Selling your home – whether it’s the first one you ever owned or the one you were living in when your oldest child left for college or university – is a daunting thing. Even without having any direct experience ourselves, we all understand that property markets fluctuate. Hesitating could cost you a lot of money, but waiting for the right moment could see you make a much bigger profit too.
And aside from the numbers game, selling a home is an emotionally charged situation too. You have memories that were created under that roof, not to mention the stress and upheaval of finding a new pace to live, and moving your entire life and household contents there. There are many factors to consider, but it all really hinges around two big questions: is it the right time for you; and is it the right time for the market?
Is it the right time for the market?
If the idea of selling has been in your head for a while, you’ve probably already started taking notice of sales in your immediate area. You can’t blame eager estate agents for telling you what want to hear, so get some solid data for yourself too. Do a little bit of proper research, make notes, and ask around. Get specs on homes that have sold, how long they were on the market for, and how these properties compare to yours.
Putting all the information down on paper, or in a spreadsheet if you prefer, is a great way of getting the big picture. Just taking one or two examples that you feel are similar to your own property is tempting, but it can skew your perception of the overall market. This is one area where you want cold, hard facts to be your guide.
The research process is also a good way to get a feel for what buyers are looking for, and how you could potentially make your home more attractive to them. Sometimes small home improvements can add a lot of value. If the house down the street is virtually identical to yours but sold for a lot more than what yours has been valued at, find out why. It might be as simple as adding an extra en-suite bathroom or installing a basic security system.
It also depends what the market is like where you’re thinking of moving to. If prices in your area are going up, it’s tempting to wait for a bit longer and let the selling price go up. But if the region where you’re relocating to is seeing a similar phenomenon, then remember that you’re going to be paying more when you buy too.
Is it the right time for you?
People sell their houses for good and bad reasons, so it’s vital that you have it clear in your mind why you’re considering it in the first place. Good reasons might include moving to be closer to work, an expanding family, or a contracting one in the case of kids leaving the nest. Bad reasons might include a way to make cash to keep pace with a lifestyle you actually just can’t afford anymore.
You need to be in the right place both financially and emotionally when you consider selling. Say you’re a young, up-and-coming married couple, and one or both partners has just landed a big promotion complete with a nice bump in salary. Sounds like a good time to upgrade to something a little bigger, right? Not necessarily. In this situation, you could actually be far better served by putting those extra funds into savings that can be used as a down payment or as emergency funds while you sit on your current property and let the value grow – it all depends on your own unique situation.
Conversely, a lot of older couples hang onto their big family homes longer than they should do, simply because the emotional upheaval of a move feels too overwhelming. The fact of the matter is, sadly, that it’s not going to get any easier as you get older! And in the meantime, you’re eating into your retirement savings rather than padding them with some extra cash from a downscale to a smaller house.
Is it the right time of year?
Once you’ve evaluated your own readiness to move, it’s time to start chatting with real estate agents. Speak to a large agency such as Platinum Property Estate Agents who are experts in a broad range of locations, and have experience in seasonal changes to the market. Once you know the best time of year to sell, you can start planning well ahead of time. This gives you a chance to make some small improvements, hunt for a new potential property, and get used to the idea of moving on. Moving can be scary, but it’s also a great opportunity for fresh beginnings!
Categories: Real Estate