It happens to nearly all of us. At some point we will begin the inner dialogue about whether now is the right time to sell or not. Of course there are always extenuating circumstances that come into play. Jobs, kids, military service and marriage are just a few of the life-factors that will push you in one direction or the other. But if you are not being forced to sell by a big life change, what are some of the questions you need to answer to best come to a decision? Let’s take a peek.
One of the first questions that need answering is: Why Now? As noted above, sometimes life just dictates that it is time to sell, but other factors can also play a big role. Is this a great time to sell because it is a hot seller’s market? Do you just plain need the money due to a job loss or divorce? Has the home simply become too expensive to maintain (or heat!)?
And, of course, there are positive reasons to go right along with those challenges as well. Did you get a new job in a new town and need to unload this property? Did you partner up with someone special and the maintaining of two homes is no longer necessary? Has a raise or other financial uptick allowed you to upgrade your living conditions and move to a nicer space? Any of these are legitimate reasons to want to sell, regardless of the current, local market conditions.
Just like we all “should” be exercising every day and eating more vegetables, there are also times when we feel like we “should” sell our homes. I’m not a big proponent of these because they are typically based on “norms” or other societal pressures rather than actual facts. If you feel you “should” sell because that’s what people your age do at this time or because your neighbor just sold and made a nice profit, take a step back. This is a huge decision and one that should not be made based on what other people think is the right thing to do or what your neighbor did. Get some professional, objective input to evaluate your “why” decision and make it based on facts, even though they are a little hard to come by these days!
The next question is: What is next? If that new job in the new town is your driving reason, this has already been decided. But if you’re moving to increase or decrease space, eliminate a mortgage, move to a new area or simply get a change of scenery; do you have a plan? I can tell you from experience that moving across the country without a place to “land” or any real plan is a bit stressful, although also a bit exciting. Consider all those who will be impacted by this move including friends, adult children and certainly your pets.
At the end of the day the decision is yours, but it will help alleviate some of the stress if you have a solid plan in place before you kick things off. Your friends will appreciate it. Your kids will not come home from college to an empty house (It happened to a friend in college!). And it will help you have a higher level of confidence in the decision you have made. There are always doubts that creep in. But if you have a solid plan to move forward, that will help you answer those doubts.
Now that you have a plan in place and are confidently moving forward, what does a successful sale look like? “Very often sellers are relying on the sale of this home for the purchase of their next home,” notes Badger Realty agent, Roland Turgeon. He continued, “There are also other factors such as fixtures, furniture, plants and even a garden harvest that all come into play for a successful sale. I encourage my sellers to take a mental (or pen and paper) inventory of all the pieces of this deal that are important to them before we get started.”
Roland is right. Often times we see sellers jump into the game before really considering what a quick sale of their home might mean. Kids’ schedules, pet care, pre-planned trips and visiting family can all throw a wrench in the works if they are not considered up front. Before you start making calls to your local real estate professional, run through the next six months in your mind or on your calendar and make sure you are prepared for what may come up.
Selling a home is a really exciting time. It smells of new adventures and new beginnings. There’s quite a bit to consider during this transition so carve out some quiet time and make sure all of your ducks are in a row. With some careful planning and strategizing, you can make this a smooth process and mitigate some of the unnecessary stress. Now let’s get moving!