Most of us don’t plan on living in our homes forever, but knowing when to put that puppy on the market can be tougher than it seems. You have a relationship with your home and like the Neil Sedaka song – breaking up is hard to do…
Sometimes, life changes make it obvious: You’re getting relocated to another state, you have twins and it’s clear that one bedroom isn’t going to work, or you suffer some sort of financial hardship that makes keeping the home impossible. So how do you know when it’s time to move on? Our friends at Realtor.com came up with 6 great telltale signs that we’ve expanded on:
1. You’re feeling cramped, and you can’t add on
There can be all sorts of examples of your household suddenly growing – parents having to move in with you, those twins we spoke of above, kids moving back home from college (this is a common one for our friends), you’ve started working from home and you need a separate office.
One option might be to finish an attic or basement, add another room, or even add a whole story to your home. But, of course, that won’t work for everyone. To decide which route to take, check your local building laws and get estimates from two or three contractors. Sometimes adding on won’t increase the value of a home, and you don’t want to make big-time improvements that will bring only a small-time return on your investment.
2. You have too much space
On the other hand, perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by vacant rooms and silence. Empty Nesters unite! (That’s us haha) It just doesn’t make any sense to have 4 bedrooms and 4 bathroom any longer, and the yard is too big to keep up, and you’re having trouble getting up the stairs to that second story.
Our kids have made it clear that saying goodbye to the family home will be difficult, but at some point our home just won’t make any sense. Unless of course, they want to pay for the electric bill…
3. You’re over the neighborhood
Have a feud going on in the neighborhood that is making life unbearable? Or the neighbor’s dog’s barking is causing you serious loss of sleep, or the HOA just made some unreasonable ruling that is killing your dream backyard remodel.
There can be all sorts of reasons why you’re just done with the area you live in, and one day you wake up and it’s time to go…
4. Remodeling won’t offer a return on your investment
Giving your kitchen or bathroom a face-lift can make your house feel like new again, which might be all you need to decide you want to stay put for years. But that doesn’t mean it’s a financially sound decision.
This really applies if your home is already at the highest price point for similar homes in your area. This could make remodeling a bad idea and you should consider selling it instead.
5. You can afford to sell
Remember, it could very well take some money upfront for you to make money when you actually sell your home, so you need to make sure you have the funds available to prepare your home for sale.
Most sellers need to make some minor improvements such as painting, landscaping, or updating flooring to get a good price on their home. Those costs will come out of your pocket at first, so it’s a good idea to have a cushion before you start.
6. You’re ready to compete
With the Sellers market we have been in (and will continue in for the foreseeable future) it is enticing to offload your home while the market is high. Just remember, if you’re going to be a buyer too then you need to remember that your new home is going to be expensive as well.
There is a good chance your home will sell very quickly if it is in great shape in a great neighborhood, but we’re in a bidding war for homes in great shape in great neighborhoods too. Just keep that in mind – it’s one of the reasons inventory is so short!
Just remember that the best way to make an informed decision is to talk to your Realtor, so if you are considering selling in the next 12 months, contact Carol Sawdey now to discuss your options and explore cost-effective improvements that will increase your home’s value when you do decide to sell.