Have you been trying to decide whether to sell your home now…or wait?
As you know, deciding on when to sell your home now or to wait is an age-old question. One that must be answered before you can move forward, whether that means selling now or waiting for a better time to sell.
So exactly what does “waiting for a better time to sell” really mean?
When is that elusive better time to sell? Is it next month, next year…when?
Do you know?
If you don’t, you are not alone. This is a common struggle and one every homeowner faces once the thought of moving becomes a possibility. And unfortunately, the answer isn’t cut and dry. How, then, do you determine the best time to sell your home? Well, that’s what we are about to discuss.
The 2019 Housing Market Predictions—Who to Believe?
If you have been thinking about selling your home, you’ve no doubt seen all the media outlets predicting total doom and gloom for 2019. But that’s not unusual. That’s what the media does. In fact, if you remember, that’s what they said about 2018, but, of course, it didn’t happen. The media historically sensationalizes EVERYTHING! Why? Because that is how they get ratings. Sad but true.
Therefore, don’t pay too much attention to what the media is saying about a housing bubble. It is best to do your own research and listen to what those in the real estate industry have to say. They’re the professionals who are in the trenches daily and know the housing market and its trends better than anyone else.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, there is the question about whether or not you are actually ready to sell your home.
Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?
It might be an easy decision for you to go ahead and sell your home; however, if you are not actually ready to sell it then technically nothing else matters. So let’s take a look at a few different ways to determine if you are truly ready and able to sell your home now.
➣ Are You Emotionally Ready to Sell?
Selling the home where you have lived for a while can be emotionally draining, especially if you are not mentally prepared for what’s to come. Your home probably has many family memories or you might have put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it to make that home just the way you like it. And that’s great! But…that should not stop you from moving on when the time is right. Memories are just that—memories, which are things that should be remembered and cherished throughout your life. Now it’s time to make new memories! In addition, your new house might already be the way you like it. It might even be better—different, but better. Just make sure you tell your real estate agent exactly what you want and need in a new home and he/she will do everything in their power to find a house that has as many of those wants and needs as possible.
So keep an open mind and remember—change can be good.
➣ Do You Have Equity in Your home?
Unless you have equity in your home, selling is not always the best way to go unless you have to sell that home to avoid a foreclosure or bankruptcy. However, home prices have been on the rise the last few years. So contact your real estate agent before you assume you don’t have enough equity in your home to sell. Additionally, if you don’t have equity in your home, your real estate agent could be the one factor that could get you into a new home even if you think it’s not possible.
➣ Evaluate Your Current Debt and Available Savings
Before deciding whether now is a good time to sell, you need to get your financial house in order. Are you out of debt with cash in the bank? You should only have a minimal amount of debt, money in your savings account for a down payment, with enough money left over for incidentals such as preventive home maintenance, major repairs, a job loss, or medical issue, etc. If you don’t, you might still be able to buy a new home. You will just need to look for one that cost less than what you’re paying on your current mortgage and, who knows, you might even have enough money left over from the sale of your current home to pay off some of that debt and/or put money in the bank. And, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, there are assistance programs available for things like the down payment, etc. if you qualify.
➣ Are You Willing to Do What’s Necessary to Sell Your Home?
Yes, your real estate agent will do all the work to sell your home, but preparing your home for the sale, being able to show your home to prospective buyers at a moments notice, negotiating, potentially dealing with negative feedback about your home, then moving once it’s sold is emotionally draining. All of this will take time and effort on your part, especially if you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.
OK, great! Now it’s time to decide if 2019 is the best time to sell or if it’s better to wait.
Should You Sell Your Home in 2019… or Wait?
As you know, the interest rates have been rising, but the Fed has put a hold on raising the interest rates further, at least for now. And, even though the interest rates have gone up several times over the last few years, they are still lower than they have been in more than eight years. Don’t count on the interest rates going back down to what they were a few years ago, if ever. In addition, the temporary freeze on interest rate hikes probably won’t last.
So, here are a few things to consider that will help you decide whether now is the right time to sell.
1. Weighing What You Do Know Versus What You Don’t Know
Take a moment to think about what you do know versus what you don’t know.
- You know the interest rates are still historically low. You might not know that interest rates were at an all-time high of almost 19% in 1981. Yikes!
- You know the interest rates have been rising for the last two years. Interest rates were at an all-time low hovering around 3% as recently as 2012.
