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It’s your home-selling nightmare: Your home has been on the market for months, or even years, without so much as a nibble.
Nearly every Sunday on my WSB radio show, I hear from home sellers who are stuck in this kind of never-ending home-selling nightmare. They can’t sell because one, two, or more homes in the area were sold as foreclosures for pennies on the dollar or are listed for a fraction of the “value” of the neighborhood.
Here’s what I’ve been telling sellers: If you want to know how easy or difficult it will be to sell your home, step outside your front door and count the number of foreclosures. Even one foreclosure sale can cause property values to tank by as much as 75 percent.
How? If a neighborhood has had two foreclosure sales in the past six months and no other sales for the past two years, an appraiser will be forced to include the foreclosure sale data in his or her report.
That report will indicate that there were two sales at whatever price point the bank or third-party seller sold out at. If there are no other sales to counteract the negative numbers, lenders will conclude that the market price of your community has declined rather dramatically.
On a recent show, one of my callers complained that the property she bought twenty years ago for $150,000 and that was valued three years ago at $250,000 is now worth about $160,000 due to two very recent foreclosure sales. She wanted to know if that meant her home was worth $160,000.
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Until there are sales in the community that are higher than $160,000, everyone’s home value has suffered.
If you find yourself in this situation, your options will be somewhat limited. If you need to sell your home, you’ll have to make some tough decisions:
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