Thankfully, and as long as it holds, our winter was a far cry from the last two! I can personally attest to that fact, having probably one of the longest and worst driveways in the county! The weather and apparent spring thaw puts many folks in the home buying or selling mood! We hear sellers talking about waiting to spruce up the yard, paint the front door or give the house a good old-fashioned “deep clean” after months of being stuck in the house. But what exactly is the “best” time to sell? I hate to tell you…it’s RIGHT NOW! Let me give you the time frames involved and why I say that!
With the recent changes in lending procedures, basically the change in RESPA laws (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act), it most definitely will take longer to close the loan for your buyers. If a buyer enters into a contract to buy a home today, they may not even be able to move in to their new home until the end of May! Let’s look at a few scenarios and how I arrived at that conclusion.
If a buyer is getting an FHA, Rural Development or VA loan from their lender, the National Association of REALTORS® is advising their members to use a closing date of sixty days from inception of contract. For conventional loans, they are advising forty five days. Let’s assume that your buyer has an FHA loan and enters into a purchase contract February 23rd, with 30 days possession after closing (allowing you, the seller, to move). The loan closes on April 23rd and they move in May 23rd. If your buyer has a conventional loan and enters into a purchase contract February 23rd with 30 days possession, the loan would close April 6th and the buyer would be able to move in on May 6th. Of course, if you contract for less time needed to move, the time frame for possession could be less. Consequently, there may be a delay in closing due to repairs that have to be made or more time needed in the final underwriting stage. That may move the whole possession date forward another few days or potentially weeks!
It is imperative that buyers find a local lender that can readily meet or exceed the time needed to close the transaction. Every transaction is different, with unique challenges for each buyer. But the lender should be able to give the buyer firm time-frames of their process and how long it may take. And all buyers should start the process by getting pre-qualified for their loan before starting their search. This will eliminate the risk of looking at homes outside of their qualified price range and give the seller piece of mind that the buyer is truly able to buy their home!
Currently, and generally this time of year, there is a lack of “inventory” and buyers are scrambling to find the home that will suit their needs . If the home is priced correctly, there is stiff competition among them to purchase the home. And during this time of year, buyers are a little more “forgiving” if the yard still needs raked or the front door needs painted. They understand that those things need attention coming out of winter, but will most likely overlook those chores if they find your home is the right fit for their family.
So, now IS the time to put your home on the market, as buyers are out there looking at everything that comes along, hoping to plant those spring flowers and prepare their gardens and back yards in time for summer!
As appearing in The Canton Repository 2-26-16