Home sellers are preparing for a spring without federal tax credits to lure buyers. Although a recent survey of 3,500 homeowners and renters by the National Association of Realtors indicates that 60 percent of those who would like to own a home are concerned about job security and creditworthiness, real estate agents say prospective buyers also are worried that interest rates are rising and could jump into the market as a result. Experts say sellers must understand that buyers will not settle for homes in any condition, and staging or even cosmetic repairs are necessary. Home inspectors say water leaks, structural issues, and termites are major concerns; and nail pops, settlement cracks, and other evidence of deferred maintenance are real turn-offs. Joanne Davidow of Prudential Fox & Roach in Philadelphia’s Center City says, “I must point out to a seller that they will get a more favorable response by sprucing up and freshening, if not redoing, tired kitchens, baths, floors, and paint. This approach is not always possible or practical, so keeping the price lower than the new properties is another way to go.” | Read More