Selling your home in Michigan today can require some adjustment in thinking. In previous years when one bought a home, they improved the home in the time they lived there, real
estate values increased year to year, and when it came time to sell, there was a profit. Additionally the home sold in a relatively short marketing time, and one moved on with a down payment for their next home, wherever that may be.
Today, in Michigan, when real estate values have fallen consistently for over a 5 year period or more to a drop of over 40% in some areas, this changes the playing field dramatically. Selling a home becomes an entirely different game, and requires a different mindset. If you need to sell for relocation purposes, then you need to sell, period. To sell quickly, one may need to confront the harsh reality that there most likely will be no profit in the sale. Additionally, you might be bringing money to the table. Scary, but true.
Many homeowners who cannot bring money to the table, and cannot sell, are faced with essentially three undesirable options.
1) Do not sell, and wait a few more years and see if the market returns where you can sell
and break even or make a little return on your investment.
2) Sell your home as a short sale, and hope your lender will accept a shorter payoff of your mortgage so you can settle this debt and move on. This can damage your credit, but might be an option if you can endure the long timelines associated with approval on this process.
3) Walk away and let your home go into foreclosure. This will leave a damaging mark on your credit for over seven years, and place you in a position where you are not likely to qualify for a mortgage again for several years into the future. Even then, your next mortgage years down the road may have a much higher interest rate due to this mark.
These unfortunately are the cold hard facts of the Michigan marketplace right now. The price of your home is the driving index as buyers compare your home with others. Improvements have some value, but spending large sums on improvements will often never return any additional sales value. Improvements for a home should be regarded as for your enjoyment only while you live there, and not as a potential additional return on the homes value.