How the year will shape up in the housing market isn’t yet clear, but there are some predictions that things will ease up for homebuyers. We may see interest rates fall and inventory increase.
But just because things could be easier on buyers this year doesn’t mean sellers are necessarily in for a tough time. Indeed, better days could be ahead, as some real estate experts anticipate housing sales to pick up in 2024.
Rather than getting ahead of ourselves with predictions on what prospective sellers can expect in the housing climate in 2024, let’s back up a bit and discuss the signs that indicate it’s time to sell your home — according to real estate agents.
Is your home feeling a little too big lately because your kids just left for college? Or perhaps a bit too small because you just had a baby or took in an ailing parent? It could be time for you to “rightsize” and sell your current home.
This notion tends to come especially into play with retirees, who often downsize to accommodate their new lives and save money.
“Some homeowners may realize they have too much house,” said Leo Peak, a Realtor with Peak Family Real Estate Group in the San Francisco Bay Area. “In these cases, downsizing becomes an attractive choice, sparing [you] the unnecessary upkeep of unused rooms or outdoor yard space.”
Major Life Changes
Peak notes that major life changes are a top reason for homeowners wanting to sell and find homes that better suit their needs and wants.
“Whether their family is growing, the nest is emptying, children are approaching school age or work requires dedicated office space,” Peak said, “these changes often demand a home that evolves with them.”
Inability To Do Major Repairs
Homes age, or sometimes they even come with major fixer-upper responsibilities that are just too cumbersome to handle — even if you thought you could manage them. If you can’t safely muster up the cash to cover big repairs, selling may be your best bet.
“Homeowners … needing significant repairs may also find themselves feeling like it’s time to sell,” Peak said. “Significant repairs like plumbing issues, roof replacement or foundation issues can be daunting and may be something the homeowners cannot afford or don’t want to take on.”
Overwhelmed With Maintenance
It’s not just the possible repairs you have to consider, it’s also the ongoing maintenance — which is basically non-negotiable as a responsible homeowner.
“There are homeowners who may find it difficult to keep up with the regular maintenance of their home,” Peak said. “If [you’re] spending more time mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters, touching up paint, etc., than enjoying [your] home, it may benefit [you] to explore homes that demand less, offering freedom to savor life outside the chores.”
Displeasure With Changing Neighborhood
Another sign it might be time to sell is when your neighborhood is changing in a way that doesn’t please you.
“If unwelcome changes are affecting your quality of life, whether it’s traffic congestion or rising crime rates,” Peak said, “selling may be necessary to move to a new home in a more favorable area.”
Perhaps you started, or are starting, a new job. Or maybe your best friends or family just moved away. Or maybe you’re just interested in living in a different area after years in one spot.
Peak said such desire “often signals a fresh start and selling becomes necessary to transition seamlessly to [your] new chapter.”
Too Long of a Commute
Perhaps you’re just returning to the office after the pandemic and you’re simply fed up with how long it takes to get to work. Or maybe you’re just sick and tired of spending all that money on gas or train fare.
“Let’s face it: No one likes to spend one to two hours each way commuting to work,” said Nadia Khan, a real estate agent and the founder of Nadia Khan Estates at eXp Realty. “It seriously digs into the free time you have where you could be spending it with friends and family.”
If you’re hurting financially, you could relieve the pressure by selling your home.
“For example,” Peak said, “unexpected medical bills, trouble paying a mortgage or even with last year’s rise in inflation, many homeowners felt more squeezed trying to make ends meet.”
“Sometimes it comes down to feeling a need for change,” Peak said. “Not everyone is cut out for the same environment day after day, year after year.
“A homeowner may simply want to explore a different city, take on a new home project to update or find their forever home in their dream location. Whatever it is, selling [your] current home would be the first step towards aligning with their aspirations.”
When the Market Is Favoring Sellers
While the market conditions aren’t always clear, it’s usually fairly easy to assess when it’s the best time to sell and make the most money out of the sale.
“If the market is hot and homes are selling quickly above asking price, this means that the conditions are in your favor as a seller,” Khan said. “These peaks do not last forever, and the ones who sell during these times often walk away with a lot more equity than their counterparts.”
Ready To Cash In
If your home’s value has skyrocketed since you bought it, you may be ready to cash in — a perfectly viable reason to sell.
“If a home’s equity has gone up significantly or [you’re] looking to pad your retirement fund,” Khan said, “cashing in on their investment can be a strategic move to help realize your financial goals.”
More From GOBankingRates