Ask any real estate agent how the market is and you’re almost sure to get the same answer: “Great!”
Even if the market is great, it still may not be a great time for you to sell. Many real estate agents will tell you that NOW is the right time to sell your home when in reality, they can’t know that without knowing the specifics of your situation. Before going down a long and stressful journey, let’s first decide if selling your home right now is a mistake.
What’s true about relationships is also true about selling your home: When it’s time to make a big decision, go with your gut feeling. But like anyone who has ever put off a breakup, it’s amazing how easy it is to talk yourself out of what you really want to do. You’ll say you’ll get around to addressing the ‘80s curb appeal, that you can live with your shoebox-sized closets, and you don’t mind that the location limits your job opportunities. Really, you’re fine.
Yet, you still can’t shake the feeling that it’s time to go. Though there are many ways to justify staying put, some of the most common doubts can be particularly persistent — and some may even masquerade as logical reasons.
Here’s how to identify these hang-ups so you can finally move on and own the home you truly want:
“What if my home ends up being worth more a year after I sell it?”
Markets are about timing — yours could be on an upswing and selling could mean you’re missing out on receiving more for your home later. However, markets can also just as dramatically swing the other way, just like they did in 2008. The lesson? You can’t really time the market. Instead, focus on easy (and inexpensive) tasks in your control that can help your home sell for more whenever the time is right. Decluttering, painting your rooms neutral colors and even cleaning up your yard can sometimes bring a home’s value up regardless of what the market is doing.
“I don’t qualify for a different home.”
If your credit has gotten worse, you’ve spent all your savings on the home you’re currently in, or your financial situation is just tight overall, it might be a mistake to sell your home right now.
This is one of the trickiest thoughts about selling because it seems reasonable. You know your budget and you’ve probably even looked up what homes have been selling for in your neighborhood. But after researching, you honestly know you just don’t qualify for a new mortgage right now and would have to go back to renting if you did sell.