Selling real estate can be both emotionally and psychologically stressful; you constantly wonder if you’re making the “right” decision. By reading the signs in terms of your comfort in the home, your equity in the home, and your future prospects, you can make a decision that will ease your woes and help you sell your home with ease.
There comes a time when every homeowner looks at his or her beautiful home and wonders, “Is it time to sell?” There are several factors that keep homeowners from selling (or even thinking of selling) even when all signs point to yes.
- That majority of these factors tend to be emotional (you love your kids’ school, you love your neighbors, your grandmother and grandfather built the house, etc.).
- There might be practical reasons, too, such as there are no available homes in a desirable area that suit you, that force you to keep put.
These not withstanding, when the all arrows point to the “sale” sign, stick it in your yard and move on to a house better suited for your needs where you can make new, beautiful memories and ultimately live more comfortably.
Sign 1: Goldilocks Syndrome In the fairy tale Goldilocks, the little girl had trouble finding a bed that was just right. One was too big, and one was too small. She finally found one that was just right. As families grow and then ultimately shrink again, houses seem to shrink and grow with them. When you purchased your house, it was undoubtedly the perfect size for you and your family. When your family started growing (or shrinking, depending on when you purchased your home), it suddenly stopped working so well.
A sign that it’s time to sell your home is when you and your family are miserable because you’re constantly on top of each other due to lack of space or because you find yourself cleaning, heating, and cooling empty rooms because the nest has emptied.
While many with empty nests start off planning to hold onto their nests (those extra rooms are great for grandchildren and visitors!), the frequency of overnight guests doesn’t justify keeping all of that extra space.
Don’t waste time in a home that’s too big or too small; follow the signs to a home that’s just right.
Sign 2: Your House has Never Been More Valuable
Generally speaking, the longer you spend in a home, the more equity you have in the home. Property values are increasing and are finally reaching a rate that accurately reflects their value. This means different things for different property owners:
- If you overpaid:During the bubble, many buyers overpaid, which means they also either have not sold because they wanted to limit their losses, or they cut their losses and sold when they needed to. If you overpaid, while there’s a chance the value of your home will continue to increase, the housing market is such that you can most likely get the most for you sale than has been possible in recent years.
- If you got a bargain: The foreclosure market during the past several years has been substantial; many homeowners purchased homes well below fair market value. If you were one such buyer, then the amount of equity you have in your home should have amassed significantly, and the ability to recoup that equity is motive to sell.
- If you’ve been waiting for a “good time” to sell: If you’ve been biding your time to sell, then a time when homes in your area are selling for asking price means it’s your time to sell as well.
In fact, the movement of homes in your community is going to be a major sign that it might be time for you to cash in on your home equity (or to get away from a bad investment). Fairly listed homes selling for asking price is a big indicator. If you read the signs right, contact your local realtor and ask for comps and an assessment on what they think your home could sell for. Your local realtor will help you calculate the equity you’d get from selling as well.
Lastly, let’s say you’ve been waiting to sell your house because you’re waiting for ideal conditions to make a move. In real estate, most people enjoy getting a good deal and financing at a low interest rate. While money isn’t everything nor should it necessarily be the reason you sell your home, garnering extra income with a high-equity sale and buying a great property at a great value at a phenomenal interest rate is a definite sign that you should act if you’ve been thinking of selling and / or buying.
Naturally, you should never wait for the stars to align and for every sign to present itself at once. If you’re ready to sell, don’t wait around to see if interest rates drop by another half percent or if property values increase by another twentieth of a percent.
That said, for those who aren’t sure, are considering selling but haven’t decided yet, or who might be ready to sell in the future, look at your comfort, what the home will be worth to you by way of equity, and what your future prospects are for signs that it’s time to sell!
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