The question on many homeowners’ minds these days is, “Should I sell my house?” Like most things in life, timing is everything when it comes to real estate.
The industry is notorious for its fluctuations, so putting your home on the market this week could mean something entirely different from doing it three weeks from now. If you’re debating the best time to sell a house, there are a few things you should consider first.
1. What Does the Local Market Look Like?
There are a lot of elements involved in this one. First off, consider the broader market: Are homes selling in your city? How about in your neighborhood? If so, how quickly are they selling?
The shorter the DOM (days on market) number is for comparable homes in your area, the better likelihood you have of successfully selling your home—perhaps even for a higher price. If the market is flooded with available homes—especially ones comparable to yours—you may want to hold off for a bit.
Scarcity drives interest, and you’re likely to get a better price for your home if there is less competition from other sellers. If homes are flying off the market in record time, though, your area might in the midst of a boom that you should take advantage of.
It’s also smart to look for patterns in your local market. Spring and summer have always been considered high-season for home sales, but it may vary depending upon your specific location. Warmer climates often have more stable year-round markets, whereas many markets dry up once the school year begins. Florida specifically sees its peak home sale numbers yearly in the month of May.
2. What Is Your Timeline?
Deciding to move is frequently very emotional for a homeowner. You’ve put so much into your home over the years, and walking away can be tough. But if the space no longer meets your needs, it’s time to go.
Perhaps your kids are grown and gone, and your space is simply too hard to maintain anymore. Or maybe your family is growing, and you feel like you’re bursting the seams of your current home.
If you have the luxury of a bit of time to repair, stage, and show your home while looking for new accommodations, then you can watch the market more closely before making your move. If, on the other hand, you need to move quickly due to a change in employment or a sudden family issue (aging parents, an ill family member, a surprise pregnancy, etc.) you may not be able to wait until the timing is perfect.
3. Does It Make Financial Sense?
If you’ve lived in your home for a short amount of time, it can be hard to recoup your investment by selling. You need to have lived in your home for at least two of the last five years before a sale to avoid paying capital gains taxes on any profit you make from the sale. Likewise, if you’ve gone upside down on your mortgage (in other words, if you owe more than your home is worth), then selling now could mean taking a big loss.
On the flip side, if you have earned some equity in your home and the market conditions are favorable, selling now could be a smart financial move. The proceeds could help finance the purchase of a larger home if that’s what you need, or it could mean more available income for life’s necessities if you’re retiring or downsizing.
Time to Sell?
After evaluating your situation, if you feel like now is the best time to sell your house, consider what you want out of the experience. If you go the traditional route, you’ll be able to get slick professional photos and listings thanks to the assistance of a realtor, but you’ll lose out on some of the profit from the sale due to fees and commissions. It’s also likely that you’ll need to make repairs and upgrades to your home in order to fetch the best price possible.
If you don’t have a ton of time (or the budget) to fix things up and sit through months of showings and back-and-forth with potential buyers, then a cash homebuying company might be a better fit. You’ll be able to sell your home as-is and walk away with cash in hand. You’ll get the fair market value for your home with none of the hassle.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “Should I sell my house?” and the answer is yes, give us a call. The Buy Guys work exclusively with individuals and have helped thousands of homeowners move on to the next chapter of their lives by making their home sales quick and painless. We’d love the chance to help you do the same!