It is pretty well known that the springtime is one of the best times to sell a home. The weather is picking up so buyers are more active. Tax refunds help with renovations or down payment options. Curb appeal improves as the trees and lawn regain their life. It’s just a better time to move for most people.
If you’ve been mulling over whether or not it’s time to pack up and move, this month is a good time to make that decision so that you can be ready for the spring rush.
There are a lot of factors that can go into making the decision to sell your home. Here are five ways we’ve found to best help with the decision to sell your home.
#1 Calculate Your Equity
A major factor in whether or not you want to sell your home is going to be about dollar signs. You want to find out how much you owe, and how much you can sell your home for. You can gain equity in your home by either using a larger down payment when you initially buy a home, or by making larger mortgage payments and hoping the market increases the sales price of your home. If you do have enough equity, you may be in a very good place to sell.
#2 Understand Your Market
It is often best to have an agent on your side for this one, but you can get a good idea about your market by doing a simple search of the home sales in your neighborhood. One of the biggest things you want to know is are you in a seller’s or buyer’s market?
If there are not a lot of homes on the market, and the ones that have been for sale have sold quickly, you’re in luck! You are in a seller’s market. If you’ve noticed a lot of listings and that those listings seem to have been sitting for quite some time, you might be in a buyer’s market.
#3 Calculate Moving Expenses
Part of deciding to sell is also deciding where you are going to move. This can be a major added expense to your finances. Would you move across town, or across the country? If your move involves a lot of miles, you’ll likely need to rent a moving truck or hire a moving company.
Here’s an idea of the cost of hiring movers according to HomeAdvisor:
Local/intrastate (under 100 miles, including 2 movers + truck)
$80-$100 per hour
Interstate/cross-country (over 100 miles)
$2,000-$5,000 per move
For some sellers, moving dates won’t quite line up. Meaning you may have to temporarily store your furniture in a storage unit or a moving container. This cost can start at about $50 per month for a smaller sized unit and go up towards $400 per month for a larger one.
Other than moving trucks and storage, keep these costs in mind as well:
- Charges for moving vehicles, cars, boats, etc.
- Surcharges for moving large or fragile items
- Value protection insurance
- Potential increase in moving costs if there is a delay in the availability of your new home
#4 Check Your Personal Financial Situation
As you can probably tell, there are some upfront costs involved with moving. Getting your financial ducks in a row can help alleviate some of the stress
involved with these costs and allow you to process your move more seamlessly.
In order to do this, you will need to take a good look at your personal financial situation. This is particularly true if selling your home means buying a new home. A new home means a new mortgage, so you’ll need to take a look at outside debt. Things like car payments, credit card payments, child support, or student loan debt can all factor into what kind of mortgage you can get. Lenders will review your debt-to-income ratio for their loan approval process. According to Zillow, If your debt-to-income ratio is less than 43 percent, you may be prepared to sell.
#5 Understand the Emotional Side of the Selling Process
With the home buying or selling process, we often times will focus mainly on the logistical things. How much does it cost? How long will it take? Who should be my agent?
But one of the biggest factors in deciding whether or not to sell actually is something a little less obvious. Whether we know it or not, we all develop a bit of an emotional attachment to our houses that we call home. The physical space we live in is often attached to memories. These memories can contain more value than any dollar figure you can put on your house. This also means you may have a very hard time with a couple of key factors in selling your home.
- You may have a hard time accepting a reasonable offer because you value your home so much more in your head than the market does.
- You may have a hard time accepting necessary criticism from your agent in terms of any updates or clutter cleaning you may need to do in order to sell your home for top dollar.
- Buyer feedback can be particularly difficult to hear.
Preparing yourself for the overall mental load that all of this can have on you and your family is an essential part of deciding if you are ready to sell your home. Luckily, you have some time to prepare if you haven’t already, and can enlist the help of professionals to help you gear up for when you are ready.