Sometimes the answer is staring you right in the face. It might be time to sell if you just got a new job on the other side of the country, or if you know it’s only a matter of time before your family outgrows the one-story, two-bedroom house you’re living in. Other times though, it can be hard to find that catalyst that really drives you to list your home. If you’re mulling over the possibility of selling your house, but can’t nail down a specific reason, check out these signs to sell.
1. You need to size up (or size down).
Whether your family is building up or emptying out, one of the first reasons that might help you decide whether it’s time to move is: space. Do you need more of it or less of it? On the one hand, if you need some extra breathing room, it’s possible that you could always finish a spare room, garage, basement or attic, or just build off of what you have, but you need to make sure that it will eventually pay off. If you’d be pushing the value of your house way out of the market compared with your neighbors, then you’d be better off just moving on up into a different neighborhood. Plus, you might run into some barriers if you decide to throw up some extra walls in the form of building or neighborhood regulations.
And, if you have too much space, well, then, you just have too much space. Save yourself the hassle of maintaining and paying for a home that’s too big for you, and maybe opt for a little bungalow in an especially desired area that you’ve always wanted to live in.
2. You need a change of scenery.
Neighborhoods change, for better or for worse. Maybe there’s a been more development than you would’ve like nearby or you’re tired of dealing with your HOA or you just want some extra yards of space between you and your neighbor’s windows. If you aren’t crazy about your neighborhood or the surrounding area anymore, it’s time to start seriously considering a move, especially if you’re worried about the effect it will have on the value of your home. That’s not really a matter of opinion either. If you’re wondering about how the value of your house is holding up, you can check with a Realtor® or local agent to get the facts. If your value’s going to dip, it’s also time for you to dip.
3. There’s no point in remodeling.
This is similar to deciding whether or not you should expand. If you’re just wanting to upgrade your home in general with some renovations, instead of upgrading the size, it’s not a bad idea to touch base with a Realtor® or local agent first. They can run comps on the neighborhood to see if renovations would price you out of the neighborhood. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve got the nicest house on the block if your neighborhood doesn’t support the higher price tag you’re liable to have for buyers. If you’ve got major renovations in mind, you want to make sure you get some return on your investment. If not, it’s time to start looking for a house that maybe has those features already built in.
4. You can afford to sell your house (and move).
This sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but it costs money to sell a house. If you’ve got any repairs, painting or carpet-replacing to do, you’re going to have to do that before you even put your house on the market. Now, you could try to factor in the fact that certain repairs need to be done with strategizing your asking price and “cushion” for them there, but, keep in mind, you’re going to automatically be pushing a certain percentage of buyers away. There are many buyers out there who really don’t want to have to run through a whole laundry list of things they need to take care of right after moving and, perhaps more importantly, they still may end up asking you to foot the bill come inspection time. If your inspection yields a list of necessary repairs, you’re probably going to end up paying by either dropping your asking price even further or paying for them yourself. Not to mention, you also need to be able to actually afford the move, which, depending on how far you’ve got to go and how much stuff you have, can become pretty expensive in and of itself.
5. You’ve got the equity you need for a profit.
This is extremely important. If you don’t have the equity to back your selling your house, be prepared to take a loss. To quickly calculate your equity, you need to know how much you still owe on your mortgage and the value of your home. If the value of your home is greater than how much you owe on your mortgage, you’re in good shape. The bigger the number, the greater your resulting profit will be. (Don’t forget: It needs to be enough to cover the cost of buying your new home!) If that number is tiny or even in the negative, then you’re not really in a great position to sell and should seriously consider sitting out this season until the market improves, the value of your home improves or you owe less on your home.
6. The markets are stacked in your favor.
This is kind of tricky. Ordinarily, you’d be looking for a seller’s market, so a high demand for homes with a smaller inventory actually available. You’re likely to get the best price for you home. However, you’re also likely to be an active buyer too, so if you sell in a seller’s market, you might end up buying in a seller’s market too. It really just depends on what the market looks like where you selling and where you’re buying. On the other hand, if you sell in a buyer’s market, you’ll be buying in a buyer’s market, so it all kind of equals out in the end. However, knowing the health of the market beforehand helps to determine what your asking price should be, which sets you up for future negotiations and offers, which eventually determines how much you’re going to your new home with, so, it’s still important to know.
7. You’re ready to move on.
Let’s not forget: moving out of your home, especially one that you may have raised your children in or was the first home you and your partner bought together, can be emotional. Are you ready to actually let go? In plenty of instances, there are assuredly homeowners muttering “good riddance” under their breath. But there are lots of others who might need a little more time to linger. Bottom line: don’t rush. Especially, if you’re getting ready to leave a home you love. However, if you know that moving could become imminent in the near future, it might be time to start heeding the advice above and preparing yourself for that first, big step.
If you need help getting ready to take that first step, you can find it here. Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-533-1840, and we can make sure you have an amazing agent at your side.