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Should I Sell My House? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions.

By Sarah Hordusky

Selling a home is a significant moment in most people’s lives. We make memories inside those four walls. We put our heart and soul into renovations and decorating. Maybe we’ve even become good friends with our neighbors.

But most of us also know that selling a home is an opportunity to make a profit and better align where we live with our lifestyle. After all, it’s pretty rare that people’s first home (or even second) is their “forever home.” In fact, most people move every 13 years.

If you’re already asking yourself, “Should I sell my house?” it’s probably a sign you’re heading in that direction. However, there are a few more questions you can ask yourself to shore up your decision.

  1. What are the Market Conditions?

First and foremost, you want to consider the marketing conditions in your area, meaning you should determine if it’s a buyer or seller’s market. A buyer’s market occurs when demand for a home is low, and supply is high. During a buyer’s market, sellers will likely have to consider lower offers, accept contingencies, and deal with longer times on market.

Conversely, a seller’s market happens when demand for a home is high, and supply is low. During a seller’s market, sellers can often see above-market sale prices, deal with fewer contingencies, and spend less time on market.

For instance, as of October 2022, Erie, Pennsylvania, is still in a red hot seller’s market as more people are looking to buy than homes available. Further, the sale-to-list price ratio is still 100 percent, meaning homes are consistently selling for the asking price or above. Despite interest rates increasing, the median number of days on market in Erie has also been consistently decreasing since January 2020.

Therefore, if you’re a potential seller in Erie and considering the current market condition, know it’s a prime time to sell.

  1. What’s the Season?

For the past two years, the market has been scorching hot, even in the heart of winter. However, there are certainly better seasons than others to sell a home. In fact, selling in the spring or summer can net you thousands of dollars more than selling in fall or winter.

ATTOM Data Solutions found that selling in May, June, and July netted 13.4%, 11.7%, and 11.2% above market value, respectively. After all, buyers with children want to move before the start of the school year. Plus, moving in the winter can be inconvenient, and it's more difficult to judge curb appeal with piles of snow on the ground.

If you’re aiming to get top dollar, you may want to hold out for spring or summer. But honestly, in this red-hot, post-pandemic seller’s market, you could probably sell in the middle of a blizzard and not leave much money on the table.

  1. Can I Handle a Period of Stress?

There’s no sugar coating it: selling a home can be stressful. In fact, 95% of home sellers are stressed by at least some aspect of the process, according to Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report.

First, if you’re currently living in the same home your selling, you’ll need to keep it in tip-top shape for showings. More specifically, you’ll need to declutter each room, clear off all countertops, and remove personal items from shelves and walls (e.g., family photos, religious objects, awards, etc.). These tasks are easier said than done if you have a family with children or live an on-the-go lifestyle. It’s probably why 43% of home sellers stress about it.  

While cleaning the place, you'll also want to do some landscaping to enhance curb appeal and make small repairs to maximize the selling price. According to Zillow's report, making improvements is actually the third most stressful part of moving.

The technical aspects of the sales process can be stressful too. Selling in a specific time frame, making a profit, and timing the sale with purchasing a new home all top Zillow's list of stressors. To simplify the process, sellers should consider hiring a seasoned real estate agent who can align with their needs. They'll handle the open houses and tours, give you ideas on how to maximize offers through simple repairs, and negotiate with buyers on your behalf.

  1. Do I Know Where I’m Going?

If you found the home of your dreams and have the money to make it happen, sometimes you just need to seize the moment. At no time is this truer than now, when some homes are pending within a few days. Plus, you'll have a place to go when your home sells, eliminating the need to find a short-term rental and storage units.

If you have children and pets, the stress of being unsettled can be overwhelming. However, dealing with two mortgages simultaneously can be financially burdensome. For that reason, it's important to consider which path you'd like to take: uncertain and affordable or certain and expensive.

If you have a high tolerance for uncertainty, selling before you buy can be an excellent financial move. If you need to know where you’re going, lock in a sale before you put your house on the market.

Find an Agent to Guide Your Through the Process

The selling process doesn't have to be riddled with stress. When you find the right agent, the journey can actually be enjoyable. If you're considering selling, reach out to me, Sarah Hordusky.