put house on the market now, or wait until next spring?

revheckJune 19, 2011

We have to move to Washington, DC by beginning of school year, and are trying to decide whether to put our house in central New Jersey on the market now, or rent it out for a year and sell next spring. Well-priced houses are selling here, but it is beginning to be late in the season. Right now is the time to rent for late August/September.

How difficult is it to sell a house starting in July? If we rent it for a year, we then have to figure out how to market it next spring while there are tenants.

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graywings123

You can't sell a house that isn't on the market.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 6:26PM
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deaniesue

I'd put it up now through end of July. Worse case it doesn't sell from here until the end of July...then you put it for rent at beginning of August. It's going to be hard to sell it with renters.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 6:40PM
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teched

We are buying a house with renters in residence. I will never do it again. What a PIA. I keep being confronted with the "renters' rights." Now my stuff must be in storage for a month because they negotiated a later date to leave with the current owners.

Also, my sister bought a home that had been occupied by renters who abused the house. The sellers were devastated to see what renters did to their house in just a year.

Don't make the assumption that only people with kids in school will want your house. We just sold our 5 br house to newlyweds. Who knew?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 7:25PM
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LoveInTheHouse

The prices might be lower by next year too. We are trying to buy a house in central Jersey. When we were house hunting, by the time we got there, anything good was already under contract or had offers coming in. The real estate is active now in Jersey. IF it is priced right. There were some we looked at that were overpriced and I bet they're still for sale. If you price it right, it will sell. Also, in my experience (I've sold five or six houses), the only slow periods I ever had were February and March. April was iffy. I sold two houses really fast in October. I sold one in December. Where's your house?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:40PM
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maurenemm

I'd probably try to sell it now rather than trying to sell it with renters in it.

Around here, not much new is coming on the market but there are still buyers, I think. So if you're well priced and the property is nice, I think you could sell relatively quickly.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 8:57AM
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sweet_tea

sell it now. keep it up for sale until it sells. do not rent it out. price it correct from the beginning.

don't get caught up with the "season" to sell or rent. folks buy outside the typical season, and often there is less inventory at that time. why would you want to have 10 competing "comps" that are for sale at the same time as you, versus selling outside of season where maybe there are only 3 comparable comps. when folks need to buy, they are going to buy and they won't wait until next spring selling season.

don't rent...focus on selling this place asap. renters are going to distract you from the goal(selling) and will likely cause the place to sell for a lower price and also it likely will take much longer to sell if rented. who needs that headache.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 10:14AM
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adellabedella_usa

Every market is local, but it seems a lot are having a harder time selling. I would put it on the market now. Clean, paint, declutter and fix up the things that need fixing. Stage your house so it looks nice and has ood curb appeal. Do your homework and be realistic about the price at which the house should sell and then price it well. Make your house the best deal for the money. Chances are that prices will be lower next year so I'd cut out as much aggrevation as I could and sell the house now.

I would not rent unless you don't have another option. Many renters will not care for your house in the same manner that you will. You may find that renting will cost you more money and stress in the long run.

We were in a different market and times are now tougher. We put a house on the market at the end of July two years ago. We only had three prospective buyers come through in a month's time, but fortunately, that that third prospect was our buyer. This buyer was someone who had just gotten an offer on their house and now needed a house that was move-in ready. We had made our house as appealling as we could and were priced near where we thought we could realistically sell. Our competition was priced higher. We sold in a month and the house sat empty for a year. Our price difference was such that we think we finacially came out better because we didn't have to make house payments on a house we weren't living in for a year.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 10:27AM
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chisue

Get it ready and put it on the market. Know what you *must* get out of it and list there; don't 'go fishing'. I'd try to avoid renting.

