Most people don’t plan on living in their first (or second or maybe even third) home forever, but knowing when the time is right to put your home on the market can be difficult. Without a pressing reason such as a major life change confronting you, knowing when to sell your house can be tricky. Here, realtor.com lists 6 reasons that will help you know when it’s time to let go.
1. You’re feeling cramped
Even if your family is not growing, your lifestyle still might not fit in your current house. For example, if you’ve started working from home, you’ve adopted a few pets or you have a dream of owning a hobby room, your house might be too small. Before you jump to conclusions, however, see if you can pare down your possessions to free up some space.
Another option might be to finish an attic or basement, add another room or even add an entire story to your home. But, of course, that won’t work for everyone, especially if your property isn’t large enough or your municipality doesn’t allow it. In that case, moving to a bigger home may be your best option.
To decide which route to take, check your local building laws and get estimates from two or three contractors. You also might want to check with your Realtor. Sometimes adding on won’t increase the value of a home, and you don’t want to make significant improvements that will bring only a small return on your investment.
2. You have too much space
On the other hand, perhaps you’ve recently become an empty nester and are feeling overwhelmed by vacant rooms and silence. In this scenario, it no longer makes sense to have four bedrooms and a basement, for example.
While saying goodbye to a family home can be difficult, you should consider how feasible it is to stay. If yard work and house upkeep are getting to be a little too much or soaring utility bills are cramping your style, it might make more sense to move.
3. You’re over the neighborhood
Maybe you can no longer deal with the stringent rules of your homeowner’s association, or perhaps your neighbors turned their house into a rental for undesirable tenants. Whatever the reason, neighborhood dynamics can change dramatically during time.
And sometimes, you can change. Maybe the 40-minute commute to work didn’t seem like such a big deal the first few years, but now you’re dreading it every day. Or your kids are getting older, which can be a big problem if you’re not in the right location to benefit their education.
4. Remodeling won’t offer a return on your investment
Giving your kitchen or bathroom a face-lift can make your house feel new again, and that might be all you need to decide to stay put for years. But that doesn’t mean it’s a financially sound decision. Before making big improvements, study the area and know the highest price point of your neighborhood.
If your home is already similar in style and condition of some of the priciest homes in the neighborhood, remodeling might not be a good idea and you should consider selling instead.
5. When you can afford to sell
Before you consider selling, 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
If you’re living in a seller’s market, you might be enticed to offload your home before things go cool. But don’t forget—once you sell, you’ll probably be a buyer, too.
If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but keep in mind the home you buy also will be more expensive. If you’re going to get out there, make sure you’re ready to compete.