If you’re debating whether now is the right time to sell your home, these 5 questions will help make up your mind.
Many of us put off listing our homes for sale while we wait for the “perfect” time to move. The reality is that the perfect moment will never arrive since property markets are constantly shifting, according to Gerhard Kotzé, the new MD of the RealNet estate agency group. He suggests using a different approach to decide whether selling now would be the best decision for you, your family and your finances.
The following, he says, are some of the most important factors to consider and questions to answer before you decide to sell:
1. Why do you want or need to sell?
Changing circumstances like relocating for work, downsizing for retirement or moving to a bigger home to accommodate a growing family are good reasons to sell. Selling just because you fancy a “change of scene” is not!
2. Are you emotionally ready to sell?
Kotzé says it’s often hard for sellers to detach from their homes because of the associated memories, especially if they have lived there a long time, but that’s what needs to happen before you list, or you may well find yourself wavering half-way through the selling process. “You need to be able to think of this as a business transaction and if you can’t do that, you may want to delay selling for a while.”
3. Do you have a plan for selling?
Having a concrete plan in place that takes into consideration all the possible scenarios that could arise after you list your property is probably the most important part of the selling process. What do you do if you don’t find a buyer? How do you handle multiple offers? What steps will you need to take if your buyer doesn’t get a bond? What if the bank valuation of your property is lower than you thought? These are the types of questions to anticipate and plan for. For inexperienced sellers, working with a professional estate agent will help you to respond appropriately.
4. Are your finances in order?
You need to have a strong understanding of your financial position in order to determine a good time to sell, says Kotzé. “This will also help you develop a plan for after the sale, and where you plan to live next. You need to know how much you still owe the bank, for example, and whether you have enough equity in your property to cover the deposit on a new one. You should check your credit score and find out if you will qualify for a new home loan. And you should also ask your agent to list the various fees involved in selling your home before you decide.”
5. Is the market favourable?
If you have to move for work, you may not have a choice about when to sell, he says, but if you do, it really pays to be aware of buyer demand or lack of demand in your area, so that you can pick a period of high demand when your home is likely to sell more easily. “Your agent should have this information at their fingertips – and also be able to help you set a market-related asking price that will ensure a speedy sale without sacrificing any of your equity.”