- You know the interest rates have been predicted to continue rising for the next few years. As of right now, interest rates are projected to rise somewhere between 4.8% to 5.03% in 2019.
- You know the housing market is doing better than it has in a very long time.
- You know the sale price of homes has risen significantly over the last two years.
- You know the sale price of homes has been predicted to continue to rise in 2019; although, not as much or as fast as the last two years.
- You know the higher interest rates have not slowed down the home buying trend. In fact, it has actually made it better because buyers are buying now rather than waiting in fear of having to pay higher interest rates if they wait.
- You know a housing bubble could change everything in the blink of an eye. Which means you would have a harder time selling your home and buying a new one if that was even possible at all.
What does all this mean? Well, it means the facts are the facts, which is proof positive the housing market is still hot.
It also means you don’t know what you don’t know, which is if, when, and how quickly things could take a turn for the worst.
The bottom line is…
Making decisions and acting on what you do know is better and much safer in the long run than trying to guess, anticipate, and make decisions based on things you don’t know, which is what might happen in the future…or not.
In this case, the facts point to selling now as being the right way to go versus waiting and having to deal with higher interest rates—or worse.
2. Housing Inventory Is Still Low and Millennial Buying Is Increasing
Even with interest rates rising, housing inventory is still low and there are new buyers entering the market all the time. Millennials (ages 18-34) are now the largest share of the home buyer market. Most millennials are first-time homebuyers with a median household income of more than $88,000 and are now ready and able to buy their first home.
3. Selling in 2019 Versus Waiting Until 2020 or Beyond
We talked about predictions a moment ago and even though we don’t recommend deciding whether or not to sell your home based on predictions, you do need to look at those predictions and use a little common sense. So first let’s go over some of the reasons you might want to go ahead and sell your home now.
The Best Reasons to Sell Your Home in 2019
When deciding to sell your home now, you basically know what you’re working with. All the positive trends in the housing market over the last few years are predicted to continue through 2019. Therefore, selling your home now versus waiting is probably the better way to go because, at least for now, you have options. The housing market is strong, interest rates are still affordable, inventory is still low, and new buyers are entering the market all the time.
Another thing to consider is that as more time passes, the more likely it is you will have to put more money into your home. So if you plan to live in that house for a very long time, putting more money into is acceptable. However, if you are already outgrowing that house, or just want a change, that same money would be better spent on a house that’s more suitable for you in the long term.
If you choose to put off selling your home, that’s when the unknown could come into play. The interest rates are at some point (probably sooner rather than later) going to continue rising making it harder to sell your home. And if that happens, there’s a good chance home prices will drop to compensate for the higher interest rates.
If you live in high cost of living state, moving to a more affordable state like Florida could be just what you need. Florida’s doesn’t have a state income tax and comes with other cost-saving benefits as well. That means you could sell your home and move to Lakeland, Florida, so potentially you could pay cash for your new home and still have money left in your pocket to invest, travel, add to your kids’ college fund, or whatever else you want to do with it.
Lakeland, Florida is centrally located close to all the major attractions and has beautiful beaches in every direction. In addition, Realtor.com’s economic team has predicted the Lakeland market is going to thrive in 2019. And, the Lakeland economy is strong and poised to grow because of the number of affordable homes available, among other things.
What If You Wait to Sell Your Home?
Well, there is always the possibility everything could change in the blink of an eye. The housing bubble predictions could come to pass. The stock market could crash, a world event could occur…anything could happen. The unknown is always unknown. Which means you have nothing to lose by selling now. But if you wait, there’s always that possibility, as we mentioned above, that anything could happen, and if it does you might not be able to buy or sell. So why take that chance?
If you would like a free home valuation and/or market comparison Contact Us today. We would love to show you all your options. Anything is possible…all you have to do is call 863-619-6918 or message us.
Other Valuable Resources for Selling Your Home
What are Seller Concessions and How Do They Work? – Michelle Gibson
What Are Closing Costs Credits in a Real Estate Offer – Bill Gassett
How to Give Home Staging a Cozy and Authentic Feel – Danny Margagliano
About the author: The above real estate article “Why Should I Sell My Home This Year?” was written by Petra Norris of Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. With over 20 years of combined experience of selling or buying, she would love to share her knowledge and expertise. Petra can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 863-712-4207
Are you thinking of selling your home? I would love to share my marketing expertise of our latest marketing techniques with you.