1. Why am I thinking about selling?
Often, the easiest way to decide whether to do something is to establish your motivation. For example, ask yourself why you want to sell your home. Do you want something more spacious or in a different neighbourhood? Do you need to move because of a job relocation or a family situation? Once you have your answer, determine whether selling is a need or a want. Also, be honest with yourself about timing requirements as well.
2. How does selling affect my finances?
One of the biggest mistakes people make when deciding to sell their home is not taking the time to fully understand how it will affect their finances. It is easy to get excited about moving to a bigger house or accepting a job opportunity across the country, but not necessarily crunching numbers with your financial strategist. Be sure to look at all the angles, including home prices (on the selling and buying sides), interest rates (current mortgage versus new mortgage), tax ramifications, insurance premiums, and utility rates, to name a few.
3. Is my home ready to sell?
Another critical factor to consider is whether your home is ready to sell. Has maintenance been done lately? Are there any major repairs that are needed? Will prospective buyers see a home that shines or one that has been neglected and moved on from? If your home isn’t ready, you might want to delay selling until you get things in order. If you don’t, you could risk low offers and delays in closing.
4. Can I rent instead of sell?
If your current home isn’t meeting your needs any longer, and you have decided to move, selling may not be the only option. Many people choose to convert their existing homes into investment properties. Some hold and lease them for many years, and others rent them for just a few years to allow for a down market to recover or for the home to appreciate. Sometimes, this may be a much better long-term financial strategy than selling.
5. Who will help me sell?
Having a trusted professional that can help you navigate the intricacies of selling your home and then buying another one is essential. Don’t rush into choosing a real estate agent or mortgage broker that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Instead, take the time to understand the selling process, weigh any recommendations, and get to know any professional prospects personally.
Deciding whether you should sell your home is a deeply personal choice. There is usually a lot of work involved and some stresses to overcome. There may be sacrifices, as well as benefits, to account for as well. By asking the above questions and formulating some of your own questions, you should be well on your way to making an informed decision for yourself and your family.