Deciding if you should sell your home is a big decision. As the experience can be emotional, costly, and stressful, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Many people are inspired to sell by a hot market or desire for change and don’t consider the various factors influencing their decision, resulting in costly mistakes.
If you’re considering listing your home and moving on, here are some crucial factors to keep in mind.
Working with a Real Estate Agent
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make about listing your home is whether or not you’ll enlist the services of a real estate agent. As with anything, there are pros and cons to working with an agent and listing a home yourself. There is no right or wrong answer for everyone— a lot of personal factors play a part in this decision.
Realtors bring a lot of value and experience to the table.
They’re able to use their knowledge and resources to help you set the right price, market your home to qualified leads, handle the negotiation process, and walk you through the closing legal documents. However, all of this comes at a tremendous cost.
Realtor commissions often range from 5-8% of the selling cost of your home. On a $200,000 home, that means paying an agent over $10,000. For many home sellers, the cost of an agent isn’t feasible.
Fortunately, there are many more resources available to sellers than ever before, largely thanks to the internet. Resources like houzeo.com can help sellers create a professional-looking listing and access many of the resources agents use to market homes.
Professional real estate photographers can showcase your home in a captivating, attractive way that appeals to potential buyers. From professional cleaners to flat-rate brokers, there are endless options available for managing a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listing.
Social media has also revolutionized how people sell their homes. This powerful form of free advertising is a fantastic way to share your listing far and wide, with minimal planning and experience.
It’s important to sit down and evaluate whether working with a realtor is the right choice for your needs.
The Current Market
Before listing your home, it’s important to understand whether you’re in a buyers’ or sellers’ market. These terms indicate who is calling the shots during the purchase or sale of a home. If homes in your area sell quickly at a high asking price, you’re likely in a sellers’ market.
Conversely, if homes are sitting on the market for a while before having prices slashed, it’s probably a buyers’ market.
Ideally, you want to sell your home during a sellers’ market. Unfortunately, some people have to move for other reasons and have limited control over when they list their homes. However, if at all possible, wait to sell until you’re in a sellers’ market.
Then, consider renting until the market switches back to a buyers’ market to make the most of your money.
The Time of Year
Another factor to consider when selling your home is the time of year. Real estate is a seasonal business that tends to be higher during the spring and summer. As people get back into school and head into the colder months, the market slows down.
If you have the choice to wait, consider listing your home in the early spring rather than during the winter months.
By doing so, you avoid having your home sitting on the market for months before the high season— which will have potential buyers wondering what’s wrong with it.
Financial Concerns and Considerations
Finances should be a determining factor in whether or not you should sell your home. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and stay on top of your bills, it’s well worth considering, especially in a sellers’ market.
This consideration is especially important in light of the Coronavirus pandemic and massive layoffs.
On the other side of the coin, you need to consider whether you can afford to sell your home. One of the key focal points to keep in mind is the amount of equity in your house. Consider how much you purchased your home for and how much is left on your loan. It’s important to clarify whether you have enough equity to cover the closing costs.
Upgrades and Maintenance
Another cost to consider is the potential upgrades and maintenance your home might need to sell efficiently. These costs could be anything from replacing the roof to upgrading the kitchen.
Consider how much time and money would go into your repair projects and which are necessary for selling your home. If you have the time and resources to make those changes now, you can consider selling.
There are many reasons to want to sell your home, from changing lifestyle needs and priorities to capitalizing on a sellers’ market. Take some time to look at the decision from various angles and determine whether it’s the right time.