Buyers and sellers alike try to anticipate the movement of the real estate market in order to time their purchase or sale. And although home prices for homes that sell in the spring market slightly outperform other times of the year, the truth is that the right time to purchase or sell a home is when you are ready to purchase or sell. One can make an argument for one time of year over another and be correct in all cases. The key is to meet your own timing needs and be comfortable and confident in your decision for the time to buy or sell.
While it’s a good idea to get a feel for the state of the local housing market, be realistic about the selling process. Having realistic expectations for your home sale or purchase will help relieve potential stress. Professional advice you receive may or may not meet your expectations, but be sure your expectations are focused on receiving honest and fair guidance that is aimed at helping you achieve realistic goals. These realistic goals may even exceed your expectations. Expect that your Realtor will not have answers to all questions, especially those outside the scope of their expertise. Do expect that other professionals in peripheral roles will be brought in to address these needs. Relieve yourself of some of the stress of the process by having a confident and trusting relationship with your professional advisors.
Many people go through the real estate process more than once in their lives. Buying a home is a huge investment and buyers may add extra pressure on themselves to find the perfect home. Alternatively selling a home can be very emotional - you’ve put in a lot of effort making it your home with so many memories. It’s important to be in control of the process, feel calm, and focused so rash decisions are not made. Be certain that you and your advisors have done what is necessary and allow the results to unfold in an acceptable manner.
It’s important to know how much the homes in your neighborhood are selling for and the length of time they stayed on the market before selling. This will help pinpoint your home’s value, best position your home to sell, and estimate the time frame for the sale. A Realtor will help guide you through this process. And remember to keep in mind that the price that homes are listed for is most often not their selling price. List prices are good guides to determine your competition, but are not valid indicators of value. See what similar houses have sold for over the past year. Using data that is less than one year may not account for the ebb and flow of seasonal price fluctuations, and using data that is much greater than one year will not account for recent market trends.
While many homeowners purchase for the long term, it is important to remember that you many want to sell at some point. It is important to consider a home’s resale value when looking at prospective homes to purchase. An objectionable feature that you can live with might be something that most buyers won’t live with when you go to sell. If moving forward with such a purchase, be sure that any features that may affect resale are accounted for in the current purchase price.