My good friend and fellow blogger wrote a compassionate post about foreclosures that didn’t have to happen. It is well written and I won’t try to recreate the wheel, click here to read her post.
She was telling of her personal experiences in meeting with a homeowner who decided not to sell because she had to get “more than that” for her home. Flash forward a couple of years and the home is now in the pre-foreclosure state.
Like Tracy, I have also had my fair share of heartbreaking meetings. The single Mom who wanted to get enough money to pay for private school. The embattled couple who just knew one of them would get a job soon. The musician who was given a verbal offer 3 years ago for $200,000 more than it is worth today. In each case there was the strong hope that the market would recover and they could get what they want.
Unfortunately, hope is not a good strategy for getting your home sold.
Some of the people I mentioned lost the home in foreclosure. Some are on the brink of disaster. A couple of them sold their homes for less than they wanted, but they paid off their loans and moved on with their lives, wiser and on the fast track to happier.
The ones holding on are sure the market will turn around- and they are right, the market might be turning as we speak. But even if that is the case (and most people do not feel the market is turning), it is going to take years (hear me- years), for prices to reach 2008 values, never mind the peak.
Sticking your head in the sand is understandable, but nearly the worst possible thing you can do right now. Can you afford to stay in this home for the next 5 years? Are you hanging on, but just by the skin of your teeth? Are you one bad news away from really being in trouble?
Now is the time to man up and take a good business like view of your home and it’s current value. It is far better to sell when you don’t have to than to have the sheriff banging on your door.