When should I sell my home?
Updated: Feb 1
Selling a home is a huge decision with many important questions to ask yourself before you put your house on the market. There are many important factors to consider when considering selling your home. With the pandemic coming to an end, people are seeking to upgrade their homes or a way to move closer to loved ones. Still, others are choosing to sell and downsize to assisted living or a senior living situation.
If you're considering selling your home, you'll want to know the real estate market and focus on the benefits of putting your house up for sale. You'll want to give the questions below some serious thought before you choose to put your house up for sale.
Before you make a final decision, you'll want to have the answers to these important questions. Here are some common questions to consider when determining when to sell your home. There are many pros and cons to putting your house up for sale. Will you be selling it yourself, or will you use a realtor?
The answers to these questions and more will go far in helping you to make the best possible decision in regards to whether or not you're ready to sell your home. Think about your answers, talk them over with close family or your spouse, and think about how you'll ultimately benefit if you choose to sell your house right now.
What Is The Real Estate Market Like In My Area?
Different areas have different real estate markets. Before embarking on the decision to sell your home, you'll want to consider what the real estate market is like in your particular area. Are houses around you selling quickly? Are they selling at top dollar? What is the ratio of houses for sale versus people looking to buy in your local area? Consider checking with a trusted real estate agent to see what the market is like in your area. If there are few homes for sale in a good location, you may find that your home is more valuable than if there are a lot of homes for sale. Consider this important question and focus on the options you have before deciding whether or not to sell.
What is the local economy like?
The answer to this question will help you to determine if this is the right time to choose to sell your home. Is there a large business in your town that requires housing close to the employees? Are there new job openings or a major corporation nearby that would benefit from housing? Are a lot of people moving into your area with minimal housing available? The answer to this question will go far in helping you to determine if it's a good time to sell.
What Does The Local Housing Market Look Like?
Is the local housing market making a boon? Is there a lot of interest in your location? Are people moving to the area seeking houses while few houses are available? If so, your house may be able to be sold for more than you bought it for. This could be a huge boon for your bank account. Consider what the local housing market is like and talk to local realtors to determine if this is a good time to sell in your neighborhood.
Does My Home Need Extensive Repairs?
Are you able to easily keep up with the maintenance of your home? Do you know simple repair strategies? Are you handy with tools? Some homes require extensive repair work before they are marketable. Are you able to make the repairs, or can you afford the required repairs for your particular home? Plumbing and electrical repairs can be costly, and some homes will require some repairs before getting a good offer. Consider what repairs your home needs before determining whether or not to put it up for sale on the market. The seller must disclose any known issues with the house. HVAC repairs, for example, can be quite costly, and while you can still sell the house with HVAC issues, you'll need to consider this and drop the price accordingly to make it a fair deal to the buyer.
Material Supply And Demand
If your home needs more repairs than you can manage at this time, you may wish to consider selling. It's important to understand that since the ending of the pandemic, many have been struggling with the supply and demand of materials for upgrading, repairing, and building their homes. With many supply chains running low on materials due to delays in shipping, it can be challenging to find these materials to upgrade or build a home. Many people choose to sell instead of upgrade their homes to have more space and a more serviceable area for their living space.
Are You Seeking To Downsize?
Many people seek to downsize their larger homes, or perhaps close to retirement or empty nesters. If this is you, selling your home is a great way to prioritize downsizing. You can sell your larger home and downsize it to a smaller dwelling or retirement home. You'll likely still have some funds left over after the sale that you can use to help reduce the cost of living, especially if you're on a fixed income.
Are You Retiring?
It may be a great time to sell if you're near or at retirement age. You can boost your retirement savings and reduce your cost of living. Perhaps you wish to buy a nice RV and travel, or maybe you simply want to sell your home while you're still alive and able to do so and live in a nice apartment or retirement village. Regardless, you will benefit greatly by choosing to sell now while the housing market is at an all-time high.
Has Your House Increased In Value?
Some older homes have greatly increased in value in recent years. Perhaps a local business has moved nearby and thus raised the property value. Maybe you've done some remodeling in recent years that has helped to increase your home value. Regardless, it's a great way to make some extra money if your house has increased in value and you're able to sell. If you are seeking to make more money, this may be a great way to go about it and increase your income.
Do You Have Enough Equity In Your Home To Sell?
