It came about gradually, but now every time you walk through your front door, something feels off. It does not feel like the place you are supposed to be anymore.
Maybe clutter is piling up in every corner because your family is outgrowing the space. Your kids are teenagers now and need more room. You or your spouse have a stay-at-home job and need a space to convert into an at-home office.
Or perhaps you have paid off your mortgage and are ready to take advantage of today's housing market. Whatever your reason may be, it is time to find a new home.
But how do you know you are ready? Use this guide to determine everything from when to sell your current home to how to close the deal on your new one.
Any number of reasons may influence your decision to sell your house. If any of these common reasons apply to you, it may be time to consider a move.
Does the thought of enduring another eight-month-long winter fill you with dread? Do you long to move from your hot, southern town to a place with actual seasons? You may want to consider whether sticking it out in the years to come is worth it.
Lack of Space
You may find that your family has grown beyond what you were expecting when you first moved in. Your kids are piled into bunk beds and every foot of floor space seems to be covered in toys, furniture, or clothes. Consider whether it is time for an upgrade.
Change in Lifestyle
Perhaps you have decided that city life just is not for you anymore and want to live in the suburbs or in the country. Or maybe you and your spouse are embarking on a new, minimalistic lifestyle. You may want a smaller place that feels less cluttered.
Changes in lifestyle happen. You may get a new job that requires you to move. Or you may determine that you would like to sell to cash in on a good season in the real estate market.
Consider your reasons for moving and weigh them against the work required. If it seems worth it, then what you will need to know next is when to sell.
Determining When to Sell
There is a seasonal aspect to selling homes. Typically, when you sell in the winter, buyers are not as active. They are consumed with holiday travel, personal engagements, and finishing another year of work.
Additionally, it is harder to get up the motivation to go out and look at houses when it is below freezing. But once May comes along and the winter months melt into spring, you will have a better chance of selling your home.
Remember, too, that your potential buyers are likely to be younger families. With school responsibilities out of the way in the summer, they will have more time to shop for a new home.
If you live in a warm climate, this rule of thumb may still apply to you. But you may find the market picks back up closer to February and March.
Putting Your House on the Market
The first thing you will need to do when you are ready to sell your home is research the housing market in your town. This will help you determine the market value of your house.
Housing markets fluctuate depending on the time of year and the demand. If a lot of people are moving to your city, this could increase the demand for available houses. And the value of your own home could increase as well.
Take a look at other houses that are for sale in your neighborhood to see what they are selling for. Make sure you compare the square footage and location of those houses to your own.
If you are overwhelmed by all that research, a real estate agent can also help you figure out the value of your home. Companies like Hommati can provide you with 3D staging, tours, and aerial footage of your home.
Find a Great Agent
A professional real estate agent walks you through the entire home-selling process. Make sure you look for an agent with experience in your part of town. They should have a record of completed and successful sales that they can reference with you.
The job of the realtor is to help you get the best offer for your house. Before you put your home on the market, they can evaluate the property. Invite them over to see the place and suggest enhancements you can make before you list.
A realtor will know the latest trends in design and appliances, as well as what buyers are looking for. That means that your outdated bathroom may need a little TLC, and your light fixtures may need to be updated.
Make sure you are only investing in your home what you can get back from selling it. Once you have it up to par, your realtor can put it on the market.
Set Your Price Range
If you want to move to a new home in the same part of town, you may be able to use the same realtor who sold your house. But if you across moving across town or to another city entirely, you will need to find another agent.
Of course, the first thing you will probably consider as you look to buy is the price. How much are you willing to pay for your new house? How much can you put toward a down payment?
There are a few factors involved here. One, you may have more flexibility if you have paid off your mortgage. If that is the case, you will get most of what you earn in the sale of your current home.
If you still have a mortgage, that will be put against the earning you make on your house. So, you will not end up with as much money to put toward your new one.
Take the time to really assess your finances and make sure you are looking in a reasonable price range. When in doubt, reach out to your financial planner or someone you trust for advice.
Determine Your Wants and Needs
After you set your price point, consider what you want in your house, which can be a lot of fun.
Have you always wanted a walk-in closet? Are you looking for an extra bedroom to make into an office? Maybe you want your new home to have a den for the kids to play in.
Besides the wants, there are the things you need. For example, three bedrooms for your kids or proximity to a nearby dog park.
Start with your needs and make sure each house you look at checks those off the list. Everything else after that is a great bonus!
Put all these things on a list you can give to your real estate agent. Do not be afraid to list some dreamy items. Even if the houses you visit do not have it all, your agent can help you find spaces you can adapt to fit your wants and needs.
Another enjoyable step in the home-buying process is touring the houses. Typically, if you are able to travel to the house, you can tour them in person. This gives you a great sense of the space, the "feel" of the home as well as whether or not you can see yourself living there.
However, in-person tours may not always be an option, especially with COVD-19 still extremely prominent in our lives. You may have a hectic schedule or the homeowners may not be hosting any open houses.
Thankfully, 3D tours are becoming much more popular. Virtual house tours are a great way to "walk around" a potential home without leaving your own living room. If you are moving across the country, this can be a huge time and money saver.
You can move through each room of the house and get a 360-degree view of the space. The best part? You can tour as many homes as you like without having to set up appointments or deal with travel time.
Making an Offer and Closing the Deal
Once you have found the right home, you have to make an appealing offer. Speak with your real estate agent about what you would like to offer. They can put together an offer letter and submit it to the seller on your behalf.
They can also advise you on how low is too low if you are offering a number below the asking price. If other offers are on the table, your agent may know about that, too. They can suggest competitive counteroffers.
It is important to have a great agent by your side, as in some markets, making offers can get competitive. Your seller may come back with a counteroffer. You will have to consider that with your family and your agent.
Do not feel pressured to buy above your price point. The right house may be worth it. But if you are not sure, there will be other houses to consider in the future.
However, your seller may accept the offer, and if that is the case, your agent with walk you through the paperwork required to close the deal.
Embark on Your Next Adventure
It is a big adventure when you find a new home. There are a lot of details to work out in the process. But with the right knowledge and a great team, it can be a lot less stressful.
When you are ready to begin the process, reach out to Hommati and get in touch with a real estate agent!