside?

Update:  It may take you just a small amount of money to update your home for the modern buyer, but if it looks like it needs updating to them, they may not want the hassle.

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