Many people aren't patient enough to build up enough equity in their homes before they choose to sell. If you owe more than you've built up in equity, this may not be the time to sell your home. You want to have enough equity built up that you can pay off your mortgage and still make a profit if you sell your home. You'll want to review what you owe on the loan, the value of your home, and your goals before you decide to sell. Many people do a lot of "house flipping" with this strategy. They buy for less and then make just enough repairs to sell the house for more than they originally purchased. This works well if you're handy with tools and can make the repairs. Consider the equity versus the mortgage before you sell.
Can I Afford To Sell My Home?
Believe it or not, it does cost a bit to sell a home. There is the cost of preparing the home for sale. Clean up, any minor repairs that may need to be done, the move itself (storage units, moving vans, moving help), and any staging. It can cost upwards of $2000 to stage a home properly to ensure a good sale. Don't forget to include any closing costs that the seller may pay. While a lot of this may come out of the home's sale, it won't all be readily available until after the home sells, so if you can't pay the monies out upfront, it may not be a good time to sell.
How Long Will It Take To Sell My House?
Some houses will take longer than others to sell for a great variety of reasons. If you're in a hurry, you may wish to consider an alternative to selling the house, such as using it as a rental unit or selling it to a house buying company. However, keep in mind that there are still costs that you'll have to consider if you rent your house out and if you use a house buying company, you may be losing out on the value of your home. Until your house sells, you're still going to be responsible for paying the mortgage, the power bill, and maintaining the property.
Will I Need A Realtor?
There are several different ways to go about selling a home. One is to sell it yourself. Another is to use a realtor. A realtor will earn a percentage of the sale price of the home. Many opt for this option so that they don't have to be the one that shows the home and can simply be done with it. Another method is to use a house buying company. However, these typically don't give you much money for the house. Consider all of your options before you embark on selling your home and make the best decision possible.
Is This The Right Time To Sell?
Timing is everything. What works well for one couple or person may not work at all for another couple or person. If you have a new family member or a recent death in the family, you may wish to sell to upgrade or downsize your home. If you've recently changed jobs and are required to move, you're going to be in more of a hurry than if you're simply looking to sell and upgrade your home. Consider the timing in your life for selling your home, and be sure to weigh in all of the options of selling right now versus staying right where you're at.
Are You Financially Stressed?
Perhaps you've had to change jobs, and you're making less money than you were. Maybe your spouse has had to stop working to take care of the children or elderly parents. Perhaps the local cost of living has caused more stress on your finances. Regardless, if you're financially stressed and need to move to a lower cost of living situation, this may be the time to make a move. Perhaps it's cheaper in the long run for you to rent a house closer to work. Not everyone sells their home to improve their bank account; some people are so financially stressed and burdened that they can no longer keep up with their mortgage and other bills. If this is you, it may be time to sell and move on.
Have You Added More Children Or Elderly Parents To Your Living Situation?
If so, you may require a larger home. It's not unusual for families to grow in either fashion. Both will require more space. Extra bedrooms and even extra living space and bathrooms may be required if more family live with you. If you need more space, you may wish to consider selling your house and buying a larger home that will accommodate everyone without worrying about your turn in the bathroom.
It's important to keep in mind that you never want to make snap decisions. The housing market is always fluctuating and will ebb and flow naturally. Many people have sold a home only to have housing prices soar and be outpriced with a home they had been hoping to buy. They may have lost out on a great deal for the house they're selling, or they may have been in too much of a hurry to sell and lost out on more money.
By contrast, more than one person has purchased a home only to have the housing market plummet and have the house worth far less than they paid for it. It can take many years for the prices to level out and for homeowners to make a profit on the home they purchased. In some cases, this can take anywhere from 10 to 20 years for the housing market to catch back up.
Be patient. Never make a snap decision, and remember that it isn't always best to err on the side of caution and avoid making a quick decision that you may later regret. If you're unsure about selling your house, sit tight and wait for the market out. While you're waiting, you can make some minor improvements, begin downsizing your belongings and make any minor repairs that will help to improve the value of your home.
Selling your home is a huge decision and should never be made lightly. If you're going to benefit from selling your home, then, by all means, choose to sell. If you're not ready, start studying the market and wait until it's a better time. Don't be afraid to sit tight and wait to sell your home until it's a better time for you and your needs. Selling your house is a very personal decision and should never be done without plenty of thought.