How to Know it’s Time to Sell Your Home

Perhaps you have had some changes in your life. Your family is growing, your kids have grown and moved out, you got a new job, you just got married or you just retired. Maybe you just really need to start over! Perhaps your neighborhood just isn’t what it used to be and isn’t working for you any longer.

Maybe you have fixed your home up entirely, and are ready for your next project. Perhaps it would be a financially beneficial decision to sell your home and buy another. After all, you are happiest when your home meets you where you are and can provide for all of your needs.

When to Sell

So how do you know that it is the right time to sell your home?

Your Life Has Changed

This is arguably the number one reason to sell your home. Seasons change, and so does life, and maybe your home no longer fits your lifestyle.

  • You have a growing family and have outgrown your home: Maybe you are having a baby, or your parents are aging and you need to move them in with you. Maybe your children are growing up and need more space and more privacy. Perhaps you decided to bring two Great Danes into your family and you are realizing your home just isn’t big enough to accommodate the situation. It may make sense to find a bigger home with more space.
  • You need more living space: Maybe the issue isn’t more family in your home. Maybe you started working from home and you now need a home office. Perhaps you took up a hobby and need a craft room, or your kids are getting older and they want a movie theatre. Maybe your needs have changed and you now need a spare bedroom so you can have more friends and family over. This would also cause need for a bigger home with more space.
  • Your family is getting smaller: Your kids are grown and moving out to a college dorm. You no longer need all the space you once did, so it makes perfect sense to downsize. You no longer need all this extra square footage and you are having a hard time keeping the extra rooms clean. Simply put, it is too much home to manage. Smaller homes are cheaper, easier to keep clean, and less maintenance, so it might be wise to sell the large home, and maybe even make enough to pay cash for a smaller one.
  • You are retiring: You now have time to do things you have always wanted to do. You want to relax more and live more. Maybe you want to move near your grandkids, or maybe you are now looking for a neighborhood with a tennis court and golf course. Maybe you are just getting older and no longer want to try to tackle going up and down stairs, or doing yardwork is getting too hard for you. All of the above are reasons to sell your home and find another.
  • You got a new job: Your new job now has a longer commute. Maybe you now spend more time away from home due to excess driving to and from work. If it seems this job will be long term, it may be beneficial to find a home close to your new job. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to drive so much for work if living closer to work could be a possibility. This could save you a ton on driving expenses, and may even save your marriage by keeping you home more. Time, money, and energy spent on the road sometimes just isn’t worth it.
  • You have changed relationship status: Are you getting married? Or maybe you are getting a divorce? Two homes need to become one, or one home needs to split into two. More than likely, in either of these situations, a home will need to be sold.

Maybe you just need a fresh start!

You Need a New Start

You may be at a new phase in your life, and starting over could be just what you need. There’s no better time than now to be happy! A new home is a new start and a new chance to find happiness! Find a city you love, a place that brings you peace, around people that make you smile. Selling your home and finding a new home is an opportunity to find ways to get rid of unnecessary stuff, unnecessary bills, and simplify life.

A Home that Needs Work Vs. a Home that Needs Nothing

Some people get a thrill out of a home that needs work. They buy a home for the pure fact that they can put sweat equity into it, and sell it for double what they paid for it. Others want a home for the mere fact that not only does it need nothing, but it is low maintenance as well. They can spend their time on more meaningful activities.

It’s All About the Benjamins

When to Sell

You may be at a good place financially and can afford to move. Maybe you want to upgrade to a home with a lot of amenities, or a vacation home, and you are at a place in your life where you can afford that. Or maybe the opposite is true- maybe you cannot afford the home you are currently in, and you realized it early enough to save yourself from financial devastation.

  • You can no longer afford your home: So many life circumstances can affect your finances. Maybe you became ill, your mortgage rates went up, you are going through a divorce, you just had a baby which added to your expenses, you lost your job, for whatever reason, you are having trouble making the payments of the home while also paying your other bills. Or maybe you are having trouble affording the maintenance of the simple upkeep of your home. It’s important to realize this early and react quickly so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. Doing so could save you from something serious, such as a foreclosure. It could save you to simply sell your home and downsize or move to a less expensive neighborhood, giving you the much-needed financial break you have been looking for.
  • You are at a good place financially: Perhaps you have evaluated your finances, and have concluded that it just makes sense to sell. You have no debt, you have cash in the bank, you can afford to prepare your home to sell, and you can afford to move to something better. Maybe you want to upgrade your home and get something on the beach, or a home with two masters and a chef’s kitchen. One reason that can lead you to financial success is perhaps over the life of owning your home, you made home improvement decisions that have added value to your property with a high return on investment. Perhaps you have been fortunate and built up equity in your home. If you are unsure if you have built equity in your home or not, contact a local realtor who can offer you a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) to offer you a list price, or have it appraised. Deduct your home expenses from this list price to determine how much you will clear at closing. Sometimes it makes sense to remodel your current home into what you are looking for, but a lot of times the smarter thing to do is to sell and purchase a home that already has what you are looking for.

Your Neighborhood Has Changed- the Good and the Bad

  • First, the Good: If a house right down the street just sold that is similar to yours, and the sales price makes you smile, you might want to consider also listing your home. If homes typically sell for more than their list price in your neighborhood, it may be an excellent time to take advantage of your area’s hot market and take the plunge.
  • Now, the Bad: Maybe you no longer want to follow the rules of your Homeowners Association or your subdivision. Maybe the dynamics of your neighborhood have changed and your neighbors throw parties all the time on the street, or the school system turned for the worst, the new neighbor’s dogs bark all night, or the crime rate has spiked. If you get any inclination that the condition of your neighborhood is going down, don’t wait to get out of there, or your home value may suffer because of it. Or perhaps your needs from your neighborhood have changed. Maybe you chose your neighborhood because it had a swimming pool and tennis court for your children, but they have grown and moved out, and now you want the peace of a country setting.

What’s Best for You

The decision to sell really boils down to what you believe is best for you at this particular moment in time. There’s not one single formula for knowing if it is truly the right time to list your home. Weigh all aspects of your decision, research the advantages and disadvantages and sell when you need to. While selling a home can be stressful, it will also give you the opportunity to find a new home that will better suite your needs in this moment. Maybe you have no emotional attachment any longer to your current home, or maybe there are so many memories there that you find that your only solution is to move.

Moving is a lot of work, but it comes with a ton of advantages, such as lower bills, more space, or whatever else might meet your needs for the moment. Our lives are always changing, and your home may have been perfect at one point in time, but if you are reading this, chances are something has changed in your life and your home no longer meets your needs. Make sense of your life, but plan. If you are selling in a hot market, keep in mind you will also be buying in a hot market, so do your research and do what is best for you in this moment. Only you can determine that. Good luck in the decision making, and the sale of your home!

Want more homebuying advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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