The first thought that pops into the mind of many property owners when they realize the market has started a downtown is an attempt to sell the property as quickly as possible before the market grows worse. In reality, many investors have found that it is often better if they can manage to hold onto the property, take out the survival gear and prepare to outlast the market downturn. While the market might certainly dip lower before it rebounds, historically it always does come back.
By selling the property during a down real estate market, you put yourself in a position of sustaining a loss for sure. If you are able to keep the property afloat you'll more likely to be a much better position of being able to make a profit on it when the market bounces back. Of course, holding onto a property during a down market sounds fine in theory but it can often be much more difficult in practice, that's the reason for dusting off the survival gear, pull out your plan "B" manual and dig in for the long haul. One plan "B" step is to rent out the property in order to attain a positive cash flow. Another is to refinance the property if interest rates are favorable so that you can tap into the equity for enough of a loan that will sustain the property maintenance in case of emergency while you wait for the market to turn around.
In addition, it is important to make sure that all of your accounts are correct. This is a time when you must pull out all the stops by utilizing all the benefits of home ownership to carry you through, because Plan "C" or "D" is not where you want to be. Many investors find they are not taking full advantage of all the tax benefits offered to them. Consulting your professional tax adviser in order to locate legitimate tax advantages you may have missed would certainly be a step worth taking under these circumstances. You may well find that the write-offs that are available to you could provide the assistance you need to hold onto the property until the anticipated market bounce back.
If you find that you are facing a foreclosure on the property, then the best option would obviously be to go ahead and sell the property (Plan "C") in order to attain as much profit as possible rather than fall too far behind and sell at a complete loss (Plan "D"), file one of the chapters or lose the property to foreclosure (not in the plans). In this type of drastic situation, the key is to look for ways that you can make the property as valuable as possible. Selling real estate is not like selling any other type of product. When the product is a home or building there are elements involved that are not found when selling other products. Only in real estate must you deal with tenants. If you have had the property on the market for an extended period, it is important to look at why it has proven difficult to sell the property. You might consider making some changes in order to make it more desirable.
Ultimately, holding out during a down real estate market, a market crash or crises like the one experienced in 2008, involves remaining calm and trying to avoid acting on emotional impulses. Making hasty decisions based on fear (dread?) will often cause you to take steps you would likely regret once the market bounces back. Before you take any action, make sure you have carefully considered all your available options. By doing so, you may well be able to turn a dip in the market into a big return once the market starts the climb back to peak levels.