December 29, 2016

Hatteras Island Real Estate:
Winter is a good time to market your home

By TOM HRANICKA

The Thanksgiving holiday marked the unofficial end to our vacation season. After Thanksgiving, the island moves quickly into its winter mode with only a few fishermen and kiteboarders remaining. This is a time when the locals can stop and chat for a while, catching up on what everyone has been doing for the past six or seven months.

Winter is an excellent time for homeowners to list their properties for sale. Most, if not all, rental income for the year has been received, and while there are fewer visitors on the island, those that do come down to look at real estate are serious buyers. They often want to purchase their new homes, personalize them between January and March, and have them ready for the start of the new rental season around Easter.

I am often asked by homeowners if there is one time of the year that is better than another to place their cottages on the market for sale. While there is a slight variation in the number of sales at different times, for all practical purposes the island has a year-round market for properties.

The following chart shows the distribution of residential sales by quarter during 2015.

                      

The process of listing your cottage for sale starts by calling one of our local real estate brokers and requesting a probable sale price analysis of your home. This evaluation is also called a comparative market analysis or a broker price opinion. Regardless of its name, the goal of the research is to provide the homeowner with an indication of what a competitive asking price and a reasonable expectation of the selling price of their property might be.

To reach this objective, your broker will research similar properties that have been sold during the past year; those that are currently for sale, and those that are under contract to be sold. Once you decide on the price at which you would like to market your home, they will send you the appropriate documents. Then, after the forms are signed and returned, they will begin marketing your property.

A probable sale price analysis may also have secondary benefits, such as seeing if a homeowner’s insurance coverage reflects current market values and to determine how assessed values compare with probable sale prices.

Keep in mind that comparative market analyses may not be performed for lending purposes.  A formal appraisal by a licensed appraiser is required for lending situations.
 
If you have been giving some thought to selling a home or a lot that you own, take the first step. Contact an experienced local real estate agent, and decide if marketing your property at this time fits into your personal and financial plans.

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