To Sell or Not to Sell? How to Decide

Thoughts of putting your home on the market and moving up, down or out of dodge all together may float through your mind from time to time. These days, there’s extra incentive given the inventory shortage in most regions of the country—some areas are even experiencing bidding wars.

Still, choosing to sell is a big decision—a decision that requires the careful weighing of a variety of factors, both lifestyle and financial. To help sort things out, here are five telling signs that now just might be the time to finally put your home on the market.

  1. You’ve outgrown your space—really. Truly needing more space is about more than an overflowing closet or two. Do you have kids outgrowing shared bedrooms? An in-law moving in? A new virtual work opportunity that requires a home office? These are the life events that really necessitate a bigger home—not the inability to curb one’s shoe-buying habit.
  2. Your neighborhood is booming. While home sales and values are improving at a healthy yet gradual rate on a national level, you may find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a hot market.  Contact your local real estate professional and check out comparable sales. If homes are selling above listing price and you’ve been on the fence about selling for a while, now might be a wise time to take the leap.
  3. You’re letting things go. Remember when home improvement projects and landscaping chores were fun? Well, if that’s a distant memory and your grass is knee-high and the porch railing’s rotting, this may be a sign that you’re ready to move onto a maintenance-free way of life. Realize that the more you let things go around the house, the more money you’ll have to invest to get it ready for market. So honestly evaluate if it’s time for a home that offers a simpler, less work-intensive option.
  4. Your equity is back. Many of us didn’t even consider selling for many years based on the fact that our equity evaporated during the housing crash. But don’t stay stuck in that mindset. Do some research and have your home reappraised. You may find that your equity is back and that selling is an option again.
  5. Your life has changed. An important life change can trump all other reasons to sell your home. Growing or shrinking families, a new job with a new, long commute, retirement, divorce, etc., are cause to seriously consider moving on to a home that makes more sense for life as you now know it. Ultimately, a happy home is one that’s in sync with your current phase of life.