Should You Sell Your Home? 5 Crucial Considerations
By Michael Corbett, Trulia’s real estate and lifestyle expert
You’ve seen it on the news — real estate prices are on the rise, and most markets have begun to bounce back. If you have been on the fence about whether or not to sell your home, here are five things to consider:
During the housing bust, a huge percentage of home owners saw their equity evaporate as home values dropped. Many even owed more than their homes were worth. No one wants to sell when it requires writing a check to the bank or listing as a short sale. And owners with equity definitely did not want to list knowing that lower sale prices would have eaten it all away. If you have been waiting to sell for this reason, chances are you now have a bit more positive equity in your home thanks to recent market upswings. Maybe now is the time to consider that long-awaited sale and hopefully walk away with some equity in tact.
TOO BIG FOR YOUR OWN GOOD
You’ve grossly outgrown your current home – the house you’re in is either way too small after that 2nd or 3rd child, or an elderly parent has moved in. If you’re in a home that’s too small for your immediate – and future – needs, this is the time to consider the jump to something a big larger. Sale prices are solid, the summer selling season is upon us, and you can take advantage of current interest rates before they start to climb.
INCREDIBLE SHRINKING FAMILY
What if you’ve recently joined the empty nester club? Maybe your oldest child has headed off to college, and you’ve realized it’s time to pack up that extra bedroom and ditch all that square footage. Selling now and downsizing has many perks – lower costs and less cleaning and maintenance, to name a few – so go for it, and take advantage of a move that enhances your new lifestyle.
INTEREST RATES COULD LIGHT A FIRE
Interest rates aren’t going anywhere but up, so if you’re wondering when it would be the best time to get a good mortgage for a new home once you’ve sold your old one, the answer is NOW. Rates are at historic lows and aren’t likely to go anywhere but north in the foreseeable future. Sell now, buy, and get in on those low rates for the long term.
SELL WHEN YOU NEED TO, DON’T CHASE THE MARKET
When it comes to selling advice, the bottom line is: list when you need to. If you really need to sell your current home for a specific reason, including job changes, divorce, health issues, marriage, etc., don’t try and chase the market in either direction. When you sell and subsequently buy another house, there’s good news: if you’re selling low, then you’ll be buying low. If you’re selling high, then you’ll be buying high. It’s a wash. Come to terms with the current market, and sell your home for its current fair-market value. And when you move on, be sure to buy a house you can afford, both now and in the future.