Selling your home isn’t easy. You want to make sure it sells for as close to market value as possible, and leaving a home you’ve created memories in can be emotionally difficult.
Knowing the best time to sell your house isn’t as cut and dry as other types of financial transactions. It can mean the difference between selling it quickly and having it sit on the market for months to come.
Every situation is different, but to get the best price for your property, you’ll want to match a good selling situation with good market conditions.
Here’s how to know it’s the “right” time to sell your home.
Understand The Market Landscape In Your Area
While conventional wisdom dictates that spring is the best time to sell your home, it’s not necessarily true.
Though the spring home buying season (April to June) seems like the best time to sell, that’s not always the case. Sure, most home buyers aren’t out in the middle of winter looking at homes in the Midwest, but someone looking for a home in Florida might not be as bothered by the warmer weather and lack of snow. Plus, when you list your home around the time that a bunch of other homes come on the market (especially in your immediate neighborhood), you could face more competition from other sellers.
What does this mean for you? You’ll probably need to up your game, whether that’s through staging your home or deciding on a price that will attract home buyers.
Your best bet is to see when there are the most active listings in the area so you can list yours before others do. Or, figure out when people relocate to your area – these buyers generally need to move quickly.
Granted, these are general guidelines. Seek out an experienced real estate agent who will help you navigate the real estate landscape in your area. You can see what their professional opinion is before making a decision.
Work Out Your Finances
Moving is not only stressful for all involved, but it can be a major drain on the budget. We’re not talking about hiring movers, either – there are closing costs involved when you sell a home. These can include attorney fees, taxes and real estate agent commissions and can run as high as 10% of the home’s sale price.
Aside from that, you want to start thinking about your next home purchase. Are you planning on upsizing or downsizing?
If you feel like your home is too small (maybe you started a family since you moved into the house) and you have the financial means to do so, it could make sense to move into a bigger home. On the other hand, you may find you’d rather decrease your expenses and move into a smaller home.
Whichever option you choose, it’s a good idea to work out your housing budget to see what you can and can’t afford. Consider a new mortgage payment, utilities and other costs such as homeowners association fees.
Home Improvements Are Complete
You’ve done all you can to remodel the home to your liking and it still isn’t going to add any value or improve your lifestyle in any way. If that’s the case, you may be ready to sell your home. That way, you may not need to do much to your home other than decluttering before selling your home or smaller projects like painting the walls, upgrading light fixtures and simple landscaping. However, if you have major repairs like replacing the roof, fixing the plumbing or repairing the water tank, you may need to wait until that’s complete before you list your property. Home buyers will want a home in good condition when deciding about a purchase. They know they can make minor cosmetic changes, but major ones may cost a pretty penny.
Your Lifestyle Demands A Move
Maybe your child is almost of school age and your current neighborhood isn’t in a good school district. Perhaps you’re going to be an empty-nester soon and maintaining a four-bedroom and three-bathroom home with a half-acre yard is too much for you and your spouse. Or you’re finally fed up with the fact that you and your spouse have to commute 45 minutes each way to work through heavy traffic.
Sometimes knowing when to sell a home doesn’t boil down to the financials. Your home should be a good fit for you and your family’s lifestyle. So if your current home doesn’t fit the bill anymore, it could be time to move.
Selling a home is a major task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, you need to assess whether your financial situation is ready for a move, your property’s condition and what time of the year is best. That’s why it’s important to sit down with your family and consider all options so you can come to an educated conclusion about the right choice for you.
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