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Selling season

Less competition and looming rise in interest rates make selling sooner a safer bet

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September 25th, 2015
Charlestown resident and staff
Charlestown resident and staff

If you are on the fence about selling your home, real estate experts point to a variety of factors like shrinking inventory, low interest rates, and rising rent costs that may persuade you that now is the right time to make your move.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales increased in June to their highest pace in over eight years, while the cumulative effect of rising demand and limited supply helped push the national median home sales price to an all-time high. 

Strong fall market

“Homes in the area are selling in less than 60 days for close to asking price,” says Ellicott City, Md.-based real estate agent Greg Kinnear of ReMax Advantage Realty. “The fall is historically a strong selling season. September, October, and November are typically very strong months. You get some buyers who are left over from the spring and the summer who are still looking for the right property and new buyers coming into the market as well.”

Kinnear says the market has experienced good growth in property values in the last four years due to low mortgage rates.  

“Low interest rates help prices continue to rise or remain stable,” says Kinnear. However, he warns, “If interest rates begin to climb, that puts pressure on home values because it ultimately affects what a buyer can afford.”

For retirees looking to downsize to a maintenance-free home like the apartments at

Linda Kelch recently sold her three-bedroom, two-bath Glen Burnie home in just under a week.  

“My real estate agent prepared me that it could take up to 90 days to sell,” says Linda. “I put the house up for sale on a Saturday morning and had two people come through that same night. The following day, two more people came through. By the third day, I had three offers. The house wasn’t even on the market a whole week when I signed a contract.” 

Linda moved to a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home at Charlestown after she grew tired of the maintenance and upkeep of living in a single family home. 

“I retired two years ago, and I started to feel the responsibility of taking care of the house,” says Linda. “Cutting the lawn and shoveling the snow took a toll on me.”

Favorable conditions

Rob Skudrna, a real estate agent with Long & Foster’s Reisterstown office, stresses that although houses are selling, preparation is still the key to a successful sale.

“It is very important that sellers prepare their house to be turnkey,” says Skudrna. “Spending just a little time and money on freshening up the interior and creating curb appeal will earn you much more in the offer price and allow you to compete with the house down the street.”

Skudrna says sellers who list their homes before the end of the year can expect to find a nice pool of buyers. However, like Kinnear, he says if interest rates rise as all indicators are suggesting, buyers will have less purchasing power, which could be a drawback with regard to sale price point. For Charlestown-bound retirees who do decide to sell this fall, Kinnear says there are many resources available to assist them throughout the process. 

“As a real estate agent, my job is to help homeowners understand the market, price properly, and to facilitate both house preparation and the sale and closing,” says Kinnear. “Ultimately, the process and the results are fairly predictable when you follow the advice of an experienced professional.”

Charlestown Sales Associate Molly Bowman helped Linda choose her apartment. She says another important point to consider when deciding whether or not to sell now is that the benefits of living in a community like Charlestown far outweigh those of sticking it out in your home.

“The one comment I hear over and over from our community members is, ‘I wish I had moved sooner!’” says Molly. “For many people, the social opportunities, vast selection of amenities, and the peace of mind Charlestown offers is priceless compared to the small equity they may or may not accrue in their home over the next five years.”   

As for Linda, she says she has no regrets about selling her house of 35 years and is looking forward to many years at Charlestown.

“The whole experience has been wonderful,” she says. “This is home now.”

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