Veterans who are planning to sell their homes during the winter months may be dreading what is typically known as the bargain real estate season. During this annual slow period, the reduced number of buyers make it hard for home sellers to set the asking price they desire. People who financed a home with a VA loan and are hoping to sell it might be excited to hear recent news from Trulia: The percentage of homes that are getting marked down in some metro areas has decreased.
The percentage of homes that saw price reductions in January are less than half the percent of last January in Oakland, California, and Las Vegas. Only 15 and 16 percent of home prices were reduced in Oakland and Las Vegas respectively. Other areas that are seeing fewer price reductions include San Jose, California, Orange County, California, and Los Angeles, California. Of the areas that saw the highest share of price reductions, five are in New England. Springfield, Massachusetts, led the pack with the most price cuts, followed by Hartford, Connecticut.
When you are ready to put your house on the market, make sure to be realistic with your initial asking price so that your property does not become a bargain home. Here are some tips on how to set your price:
- Discuss any upgrades you made to your house with your real estate agent, and expect that they may earn you some extra money, but that you won’t recoup all of the costs of making the improvements.
- Base your asking price on what your neighbors with similar houses are asking for currently, not what homes sold for six months ago. You can’t base anything on where the market was, but instead where it is going.
- Acknowledge any shortcomings to your house and any improvements that will need to be made by the new owners. Subtract the estimated costs from the price at which you want to list your house.
Once your house sells, remember that you must restore VA loan entitlement in order to purchase a new home with your VA loan benefits. A VA-approved lender can assist you with obtaining a new Certificate of Eligibility and pre-qualification for your next VA home mortgage. If your home sale was the result of PCS, the lender may also be able to assist you in finding a military-friendly realtor in your new neighborhood to help you find a new residence.