Selling Real Estate

Top Three Questions to Ask if You’re Thinking of Selling

Are you a homeowner asking yourself if this might be the right time to sell your home?  You aren’t alone!

When the market heats up and there is buzz everywhere about how great the real estate market is, many homeowners think they should jump on the wagon and sell their house.  What should you ask yourself before you pick up the phone to call your favorite real estate broker?

Here are three questions you need to think about prior to taking any steps in the direction of selling.

Why do I want to sell my home?

This question might be the most overlooked, but also the most important.  Do you want to sell because you’ve lived in your house for too long, and you are ready for a change?  Is your kitchen outdated and you want the latest and greatest features?  Is your neighbor moving, and you’re apprehensive about who the new neighbor might be?

Though these could be legitimate concerns, they may not be reason enough to sell your home.  On the other hand, if your job is moving to another location, you have a job opportunity that will pay more money or be a better fit for you personally, or your kids have all moved out and you need to downsize, these could be great reasons to consider a move.

How is the local inventory for homes on the market like mine?

If you were paying attention to the news in 2008-2011, you may remember a considerably different market than the one most of us are experiencing today.  Home values were plummeting, and many homeowners thought they needed to “dump” their properties while they could and walk away from their investment.  In turn, those who truly needed to sell were not able to sell for enough money to pay their liabilities.

This all lent to the creation of a very strong buyer’s market.  The market was unbalanced to an extreme that made homes sell for often way less than they were worth if they sold at all.  Many homes stayed on the market for considerable lengths of time and obtained far under the asking price.  Talk to your real estate broker about inventory for homes like yours.

You can also visit my website here to educate yourself a bit about local inventory.  If the inventory is high for homes like yours, you may not wish to sell at this time.  If not, and other factors for selling exist, now might be the right time.

How much equity do I have in my home?

Many homeowners keep track of the equity they have in their existing home, but some do not.  Your equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and the true market value.  Your monthly mortgage statement should tell you how much you owe on your home.

Sites like Zillow and the tax assessor’s office will give you approximate figures for your home’s value, but the best source will be from a trusted and experienced real estate professional in the area.  Those sites use great algorithms, but they cannot walk through your home or drive through your neighborhood as can a real estate professional located in your area.

My recommendation would be to be sure you have enough equity after paying all costs associated with your sale to have at least 25% toward the purchase of your new home.  With 20% down, you’ll almost always get a better interest rate, and the extra five percent is a buffer for moving expenses, inspections, etc.

If after reading this article, you think now is the right time for you to sell your home, please contact your trusted real estate professional.  If you aren’t currently working with one, I would love to help you!  Give me a call!