CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Realtor Deanna Evans learned a lot of tough lessons as a realtor during the last recession.
“There were a lot of people unfortunately losing their homes and for that reason, a lot of my business was in short sales, foreclosures, reo properties,” says Evans.
Back then, many homeowners were desperate to sell or risk losing everything. Nearly 8 million homes went into foreclosure between 2007 and 2016. While the housing market has recovered, the homeownership rate is still below what it was before the recession.
Now with signal after signal that the economy may once again be in trouble, FOX 46 turned to Evans to give you the best advice when it comes to buying or selling your home.
First, she says if you’re looking to buy, don’t let the market rattle you.
“Owning a home is still a good investment even if the market begins to turn. Interest rates are at a very low rate right now so it’s a great opportunity to buy, especially if you’re already spending money on rent. Then this at least gets you to start building some equity in your home.”
Make sure you’re prepared to buy BEFORE you start scoping out properties.
“A lender will typically work with you for free and look at your credit to see if there’s anything you can do to better prepare yourself for because that will help reduce any fees or anything as you get a higher credit score,” says Evans.
They’ll also work with you to get a better interest rate because better terms may mean an easier time weathering a downturn.
For would be sellers, Evans says skip the online advice and go straight to the source.
“Talk to a realtor. They should be able to do a quick CMA, a comparative market analysis to understand the value of your home in today’s market,” she says. “Unfortunately we don’t know what the future’s going to hold. What we do know is that if you need to sell, now is a good time. Inventory is very low in charlotte, it’s about 3.2 months so it’s very much a seller’s market.”
In the meantime, save your money. That means no expensive upgrades. Your realtor will know some cost effective ways to maximize your home’s marketability.
“First, start with curb appeal,” Evans says. “Right when you pull up, you know whether you want to go inside. So something small and simple is kind of refreshing the landscaping.”
Think fresh flowers inside and outside. Paint touch ups. Even decluttering goes a long way, she says.
“You want the buyer to come in and picture their stuff in the home.”
If your house is long overdue for some TLC, she advises you to do it now and not when money is tight.
“In 2007, 2008 a lot of people couldn’t afford their mortgage payments and therefore they also couldn’t afford to keep up the home. So by the time it was ready to sell, it was in rough shape and worth a lot less than had they just done some minor things throughout that time.”
If you’d like to follow up with Deanna with questions about buying or selling a home, just head to Diana Alvear’s FOX 46 Facebook page.