I've heard from several people who were thinking about selling their home that they'd prefer to wait until the market recovers. Well I have some good reasons to set aside that thinking and look at all the positives that come from selling your home in a "down" market.
First off, the market we find ourselves in currently isn't really that down. This is more like a normal market. It will be a while before the out of hand prices we saw recently return, most likely they will return to those levels when inflation and normal appreciation put them there.
However, if I'm incorrect about the housing prices, there are still many benefits to selling your home now. One that most people don't think of is that when you sell your home for less due to market factors, the home you are buying is also priced less than usual. And since most all home values work on percentages your gain moving up in house will be significantly higher in terms of dollars.
This is an easy example to see what I'm speaking of. If you purchased your house in 2005 for $100,000, perhaps now it is worth $95,000, or a decrease of 5%. If you sell your house now you can then buy what was a $200,000 house for $190,000, a $300,000 house for $285,000 and so on. Then when appreciation kicks in and your homes value goes back up, your going to come out money ahead when you sell next time.
Also, there is a tax credit available for many buyers. This is motivating buyers to get out shopping earlier than usual, and has also been leading to some bidding wars on cheaply priced good homes. The tax credit expires in April, but I'm pretty confident the market won't notice a huge dip when that time comes.
Lastly, right now there are contractors out there who are skilled and looking for work. With fewer jobs available the pricing is quite competitive and these contractors are eager to earn your business. So if there are some items you've been wanting to take care of, this is a great time to get them done. Also if some items need attention to market your home to more buyers this is a great way to get the work done cheaper and quicker than usual.
So if you are thinking of selling your home, but concerned about the effects from the market place, I hope this will help you make an informed decision. If there is anything I can do, or any questions I can answer, please contact me.