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Business & Merchant

 

By Roger Dolanch, Broker, Owner, CENTURY 21

How do you decide if the time is right to sell your home?

To maximize your sale proceeds by trying to know the exact moment when interest rates are low and buyer demand is high is too idealistic. If everyone had the ability to see exactly when home values are at their peak, we'd all be millionaires. The decision regarding when to sell is more often based on a variety of factors that include both financial and emotional considerations. While it's important to pay attention to market conditions, keep in mind that the choice about when to buy or sell is completely up to you, your family and oftentimes circumstances.

There are many reasons to sell a home at any given time. Some of the obvious reasons include a growing or shrinking family that changes the amount of space you need. Outgrowing your first home is just as natural as wanting to downsize once the children have flown the nest. A job change or retirement can also trigger the desire to move. Some people simply want to move closer (or further away) from work, friends or family. When the household income decreases due to loss of employment, divorce or death of a family member, a decrease in living expenses is called for. Other times the opposite is true. A new marriage, a new child on the way, or a significant increase in the household income often leads to the desire to buy a bigger, better home.

Once you have decided that you want to sell your home, the next step involves a little research. One can't help but wonder, "What's the most amount of money I can get for this place?" After all, you don't want to lose any potential earnings. However, you know you must also be realistic because you don't want to scare aware any potential buyers either.

It's time to call in the pros. Contact your CENTURY 21 Frontier Realty professional REALTOR®. They will review recent sales prices of comparable homes in your community. They can explain current local market conditions and help you establish a marketable list price. Pay careful attention to any seller contributions made by those other sellers of properties similar to yours.

Example: A house sold for $200,000, but the seller contributed 6% to their buyers' closing costs. That meant that the seller actually netted only $188,000 before other closing costs were subtracted. Your REALTOR® will be able to give you a reasonable expectation of how long it may take to sell. They will also provide you with an estimate of your proceeds from the sale that lists your closing costs. Remember to subtract any mortgages or equity lines so that you can plan your next move.  Many sellers opt to put their homes on the market in the spring because that's when historically more buyers are looking. Today you can choose to sell at any time of year. If your home attracts families and is in a sought-after school district, you are just as likely to get offers in the summer or early fall as in the spring because buyers want to settle in before school starts. On the other hand, if your home appeals to young professionals or empty-nesters, the school calendar is meaningless.

Another important element in determining when to list your home is its condition. Once again, your REALTOR® may provide some staging advice to help you maximize your return. You will need time to make repairs and improvements, to deep clean your home and to clear away many of your possessions. If you have a large, disorganized home with overflowing closets and a garage with no space for a car, you may need weeks or even months before you're ready to put your home on the market.

It's extremely important to recognize that today's buyers have high expectations of your home's condition, so don't expect to be able to work on your home after it's listed. Your home should be priced correctly and be in prime condition on the first day you offer it to the public in order to sell quickly and for the best possible price.

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