Is Selling Your Home Right Now A Mistake?
Ask any real estate agent how the market is and you’re almost sure to get the same answer: “Great!” But with everything going on right now, the answer isn't really that simple.
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. Let’s first decide if selling your home right now is a mistake.
I truly believe that when it’s time to make a big decision, go with your gut feeling. But I also know 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 that, even with your new "work from home" situation, you don’t mind not having space for a home office. 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, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between anxious doubts and logical reasoning.
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 you're at risk or have lost your job during this time, it might be a mistake to sell your home right now.
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. If that's the case, now is likely not the right time.
“My friend who’s a real estate agent told me I should sell now.”
Working with close friends and family has its pros and cons. At first thought, it seems like a great idea because they know you, your current situation, and you can (in most cases) trust them. But imagine what it will feel like five months from now when your home is still on the market with zero offers...
That's why I recommend always getting a second opinion, even if you trust the first one. If your friend or family member feels like the best decision for you, go for it. Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents and ask them whether they recommend selling now.
This can help you screen the ones that may not be the best fit for your personality or even your home (especially if you have a unique property). Focus your questions on their past experiences selling in your area, how long they’ve worked in your market, how well they know your neighborhood, and if they have worked with sellers who have similarly valued homes to yours. From speaking with several real estate agents (some you already knew and some you didn’t), you’ll also get a sense of how they communicate and if they'll be able to take the stress off your shoulders during the selling process.
"Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents."
“I have to make a lot of costly repairs before I can sell my home for as much as I would like.”
Depending on the age of your property, your agent may suggest making a few repairs in order to command the highest price. The extent of repairs needed often has to do with the comparable homes in your area for sale. For example, if there’s a home exactly like yours on the market, but that one has a brand new roof, the agent may suggest replacing yours. But you don’t necessarily have to make expensive repairs if you don’t want to — you could sell your home as-is. Some buyers buyers are only interested in move-in ready homes, while others like the idea of updating and customizing a property to exactly suit their needs.
“I’m afraid to start over in a new location.”
Even if you’re staying in the same town, moving to a new location means your block will be different, your proximity to places like the grocery store or local parks will change, and you’ll have to go through the process of getting to know new neighbors. Is it a change? Yes. But as scary as change can be, it can also be fun and exciting. It’s a chance to start fresh, find new hobbies, and maybe even start a new career or upgrade your home office.
Wherever you're looking to move, make sure you choose an agent who is knowledgeable about the area. A good real estate agent should not just know the market, but the community and what makes it a great place to live. That's part of why we love investing in our awesome Rochester community!
Whenever you are ready to sell your home, I would love a chance to earn your business. And if you're not sure whether to sell or wait, give my team a call so we can have an honest discussion about whether selling right now is the right choice for you.