How's the DC market, compared to yours? If they are similarly 'up' or 'down', you'll be selling and buying in the same 'market'.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:20PM
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gmp3

School doesn't start util September in NJ right? If that is true you still have 2.5 months before school starts. We live in the west and school starts mid August.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:04PM
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terriks

Don't forget that the tax implications of selling your primary residence are different from selling a rental property. I vote to sell it now and forget about renting it out.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:24PM
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ncrealestateguy

Sell now or next Spring? If your only deciding factor is if the housing market will be stronger this coming Spring, then sell it now. There is not a single economic index that supports that housing prices will be stronger in just a few months.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 8:06AM
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kellyfoota

We are actually renting our NC home out in order to move to FL for the kids to start the school year. The people who are renting it are a professional couple who can't sell their home in Massachusetts. We spent Feb-May on the market and it was a PIA. We did receive a couple of low-ball offers, but honestly I wish we had just done the rent thing from the get-go. As sketchy as the real estate market is right now, the rental market is hot. We had 5 good credit applications the first day that we offered it for lease. Another friend in the neighborhood who is moving to CA has done the same thing (and both of us have houses valued in the $700s). The class of renters is really different now-a-days. They are people like us ~ nice families with money to spend up front, who just have houses to sell in other cities that just aren't moving. It was so nice to not have to worry about the appraisal coming in right, the financing coming through, etc. etc. Frankly, we aren't in a hurry to buy in FL (want to get used to the area first and to see where we really want to settle once we live there.) We found a lovely home to rent in FL. It is peace of mind to know that in a "worst case scenario", I can always go back to the home I own in NC. I just think this is becoming more and more of the norm now-a-days. When I started researching renting, I was shocked to find out 29 houses in my neighborhood were being leased. I would NEVER have been able to pick out "the leased ones."

Good luck and know whatever you decide from your gut, is the right decision for you!!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:27AM
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teched

We just got back the appraisal on a house we are purchasing. It was on the market for a year and then rented for a year. The status was duly noted on the appraisal form, and deductions were applied for each. The rental deduction was 10% of the comparable value. Just keep that in mind when you make your decision.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:44AM
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mostone

Renting a home out carries risks - ask any long-term landlord. Even nice high-income tenants can become problems. I think that many of the accidental landlords who don't want to sell in this market will come to wish that they had bitten the bullet.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:55PM
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ncrealestateguy

Teched wrote:
"We just got back the appraisal on a house we are purchasing. It was on the market for a year and then rented for a year. The status was duly noted on the appraisal form, and deductions were applied for each. The rental deduction was 10% of the comparable value. Just keep that in mind when you make your decision."

I have never heard of this and IMO, having a renter in a home has no bearing on the market value of that home.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:28AM
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teched

Well, I had not heard of a lot of things before this recent transaction. We have bought and sold houses for the last 25 years, and this is the most complex transaction ever. I have had to provide the lender more paperwork than I did on my FHA loan on my first condo. The rules have changed since the bubble burst. The appraisal value was a surprise, as we felt the sales price was a bargain. The OP's mileage may vary, but our appraiser noted both the original attempt to sell last year and the rental time as significant negatives compared with the comps in the area that had not been on the market before and had not rented. There are other things in the appraisal report that I found odd as well, but that would be the subject of another post. In this case, I felt it was reasonable to share that renting the home in an attempt to get a better price "next spring" could have some unanticipated drawbacks.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:00AM
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kellyfoota

I think if your only motivation is to get a higher price in the spring, that is all too "up in the air" for any of us to know. Our motivation to rent was to "get on with our lives." I don't hold out any false hopes for an amazing real estate comeback nor have I lost sight to the fact that renters could be harder on the house than us. (of course, we have 4 kids and three dogs, so we don't do the white glove thing well to begin with. ;) ) I am just saying that if you live in a good school district, you shouldn't have any difficulty finding renters with good credit that are just in the same predicament that you are in. Remember, even if you find a buyer right away, it takes 30-45 days to close and things these days are so precarious with appraisals, mortgages, etc. etc. It took my husband and I a long time to wrap our heads around the idea of renting, but now we are at the point of wondering if we will ever want to sell it, or just keep it as part of our investments.

Again, good luck!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:10PM
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