Happy New Year!

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, Summit Real Estate.

I love the New Year and the month of January!  So much good energy and positive change happening in the world.  If you own real estate, you may be wondering when or if you should sell.  Here are some good questions you could ask to help you decide....

 

Wondering When to Sell Your House? These 8 Questions Will Help

The decision to put your home up for sale is not inconsequential. It’s not like “what should we have for dinner tonight?” or using eeny, meeny, miny, moe to solve a kerfuffle with your kids.

Nope. It’s methodical, calculated, high stakes. Ask (and answer) these eight questions before you hammer that signpost into your front lawn.

1. Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market?
A seller’s market means there are more people looking to buy houses than there are houses available. Houses are selling fast and often for close to asking price.

A buyer’s market means there are a lot of houses on the market; in fact, there are more houses available than there are people to buy them. They’re sitting on the market longer and might not go for asking price.

The housing market ebbs and flows based on interest rates, employment, general economic health and a slew of other factors. If you’re selling your house, it behooves you to wait until it’s a seller’s market. 2018 was, for the most part, a seller’s market. When demand is high, sellers can ask for more. When demand is low, buyers hold the negotiating power. 2019 looks to continue to be a seller's market.

2. Do you have a good real estate agent?
Venturing into the world of selling your house is no small feat. Find and hire a qualified agent.

A top-selling agent will help you determine if it’s the right time to sell, as well as guide you through correct pricing, appropriate staging and strategic navigation of the market. According to HomeLight, sellers can make an average of $30,000 more on a single-family home sold by a top agent than average agents can. I have a great recomnendation for you, if you need a great real estate team!  ;-)

3. Do you have different space needs?
Whether you are expanding your family and need a few more bedrooms, or your teens have left for college and you’re settling into your very large and quiet house as empty nesters, a lifestyle change may spin your thoughts toward moving.

Here are several reasons you might consider a bigger (or smaller) place:

  • You have two or three four teens trying to get ready in one bathroom.
  • You need a home office.
  • Since the kids have moved out, you have an obnoxious number of guest rooms.
  • You need more parking.
  • You’re tired of heating a bunch of space you don’t need.
  • If downsizing is your goal, you can start de-cluttering even if you’re not sure of the timing of your move. Before you consider moving, understand the space you’re looking for. Do you need to be closer to work or family? What do you like about your current home space? What wouldn’t you want to go without in another house?

4. Can you afford to move?
If only moving were as easy as going to bed in your old house and waking up in your new one. All the cost of moving add up. Make sure you’ve considered the following (and crunched the numbers) first:

Security Deposit
You’ll have to pony up a security deposit if you’re moving into a rental.

Utilities
Activating utilities entails fees. Outfitting your new place with water, gas, electric, cable and internet doesn’t come free.

Equity and Debt
If you bought your house before the crash and your home hasn’t fully recovered, selling may not be a good financial move. Consider what you’ll lose or gain by listing.

Physical Moving 
Whether you pay professional movers, snag a guy from a Craigslist ad or bribe your son and his friends to help with pizza and beer, you’ll have some tangible costs. Factor in packing supplies (boxes, tape, paper), a truck (if you’re renting) and of course, the time it will take.

Closing Costs
As the seller, you’re responsible for some or all of the closing costs. Better to know about them beforehand than after.

If you haven’t planned for any of the above, create a game plan before you take too many steps forward at once and fall on your face.

5. What’s your timeline?
If your kids just gave you grandkids, you might be in a hurry to sell and move their direction. Or if you just retired, spent the last six months traveling and now need to find a more permanent place than the Embassy Suites you’re set up in now, you might be in a bit of a hurry. Keep in mind, a strict timeline gives negotiating power to the buyer. The more flexible you can be, the more discerning you can be with your offers.

6. Is your neighborhood changing?
Times, they are a changin’. If you moved into your house 20 years ago, you may have seen your neighborhood in constant evolution. Here are a few things you should look into:

School Districts
A good school district may be a selling point if you’re area is appealing to families with young kids. Schools may have changed since your kids were enrolled. Where does your district place?

Business Development 
What new businesses have moved into your city? Are there jobs available close by? Does the light rail come close to your house?

Main Streets
Where in town are you located? Maybe your house used to be in the boonies when you moved in but now, thanks to urban development, you’re smack in the middle of downtown. Your house has turned into high-demand prime real estate!

Community
What’s your neighborhood’s feel? A sense of community is important. Young families with kids want to live where other young families with kids live. Retirees may want to be closer to others their age with similar interests. The soul of a community lives and breathes … and changes as people move in and out.

7. Is it a good time of year to move?
It's winter here in the high country, and while it's true that summer is our busiest sales season here, people are here enjoying the ski slopes now, and many of them are looking for that perfect place that eluded them this past summer.  Temperature and sunshine are crucial elements in selling your home- but don't rule out the winter.  Buyers who are looking now are serious about it! 

8. Is your home in shape to sell?
If you’re in the middle of a bathroom renovation, potential buyers are going to turn around and walk out the door, and frankly they probably won’t come back when you’re finished.

If your home needs major repairs, do them before you put your house up for sale. Nobody wants to have to replace the roof or put in a new hot water or replumb a house they just purchased.

If you’ve already done major repairs:

Declutter
Toss anything you don’t need or want. Put away anything personal. Clear off any flat surfaces you can. If you have the option to put something away, do it. My rule of thumb is to have no more than 2-3 items on any surface or wall. 

Clean
The baseboards, the ceiling fans, the base of the toilet — it all needs more than just the “someone’s stopping by in 10 minutes” clean sweep.

Stage
Set the table. Spring for a new doormat. Put out new towels in the bathrooms.

Watch Out for Red Flags
Determining the best time to sell and finding a good agent are the two most essential assets to selling your home. Pay attention to these other red flag questions so you do this process right.

In Short, Ask Yourself These 8 Questions to Figure Out When to Sell Your House
1. Is it a buyer or a seller’s market?
2. Do you have a good real estate agent?
3. Have your space needs changed?
4. Can you afford to move?
5. What’s your timeline?
6. Is your neighborhood changing?
7. Is it a good time of year to move?
8. Is your home in good shape to sell?

by Chels Knorr- Homelight

Please call, email or text if you'd like to discuss the potential of selling your Summit County property, or any property! We have an amazing network of the top Realtors in the country.  Let's chat!