Is Selling Your Home Right Now A Mistake?
Technically, it is spring here (despite our 5" of snow on Friday) and ski season is inevitably coming to an end. This is the time of year that most folks think about listing their Sunday River house as they have used it for one last season.
Sunday River will still be open for another month but once the snow is gone in NH, MA and RI, our tourism slows down and our buyers begin thinking about beaches. So how do you know when to sell?
Ask any real estate agent how our market is and you’re almost sure to get the same answer: “Great!”
Even if the market is great, it still may not be a great time for you to sell. Many real estate agents will tell you that NOW is the right time to sell your home when, in reality, they can’t know that without knowing the specifics of your situation. Before going down a long and stressful journey, let’s first decide if selling your home right now is a mistake.
Here’s how to identify common hang-ups so you can either upgrade your starter condo to a single family home, or move on to your next chapter away from Sunday River:
“What if my home ends up being worth more a year after I sell it?”
Markets are about timing — yours could be on an upswing and selling could mean you’re missing out on receiving more for your home later. However, markets can also just as dramatically swing the other way, just like they did in 2008. The lesson? You can’t really time the market. Instead, focus on easy (and inexpensive) tasks in your control that can help your home sell for more whenever the time is right. Decluttering, painting your rooms neutral colors and even cleaning up your yard can sometimes bring a home’s value up regardless of what the market is doing.
“My friend who’s a real estate agent told me I should sell now.”
What market is your friend in? Boston's market is much different than ours at Sunday River.
Working with close friends and family may not be the best decision. At first thought, it seems like a great idea because they know you, your current situation, and you can (in most cases) trust them. But imagine what it will feel like five months from now when your home is still on the market with zero offers...
Take time to think hard about who you’re hiring to sell your home. If your friend or family member feels like the best decision for you, go for it. Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents.
This can help you screen the ones that may not be the best fit for your personality or even your home (especially if you have a unique property such as a vintage home). Focus your questions on their past experiences selling in your area, how long they’ve worked in your market, how well they know your neighborhood, and if they have worked with sellers who have similarly valued homes to yours. From speaking with several real estate agents (some you already knew and some you didn’t), you’ll also get a sense of how they communicate and if you’ll “click” during what can be a stressful process no matter who helps you.
"Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents."
“I have to make a lot of costly repairs before I can sell my home for as much as I would like.”
Depending on the age of your property, your agent may suggest making a few repairs in order to command the highest price. The extent of repairs needed often has to do with the comparable homes in your area for sale. For example, if there’s a home exactly like yours on the market, but that one has a brand new roof, the agent may suggest replacing yours. But, you don’t necessarily have to make expensive repairs if you don’t want to — you could sell your home as-is. Some buyers like the idea of updating and customizing a property to exactly suit their needs. Others do not want to incur costly repairs on day one.