Real estate expert Ron Wynn: Best time to sell your house? Here's my advice

Real estate expert Ron Wynn answers reader questions about when to sell and the current market environment.

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What is the best time of the year to sell my house?

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House.

There may not be a best time of the year, but we always tell people to avoid the holiday season. Perhaps August would be slow because many people travel.

My advice is to watch interest rates and inventory. When interest rates and inventory are low, there are plenty of buyers. The less inventory and the more buyers, the more likely you are to get top dollar.

Looking at the most recent sales, you will see that homes are selling for the listing price and above.

Should we wait until there is a stepped-up cost basis before we sell?

This is a difficult question. When a spouse passes away, a stepped-up cost basis will, in most cases, allow the surviving spouse to sell without paying taxes. Also, if a blood-related relative inherits the property, in most cases, the property is inherited without the relative paying taxes.

That said, there are always reasons why someone would sell the property and pay the taxes. Check with your CPA and attorney before committing to sell.

Is the current real estate market here long term or just a bubble?

It is always difficult to forecast the future, and the market can change on a dime. We have seen this many times in the aftermath of earthquakes and terrorist acts, for example.

Normally, the market runs in seven- to 10-year cycles. We are well into this cycle, so it is only natural to experience a leveling off period soon.

Since interest rates are still very low and it looks very promising for the future, there does not appear to be a bubble. When employment stays high, inventory is low. Demand will stay high with low interest rates.

No one can forecast where we are heading, but it does not appear to be a bubble.

What is the biggest reason homes fall out of escrow?

Every situation is different; however, contrary to the thought that it is failure to qualify for financing, it is much more often issues that cannot be adequately negotiated from home inspections or simply buyer's remorse. Runner-up issues are appraisals not meeting the agreed-upon selling price and disclosure issues not being reported.

Can I sell my home for all cash, or will I need to worry about a loan?

Today, all sales seem to be all cash. A buyer will either pay all cash or come to you with a loan preapproved and in place.

If a buyer has a loan in place and a preapproval letter, you do not need to worry about it. You will receive all cash and can usually close escrow in less than 45 days.

For more information, please call Ron Wynn at 310-963-9944, or email him at Ron@RonWynn.com. To find out more about Ron and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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