Foreclosures are up as the unemployment rate rises above 6% in Texas. Not surprisingly, with these foreclosures comes a 4.7% decline
in market value.
"The decline in demand and prices correlates more to the job losses now showing up in markets in Texas than because of excess inventory," said Ted Wilson of Dallas housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. "Interestingly, job losses have occurred late in this recession compared to previous recessions."
While the Dallas-Fort Worth market has not seen the significant drop in value of other markets, like Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Florida where the market is down a staggering 59.1%, this still may not be the best time to sell your home.
If you are struggling with payments already, and looking to sell your home for financial reasons, you may find that even a slightly depressed real estate market puts you at a greater risk of foreclosure.
While people are taking advantage of the depressed market and buying below market value, chances are you cannot afford to sell below market value because of what you still owe on your original mortgage.
Plus, of the people who are buying now, 31% are purchasing foreclosed properties. That means 31% of the buyers are not buying your house. With a smaller pool of consumers and a depressed economy, you will very likely have your house on the market for months.
In Fort Worth, houses are on the market for an average of 175 days. Six months.
If you are already struggling and looking to sell as an alternative to reorganizing your debt through bankruptcy, you may be in trouble. Six months is a long time to try to sell an asset you aren't making payments on.
Let's say you stay in the house, list it with a real estate agent, and continue to struggle making payments. The real estate agent suggests a few minor improvements that will greatly increase your home's value and marketability.
Great! Except for the part where you are already struggling and now have to find funds to cover the suggested improvements.
Maybe you don't need to make any minor or major improvements, but you sit on the market a month before anyone makes an offer. The offer is well below market value, but you have started to feel anxious about having no options. Money is getting even tighter, and creditors are threatening to put a lien on your home.
Chances are you will accept a much lower offer because you are cornered by your financial obligations.
Selling your home when you are up against a wall is not the best way to do it. Before listing your house, discuss your financial situation with a reputable bankruptcy attorney. You may find you can afford your home and stop foreclosure