Selling your family home will always be an emotional experience, no matter when you do it and how much you prepare. However, you must identify opportunities to sell it at a fair price to the right buyers.
Your family home deserves to go to a responsible new owner for every dollar that it’s worth. Using these tips, you can determine the right time to sell your family home.
Manage Your Emotions
When the time comes to sell your family home, you will struggle to let go of the memories and familiarity. These feelings are natural and healthy, but they can also cloud your judgment and prevent you from reaching a fair deal.
The first step in managing your emotions is to think of yourself as a businessperson first. This shift will take time and effort to complete, but it’s necessary for you to see your home’s value from an objective point of view.
You can prepare the house for potential buyers and maximize your monetary gains with your emotions out of the picture. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, you should know the current state of the housing market.
Know the Housing Market
Right now is a great time to sell a house. The housing market is currently a “seller’s market,” meaning buyers have flooded the market and houses sell faster at higher prices.
In today’s market, houses often stay on the market for less than a month and have sold up to 13% higher than median home prices from years prior.
However, the seller’s market is a double-edged sword. While you might be able to sell your home quickly for more than its value, you’ll find yourself in the same difficult position as the buyers.
You must choose between taking advantage of the current market and waiting for the market to level out. The market probably won’t stabilize any time soon due to international events, so the deciding factor should be your home’s condition.
Estimate Your Home’s Worth
A helpful way to estimate your home’s worth as you prepare to sell is by comparing the performance of similar recently sold homes, also known as “comparable homes.” You can get a good sense of the price range buyers are willing to pay through this method.
Keep these factors in mind when looking at comparable homes:
- Square footage
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Yard space
- Unique features
You must also make sure you have enough equity to sell your home, pay off the mortgage, handle moving costs and manage other expenses. Chances are you have enough equity because you lived there for many years and have probably finished paying off the mortgage.
Homeowners with less than five years under their belt often don’t have the equity to sell.
With a rough estimate of your home’s value and enough equity, you must next calculate how much money will come out of your pocket to sell the home. Those costs can come from several sources:
- Real estate agent commissions
- Home preparation
- Negotiating the sale
- Finalizing the deal
- Housing overlap
Your home’s condition inherently affects each of the above sources. If the home has extensive damages or comparable homes haven’t performed well on the market, you should hold off on selling for the time being.
If your home remains in stable condition and you noticed that comparable homes have performed well, take swift action.
Consider Your Timeline
Suppose you decide to sell your home. Does the selling and moving timeline align with your life, budget and future goals?
If your house takes longer to sell than anticipated, it can delay important opportunities and force you to spend more money on storage fees, temporary housing and more home maintenance.
We mentioned earlier that houses currently sell in less than a month, but the days on market (DOM) can fluctuate based on the season and local market conditions.
Make sure you look at the average DOM for comparable homes in your area.
Home sales peak in the summer months in most locations, but this trend is not universal. Interest rates and home price appreciation could extend your timeline, and current events always play a role.
Social unrest and the rising prices of food, gas and other essentials could delay you from finding a buyer.
You can’t do much to control these factors except prepare your home for the market the best you can and monitor the performances of comparable homes.
Prepare Your Home
You should still prepare your home for the market even if you decide not to sell right now. You technically aren’t required to make any repairs or renovations for buyers, but these changes will increase your home’s value and allow you to pursue a higher price.
Here are some high ROI repairs that can increase your home’s value:
- Clear clutter to visually increase the square footage.
- Improve the home’s air quality with a new HVAC system.
- Clean up your landscaping to boost curb appeal.
- Address minor issues like drafts, leaks, jammed windows, etc.
With these changes, your home will be ready to sell at the most opportune time. Your family home treated you well for years, so it’s only fitting that you return the favor.
Prepare to Part Ways
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to sell your family home, then the answer is probably yes. Do your best to take the emotions and memories out of the equation and look at the situation from a financial perspective.
Watch the housing market and comparable homes closely, estimate your home’s value and determine if the timeline can fit into your schedule and budget.
Even if you decide not to sell, you should still prepare your family home for the market. When the day finally comes, you’ll be more mentally and emotionally prepared for the next steps.