It looks as if the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has some positive news to share: Existing home sales are predicted to increase 7 to 10 percent in 2012, which will be the highest level in five years. The NAR made this prediction after experiencing an “uneven but higher sales pattern” the first few months of this year.
The NAR predicts that existing home sales will total 4.65 million in 2012; that’s an increase of 9.1 percent from 2011.
Although pending homes sales fell about one-half percent from January to February, overall sales were up 9.2 from the same time a year ago, according to the NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index. Existing homes sales are enjoying the same kind of increase, as they were up 8.8 percent during the same time. Pending home sales are important to follow alongside existing home sales, as they may indicate completed home sales within the next few months.
The Northeast area of the country really saw an impressive increase, with sales up 18.4 in January, compared to a year earlier, as well as the Midwest, which experienced a 19 percent gain during the same time. Homes sales in the South, although rather sluggish when compared to other areas of the country, saw an increase of 7.8 during the same time.
With the good news on the real estate front, now may be the time to consider listing your home. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind if you are debating a move:
- With home sales on the rise, you may have more activity on your home. This may mean you could potentially sell your home in less time and for more money.
- Low interest rates may make moving into a new home – or upgrading into a large home – more affordable than ever. It is best to talk with a local lender about preapproval before listing your home so you can determine if selling and upgrading may be in your financial future.
- Talk to a local real estate agent about activity in your local market. Although home sales are up in nearly every part of the country, it is still best to consult with a professional regarding recent activity in your city or town.
- Before deciding whether or not to sell, ask a local realtor to provide you with a fair market value on your property. A professional realtor should be able to give you an approximate listing price for your home based on the home itself, the comparables, and the area in which you live. Often times, it is the value of the home that determines whether it is financially sensible to sell now.
- Take care of any home improvements or renovations now so that your home can better compete with similar homes on the market. Taking care of the small details will allow your home to show better and possible sell faster and for more money, so take the time to make your home ready to sell.