Am I ready to sell my home? It’s a question that many ask themselves, especially as they see real estate prices rising and houses all around them selling quickly. While selling your home is a deeply personal decision, there certainly are criteria that the situation should ideally meet before a home sale becomes a possibility. Knowing those criteria and how your personal finances fit into them is a good way to decide if selling is actually right for you. Once you know the basics, you can apply a bit of simple logic and math to figure out whether or not it’s time to list your home.
Am I ready to sell my home?
To be fair, the idea of there being a single right time to sell a home isn’t really feasible. Every person has specific needs that will trigger the sale of a home, and some will have to sell even if the conditions are not ideal. If you want to sell your home, though, there is a bit of information you might want to consider before going to an agent. You will need to know how much your house is actually worth, how much equity you have in it, and what you’ll need to do to your home to make it ready for buyers.
Knowing how much your home is worth
One of the most important things you’ll need to do before selling your home is to figure out how much it is worth. After all, you shouldn’t sell a home if you won’t actually be able to pay off your mortgage, and in some cases it may be better to wait for homes in your own area to be worth more before you decide to sell. As such, you need to do some research before you have it listed.
Your starting point should always be with the initial value of your home. How much was it worth when you bought it? Due to numerous reasons, you should probably expect that the value of your home in Phoenix has risen compared to where it was in the past, but that’s not always the case. You’ll need to take a look at a number of factors to determine how much your home is actually worth today.
We also have a free tool available to give you a pretty good estimate of your home’s value. You’ll want to follow up with a real estate agent afterwards, but this tool is a great place to start to see which price range your home could potentially sell for based on recent home sales in your area. Click the banner below to try it out!
How much equity you need in a home
The next major question you should ask is “How much equity should I have in my home before selling?” This is actually a tough question because there is no one-size-fits-all answer here. The typical answer is that you should have enough equity that it will cover your next down payment, but that’s not always the case for every seller. In fact, there are good arguments to be made that you should sell your home without any real equity at all if that’s what’s going to help you to make your next step in life.
Equity can be calculated as the value of your home less the total of any loans you have out against it. If you have a three hundred thousand dollar home and have a two-hundred fifty thousand dollar mortgage payoff, you have about fifty thousand dollars in equity. Typically speaking, the best sales occur when you have the most equity so that the bulk of the sales money returns to your pocket instead of to the lender. Unfortunately, you can’t always guarantee that you have enough equity in your home when you need to move.
The best answer here might be determining if waiting to sell your home will make a huge difference in the amount of equity you’ll have once the sale occurs. If you know that you’ll pay off a huge portion of your mortgage in the next few months, you might want to wait until that point to list your home. The more equity you have, the more profitable your sale will potentially be and the more easily you’ll be able to move forward into the next stage of your life.
Preparations to sell
Beyond questions of whether or not you are financially ready to sell, you need to know if your home is actually ready to be shown on the market. Selling a home is very much a time when first impressions mean everything, so you’ll want to put a significant amount of work into making sure that your home is in its best possible shape. In some circumstances, this means taking care of major internal and external issues that you may have lived with for years. In other circumstances, though, it just means changing things around so that your home is more presentable to buyers.
At a minimum, you want your home to be a place where others can imagine themselves. This means packing away anything that has too much of your own personality in favor of items that present a neutral background. Your potential buyer needs to be able to see themselves in the space. This might mean painting the walls or removing certain pieces of furniture, but doing so really will make your home look like a more inviting space. If it still looks very much like it belongs to you, it may not be ready for the open market.
Painting your walls a neutral color gives the home a more inviting look and appeals to more buyers.
You should also wait until you know that your home can be clean and tidy. This means getting all the trash out, cleaning the floors and carpets, and finally getting your garage organized. Your home is only ready to be sold when it can be seen in the best possible light. If you can’t put in the time (or money) to make sure that it is clean, you simply cannot expect that you’ll be able to successfully sell your home. As such, you’ll need to dedicate your house to getting sale-ready long before you actually have your home listed.
Are you ready to sell your home? If the price is right and you have time to do the work, you might want to consider listing your house. The Phoenix market is still hot, so it’s as good a time as ever to start thinking about what you want to do next. When you’re finally ready to sell, don’t try to do it all alone. Contact CENTURY21 Northwest for a home evaluation and to discuss whether or not it’s time to sell your home.