Have you been thinking about selling your home lately? If so, you're definitely not alone. In 2020, more homeowners than ever have decided to become home sellers, with a whopping 5.64 million existing homes being put back on the market and sold in the United States alone.
According to the latest forecasts, this number is only expected to rise this year, suggesting that most homeowners are finally feeling confident in the market after years of slow and painful recovery. But while you might think that finding the right real estate agent is all you need to get your property sold quickly, the process of selling your home can be incredibly time-consuming and expensive, requiring a strong understanding of the local market and a strong drive to get the best possible price for your property.
So, how can you know if it is the right time to sell? Here's all you need to know about how to decide to sell your house in 2022!
The benefits of selling your home
You might be considering selling your property just because you've heard it's the right move to make according to the market, as demand is rapidly increasing and home prices are at an all-time high. Or maybe you're just looking to downsize, move cities for work, or move away to enjoy your retirement. Whatever reason you might have for wanting to sell your home, you'll want to make sure you understand what the benefits and possible drawbacks might be.
This is not a decision to take lightly, especially if you're still looking for a new property to move into for the long term! If you're stuck on how to decide to sell your house, consider the benefits first.
You will have plenty of prospective buyers
With skyrocketing demand for houses driving your decisions, you'll likely be able to guarantee a list of prospective home buyers within weeks of listing. This is a seller's market, after all, so you won't have to wait long before offers start coming in, even if your home needs extensive repairs or if your location is not one of the most desirable on the market. The increasing demand for housing eliminates most of the risks you might encounter when selling, so if that's what has been holding you back, it's time to give your real estate agent a call!
You will become a power buyer yourself
With selling comes cash, and with plenty of cash to use, you'll become what the industry calls a power buyer–Someone who has already sold their property and can, in turn, benefit from a higher standing when buying a new property. Being a home seller will make your application stand out from the rest, allowing you to get your offer through whether you're looking for a new residential property or even investing in commercial real estate or short-term rentals!
You'll likely bag a great price for your property
As a result of increasing demand, sellers will also be able to get great offers from buyers and demand higher sale prices in line with national trends. Even if you haven't owned your home for long or need to make a few repairs, you'll likely be surprised at how much your property can sell for. This is the perfect time to either downsize or start investing in rentals, as you're likely going to walk out of the sale with plenty of extra cash to retire with or invest!
Can I decide NOT to sell my house instead?
While the current housing market is certainly appealing to prospective sellers, that doesn't mean that you should blindly trust the forecasts and sell your home without considering the risks. As we've mentioned before, selling is a time-consuming and expensive journey (yes, even in a seller's market!), so you should first consider whether you are financially ready to take the leap first.
Have you crunched the numbers to see what you'll have to pay in appraisals, real estate agent's fees, staging, repairs, and anything else your home might need before it can be listed? Are you confident you'll be able to walk out with a profit even if more closing costs end up falling due?
In some cases, keeping the home might be a better choice, so if you've bagged a great job offer far from home or you wish to downsize, you might end up making a lot more money by renting the property out instead. Nowadays, it's very easy to manage properties remotely, and even easier to list your home as a short-term rental for even bigger profits and fewer hassles!
How to decide to sell your house: Step-by-step considerations
Needless to say, becoming a landlord or short-term rental owner also comes with its own disadvantages. Depending on what your goals are you might find that getting the property off your hands altogether might be a smarter choice, regardless of the expenses involved. For example, you might not be ready to dive into the time-consuming side job (or even full-time job) of renting out your home, wishing to just retire with little to no responsibilities. Or perhaps, you've figured out that dealing with problematic tenants, property management fees, and frequent home repairs won't bring a profit worthy of your time and resources.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors you have to weigh when choosing whether to sell, keep, or rent out a house — enough to make you feel pretty overwhelmed! So, if you're looking for more practical tips on how to decide to sell your house, we've got you covered. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of all the main considerations you should make before selling your property:
Are you emotionally ready to sell?
Even before you start crunching the numbers on what selling is going to cost you and what price you can ask for, you'll need to do a little introspection and make sure you're emotionally ready to let go of your current home. What do we mean by this? Well, for example, you might not realize how taxing the process is going to be if you haven't yet found and put an offer on a replacement home.
You also might not be comfortable with potential buyers coming to view the property for several weeks or months. There are many reasons why you might not be as ready to go through with a sale as you think you are, so make sure to consider how the process will impact you and your ability to make a good profit!
Consider your home equity
On the more practical side of things, you might also want to consider not selling if you don't have enough equity or even negative equity. If you owe more than your house is worth, selling is strongly discouraged, as, in the best possible outcome, it will leave you barely breaking even. Generally speaking, you should only consider putting your home on the market if you're trying to avoid declaring bankruptcy.
On the flip side, chances are that you've managed to build equity due to rising home values, so all you need to do to ensure you're in a good position to sell is get in touch with a real estate agent and have them run a comparative market analysis to find out how much your home is worth today. Subtract your current mortgage balance from your home's estimated market value, and you'll have a pretty good understanding of how much equity you have!
Take a hard look at your debts and planned repayments
You should also think twice about your sale plans if you are still repaying sizable debts outside your mortgage, as you'll want to take care of all of your consumer debts before you start dealing with sales and moving expenses. Now, this doesn't mean that you can't sell your home if you're still making repayments on a car or paying off any other loan, as plenty of sellers even use their profits to pay off debt and find a new place to live at the same time. But it does mean that you should make sure all your financial needs are fully accounted for before hiring an agent, booking appraisals, and making repairs!
Find a great real estate agent
Finding the right real estate agent for your needs is probably going to be one of the hardest parts of selling, so you should take your time researching and vetting potential professionals to work with. A good agent will work within your preferred time frame, speeding up the process by providing you with a complete market analysis and action plan to achieve all your goals.
By the same token, if you're not in a rush to complete the sale as quickly as possible, an experienced listing agent will also take all the time needed to research the best market conditions in which to sell to guarantee the best bang for your buck. If you don't really know what to look for in a real estate agent, you should make sure to only work with professionals who have received advanced training, have plenty of experience under their belt, and are knowledgeable about the local market. Pro tip: Our real estate agents tick all the boxes!
Understand the current market
There are outliers even in the most favorable markets, so you should work closely with your agent to figure out the pros and cons of your location, and come up with an attractive asking price. When you work with us, you can be sure that you will have our expertise and negotiating skills at your disposal to arrive at the best market prices and terms. We will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties. With us, you will know exactly how to price and when to sell your property!
Plan for the right time of the year to sell
And on that note, did you know that spring and summer are considered the best times of the year to sell? It's a lot harder to get properties sold over the winter months, as the market routinely slows down in preparation for Christmas and especially during November and December. Make sure you also keep the time of the year in mind when listing your house, as properties put on the market after February seem to receive a lot more offers!
Consider all expenses vs your asking price
Finally, take your time to consider whether your current listing price matches the great number of expenses you're going to face throughout the home sale process. This is your last chance to crunch the numbers and plan for all scenarios, including how to pick between multiple offers, how to split closing costs, and what major and minor repairs to make if you still want to walk away with a hefty profit.
Your home value and equity will dictate how much you should ask, but you might want to consider cutting out some expenses (like staging or minor remodeling) if you're already confident that you can sell your home in a reasonable time frame!
Time to sell!
Now that you have considered all of the factors at play and know how to decide to sell your house, you can be confident in your decision whether you decide this is the right or the wrong time to sell. You might even decide not to let go of your home at all and become a landlord or short-term rental host instead!