Selling your home can be a lot of work and a scary idea, especially if you’re not 100% sure if it’s the right time. Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery or you simply need more space, there are plenty of tell-tale signs that you’re ready for a new beginning.
If you find yourself frequently checking listings and longing for a change, you might be contemplating the decision to list your house for sale. However, there are a few clear indicators that selling now or in the near future is the best option for you, so we have listed the top five signs it’s finally time to sell your home and move on to the next chapter of your life.
1. Your home no longer suits your needs
Outgrowing your house is very common for first time buyers and young families who initially bought their house as a “starter home”. When you start adding new additions to your family, especially children, it might be time to start thinking about finding a home that can fit everyone. If your family is growing, there is a good chance you want to sell your house and find a new one with more space.
Outgrowing a home is a natural progression in life, but it may not necessarily mean it’s the right time to sell your home. You’ll need to have a plan, understand the local market trends, as well as be sure you’re financially ready to make the transition from your current house into a new home.
Some things to think about are:
- How much other homes in your neighborhood are selling for
- Whether or not the neighborhood you’re thinking of moving to is right for you and your family
- If you have children, you’ll want to make sure that there are good schools in the area
- If the size of your new house will be able to comfortably fit your whole family
You may be starting a new family and need more space, or are an empty-nester and are looking to downsize your home because you simply don’t need to have a 4-bedroom home anymore. It’s also possible that you’re satisfied with your property, but it’s in an inconvenient location and too far from friends and family. Whatever your situation is, if your home and neighborhood no longer fit your needs, the time is probably right to sell and find a location that’s better for your lifestyle.
2. The market is right
When thinking of selling your home, it’s a good idea to study the local market. If your neighbor’s home sells in the first few days on the market, then you know there is a high demand for a property like yours in that area.
If you have a good grasp on the local market, you’ll know if it’s the right time to sell your home. Another great idea is to test the market, and find out the estimated value of your home. It’s always best to have as much information as you can before making such a huge decision! Get in touch with a real estate agent in your area to get a feel for how much your home is worth and whether selling might be a good outcome for you.
Some key factors to consider when seeing if the market is right for selling your home include:
- Homes in your neighborhood that have sold
- What price they have sold at
- How fast they’re selling
- Local trends in the housing market
You might notice that homes in the neighborhood that are similar to yours are selling at high prices. If that’s the case, there may be a great opportunity to walk away from your house with some serious cash! Even if you’re happy with your home and aren't thinking about selling, it doesn’t hurt to consider taking advantage of the hot market.
Having as much information as you can get your hands on will help you to determine if it’s a good time to sell. Once you’ve looked at the factors outside of your control, you’ll want to go over the factors that are within your control, such as your budget.
3. Your home’s upkeep is just too much
If your to-do list seems too long or unexpected repairs keep coming up, there may be too much work involved to make it the house that you're happy with.
In addition to repair costs that can come up unexpectedly, the average homeowner also spends approximately $2,000 a year for maintenance services, such as landscaping, snow removal, septic service, private trash and recycling, and house cleaning. This doesn’t even include the cost of repairs that may arise!
These costs, plus additional costs such as property tax and mortgage payments can create a lot of stress on homeowners. It can be easy to forego costly repairs in favor of saving a few dollars, but this can end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
If this is an issue that has come up in your current home and you don’t want to constantly be upgrading the things in your home, it’s okay to let go and start looking for another home in your price range.
Many times, when a home is in serious need of attention, you may be better off just cutting ties and selling it at a low price to a home flipper or investor. Then, you can use that money to buy a property in better shape and safer condition.
After all, there could be a buyer out there that likes the challenge of a fixer upper. Life's too short to be unhappy with your home, and there's no harm in shopping around for the house that's best for you.
4. A remodel won’t raise the value of your home
If you’re considering renovating your home in order to increase the profit on your resale, it’s important to research whether or not a renovation will actually add value to your property or you may end up losing money in the long run.
If you spend too much and go over your budget, you may not see the return on investment you were hoping for. Be sure to carefully plan out what your goals for renovating are, how much it is going to cost, and how much value it will add to your resale.
A new bathroom, new roof, or new kitchen will usually add value to your home, but it is important to ensure you're going to get out what you put in. It’s also important to remember that what your idea of a great kitchen or bathroom may be may not line up with potential buyers’ tastes.
Smaller projects, including painting kitchen cabinets or upgrading a bathroom sink, sometimes come close to paying for themselves by increasing the value of your home, which can translate directly into a higher asking price when you sell.
If you’re not sure whether your remodeling plans will increase the value of your home, and will therefore increase the profit you make when selling, it’s always a good idea to talk to your real estate agent to see if they believe your upgrades will be worth it or not.
5. You’re financially ready to sell
Buying a home is a huge financial investment, whether it’s your first home or your fifth home. However, already owning a home can put you ahead financially as housing values only tend to grow over time.
If you’ve owned your home for quite some time and have paid off your mortgage, or almost all of it, you should have some great equity built in. When you bought the house you live in now, it’s possible you were a first time home buyer and now you’re looking to upgrade. Another possibility is that your kids have gone off to college or have started their own families, and you are now an empty nester who’s looking to downsize.
Having a strong understanding of your financial position will help you understand if it’s a good time for you to sell. It will also help you to develop a plan after the sale, and what kind of house you’ll be able to purchase next.
Having the information needed to know what you will earn on the sale of your home will help you understand what you can afford to do financially. Making a home seller net sheet will help you greatly with understanding what you will owe the bank and any other charges that may go into the sale of your house.
When you understand your finances it’ll allow you to determine if it’s the right time to sell, or if you should save up for another year or so.
All in all, there are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about selling your house. You’ll want to be sure you have set aside time and finances, and that you have a plan. If you’re worried that it may not be the right time to sell, you can always ask your real estate agent to discuss your options with you.
When you feel like you're ready to start considering selling your home, your best bet is to consult with local professionals who can help you to understand your options and also help you with finding a new home that will suit your needs and your budget.