Wednesday, June 10, 2015 / by Bill Berning*
As a home seller, you might be unsure as to the best time to sell your home if you are planning a move. Deciding when to put your home on the market in advance, can help you to plan your move more easily and can enable you to be successful in the sale of your old home.
If you are planning to move in order to rent or buy a new home and sell the old one, you have to be prepared to deal with a complicated situation that could take months to resolve. Working with a qualified real estate agent can help ease the burden of the process. However, it is also up to you to do the research in advance so that you know what you’ll be getting into.
There is no one perfect time to sell your home when you are planning to move. When you sell your home will depend on your own unique circumstances and financial situation. However, taking the time to consider selling your home in advance can help you to discover when the right time is to sell.
While you may think that you don't need to contact a real estate agent until you are ready to make the move, contacting an agent at least several months before you make a decision to move is your best bet. A real estate agent can help you to work through the process of making your move possible. The first step is to start with research.
Start With Research
The first step of the process should be to research the local market conditions and gather as much data as possible on your own. By involving an agent, you can obtain guidance on whether the current market will allow you to sell at the true market value. In addition, an agent will also be able to guide you on creating a successful marketing plan for your home that is designed to help your home sell quickly.
Unless, there is a major factor that impacts the timing of the sale, such as debt, you should opt to sell your home at a time when favorable market conditions are available for the sale. Your real estate agent may actually recommend that you wait on the sale and rent out home instead in order to get the best possible returns on the sale of your home.
Consider Your Expenses
Determining how the money from the sale will be spent will play a major decision in when you should sell. As a person with significant debts or one that is looking for better options in another city, the timing of your sale can have a big impact on your future.
If you plan to buy a new home in a new area, work with a real estate agent in order to determine just how much money will be needed for a downpayment on a new property. As a homeowner you should really think carefully as to whether buying a new home is in your best interest. For retirees, this picture may depend significantly on your expenses and if you can afford to meet your obligations.
Jane Bryant Quinn of AARP suggests several options for retirees. “You can use part or all of it to buy another house or condo, with or without a mortgage. That pot of money is now tied up. You could tap it at some point in the future, by taking a home equity loan or reverse mortgage, but that probably isn't your plan.” says Quinn. “Alternatively, you can put the proceeds into a mix of bank accounts and mutual funds and tap those savings and investments for rent.”
As advice for all home sellers, you should also plan for temporary housing in the event that your home sells quickly so that you have a place to go. If the selling market in your area is quite competitive, you may want to have your Realtor negotiate with the buyer in order to obtain a longer escrow. This option will give you more time to find a place to move to.
If you are selling your home in order to rent, it is important to keep in mind that rental prices may be on the rise in your new desired location. If you want ensure that you are not priced out of the market before you can sell your home and free up funds for rent, you should discuss your situation with a real estate agent.
Rising rents can also have the reverse impact and actually make it easier for you to sell your property. High rents mean that buyers may reconsider renting and instead want to move in home ownership. "Every time there's an increase, it triggers the decision processes on whether [renters] should go into the market and buy. Getting more buyers into the market, especially first-timers, can help sellers feel more comfortable about their prospects. "It allows others to move up the chain in the market." said Budge Huskey, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
Regardless of the manner in which you do it, selling a home when you are planning to move is stressful. However, working with a real estate agent to develop a solid plan that gives you months to prepare for the sale is the best way to ensure that you are not scrambling to get things in order when the time comes.