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Old 05-21-2009, 12:31 PM
 
158 posts, read 447,370 times
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Long story short, my wife and I have both received out of state job opportunities which are proving to be tough to pass up. Nothing has been accepted yet as we both love our home and NC. We recently purchased our home last July. Due to the fact that we have lived in the house less than a year, we don't have much equity. Our house is in the upper 300's region, so Realtor fees (buyer/seller agent) would be a good amount of money. We have sold previous homes FSBO in the past in two different states, but are reluctant to do so in this market under our time constraints. We are able to take the financial hit but would rather perform updates in an attempt to alleviate potential losses.

Our ideas have been to refinish the kitchen with new stainless appliances and granite counter tops to raise our equity. We've also thrown around the idea of renting the home out for a year, but threw that out quickly as both of us would not be here to play 'landlord'.

What suggestions if any would you give to a person in my situation
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
47 posts, read 97,936 times
Reputation: 20
It's hard to recommend what you should do to your home without knowing what your competition is like. While a granite top and stainless appliances can really make a kitchen shine, it may not help you against your competition. The best thing you can do is try and do a search of competitive properties in the area. You can attempt to use one of the local realtor sites (fmrealty.com, hpw.com), but you will have to spend a fair amount of time and filtering to get what you need. Any realtor will also provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) if you even begin to discuss listing your home with them. While paying realtor fees is definitely a hard pill to swallow, the reason for the compensation is typically for their experience, information and marketing. Unless you are well connected with what is going on in your particular corner of the market, I would hesitate to invest a whole lot of money. What's worse, 5-6% realtor commission, or spending $15k on improvements only to have to take $30k less off your asking price due to market conditions?

P.S. - You might also explore hiring a management company to handle leasing your home for you. They can help by marketing your home, screening the applicants, and helping insure the property is properly maintained. In a down market, it's one way to protect your equity and avoid a steep hit to the pocketbook. Then, once the market picks back up you'll be able to recover the equity. My guess is that in 3 years you'll recapture more than enough equity to compensate for the fees you will have paid a 3rd party management company in the meantime.
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