How Do You Know When to Sell Your Home?
In many real estate markets, inventory is low, putting sellers in the driver’s seat again. But how do you know when to sell your home?
We all know about buyer’s remorse. And when that happens, you can usually get out of a contract through contingencies or other out clauses.
But if you start to feel seller’s remorse, you don’t have that luxury. So you’d better be sure you’re ready to sell before you sign the contract. Or, better yet, before you list the property.
To avoid seller’s remorse, keep these strategies in mind.
1. You need a solid pricing strategy
Pricing is the most important discussion you, as a seller, can have with your agent. When you don’t agree on pricing strategy, raise it as a red flag from the get-go. If you find yourself resisting your agent’s suggested price, talk through the options or get a second opinion.
As for strategies: You could start out with a higher number. Your agent might not agree, but it can be worth a shot. If there’s no activity in the first few weeks, you can always reduce the price.
Alternatively, sellers who increase their asking price after the home has gone on the market are often seen as frenetic, lacking a strategy and having a clear disconnect with their agent.
2. Have a plan for what happens after the sale
After a failed attempt six months earlier, the sellers of an Essex, CT home heard the market there was hot, and that they could get the price they had previously tried to get. They’d already done the appropriate clearing out, painting, and repairs and even had the property inspected. So, for them, going on the market was easy.
To their surprise, they received three offers, all above the asking price, within hours of their first open house. The buyers they chose wanted to close in 30 days. But the sellers had nowhere to go. They didn’t have a plan.
Regardless of how hot your market is, don’t jump in until you have plans for all possible outcomes—including the need to move quickly.
3. Be ready to negotiate
Feeling strong and in the driver’s seat, the Essex homeowners decided to wait and see if they could get terms that would suit them better. The sellers’ listing agent negotiated a quick close with a 30-day-free rent-back and another 30 days rent, in which the sellers would pay the new buyer’s PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance). It was a win-win for all.
While the Essex couple had the luxury of a competitive bidding situation, it may not always be the case. So, along with having a clear plan in place for all conceivable outcomes, be willing to negotiate, too.
4. When in doubt, stay out
If you have any doubts about your physical or financial situation, hold off on listing. Watch from the sidelines and only jump in when you’re truly ready. The biggest mistake a seller can make is to go on the market and fail to sell at a time when everything else is selling.