Is Now the Time to Sell Your Home? FAQ for Sellers
There are many personal factors involved in deciding to sell a home. The reasons for selling are as varied as the individuals who make the decision to sell.
Putting a house on the market requires much thought and advance planning. It is a big decision regardless of the reason for selling. Timing is critical in the real estate market, so it is best not to rush into it under a strict timeline. Most people contemplating selling their home have given a lot of thought to the bottom line, which is getting top dollar for their property. They understand that the best time to sell is when they can make the most profit and when they can sell as quickly as possible.
Every locale and situation is different, but all homeowners have on ultimate goal in mind when considering selling. Prospective sellers should have a good understanding of the housing market in their area and try to list their home when market conditions are favorable for the seller. Research is an excellent tool to help a potential seller determine the right time to sell. Even the most prepared sellers still have many questions that need to be answered before making the final decision to sell.
FAQs for Sellers
1. Is it more profitable to have established equity in a home before selling?
A. It is advantageous for the homeowner to have a substantial amount of equity in the home before deciding to sell. If there is very little equity, it is probably not a good time to sell. Equity is the home value minus the loan amount. It would be better to wait and pay down the mortgage a little more to avoid owing more than the current market value. The extra money in equity will help pay off closing costs and associated fees. That puts more money in the seller's pocket.
2. What time of year is best for selling a home?
A. Some buyers search for properties all throughout the year, but the weather is a major factor for some. Sunny days and milder temperatures bring out more buyers than cold, wet weather. Warmer weather adds to a home’s curb appeal, when grass is greener and flowers are in bloom. Attractive homes with manicured lawns appeal to a wider range of potential buyers. The winter months are the worst ones for listing a home and there is a decline in shoppers. Good weather increases the demand for homes and the supply dwindles. When there is a perceived shortage of homes on the market, homes tend to bring the best prices.
3. Should I complete all my repairs and improvements before trying to sell?
A. Any upgrades and repairs should be completed before listing a home for sale. Any major repairs or improvements that make the home more functional or cosmetically more aesthetically appealing are worth the expense. Most buyers are more concerned with the overall condition of the home, but do notice things like chipped paint or dirty carpets. The HVAC system must be in good working condition or repaired before listing. Small improvements and repairs do increase the final value of a home.
4. What kind of costs will I have to pay when I sell?
A. Selling a home can be expensive. Realtor commissions average around 6 percent of the sales price. It is possible to negotiate the rates with some agents. There will be some closing costs and fees for sellers. After the home sells, there will be moving expenses. There will be the cost of obtaining a new mortgage on another home and making a down payment. It might be wise to wait to list the home, if funds are too short.
5. Should current interest rates be a consideration when deciding to sell?
A. Interest rates are at an all-time, historic low right now. That means that more buyers are looking to buy now and lock in the low rates. These rates will only go up in the near future. That makes buying a home a priority for many potential homeowners right now. If a seller is planning to buy after selling, it is a good time to take advantage of these low interest rates while they last.
Selling a home is a personal decision that an individual must make, based on knowledge of the real estate market and timing. Only the person selling a home will know when the time is right.