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NJ Real Estate During COVID: Sell Now or Wait it Out?

On Behalf of Veitengruber Law | Jul 28,2020

Spring is normally the peak time for real estate transactions. This year, with stay at home orders and widespread economic uncertainty, we did see a bit of a slow down in New Jersey real estate activity. Although NJ real estate transactions have dipped, industry activity hasn't halted, and there are actually some benefits to buying and selling right now. If you have delayed putting your home on the market because of COVID-19, you might be looking ahead to the rest of 2020: is this year really the right time to sell a house? If you are trying to decide whether or not to put your house on the market during a global pandemic or wait until social distancing restrictions are lifted, here are some thing you should keep in mind. DO sell now to take advantage of historically low interest rates. The average mortgage interest rate is predicted to stay under 4% for the rest of 2020. Even with stay at home orders lifted, interest rates are expected to remain low. The beginning of 2020 saw a surge of buyers interested in purchasing real estate and lenders have bulked up their operations to handle these loans in a timely manner. This is good news if you are selling because it means potential buyers should be able to find affordable financing options. DON’T sell now if you have recently refinanced. A multitude of homeowners have been taking advantage of this year's lower mortgage interest rates. If you can count yourself as one of these homeowners, you can wait a bit to put your home on the market, unless of course you must sell for reasons that cannot be put on pause (*see below). Hopefully, refinancing reduced your monthly payments enough to allow you to afford your home more comfortably. DO sell now if you are moving out of your starter home. Stats are showing that homes with entry-level prices targeting first-time homebuyers are likely to see a lot of activity throughout the rest of 2020. Be cautious though: people with lower credit scores or smaller savings may have a harder time getting approved for a mortgage. DON’T sell now if your finances aren’t in order to buy a new home. Even if you have maintained employment throughout the pandemic and economic slowdown, we are not out of the woods yet. A lot can still happen in 2020. If you are worried about your financial future, or couldn’t survive a big setback, it is probably safer to wait until your economic future is more certain. *DO sell now if you need to move. If you have to move now due to a new job, the need to be closer to family, or a pre-planned life change to a new city, you should still be able to sell your house and find a new one. After all, you aren’t the only one in this situation. Keep in mind, though, that it might be easier to buy or sell depending on where you are moving to and from. New Jersey has seen many of our restrictions lifted, but other states are experiencing surges and subsequent quarantines. A good local realtor should be able to help you with this. DON’T sell now if you can’t (or won’t!) compromise on sales price. We know some sellers have a specific number in mind and cannot sell below that price. While NJ’s housing market seems to be rebounding nicely, many potential buyers may still be hesitant to rush into the market. Because of this, you may need to prepare to compromise with the buyers that are in the market. If you aren’t ready to compromise, it is better to wait for next spring when there is a better chance of getting what you want for your home. Veitengruber Law is a full service real estate firm. We work with some of the best agents in New Jersey. With the right team behind you, you can still sell your home in 2020. Reach out to us if you'd like to connect with one of the realtors in our valued network.
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