You have decided that you want to move. Maybe you need more space, or less space, would like a different location, need a new project, would like to leave your current project, want to move into the city, or out to the country. No matter what your motivation for moving, many people end this train of thought with “Can I afford to sell right now?”
Rather than ending your dream of moving, I would encourage you to spring forward into action by asking yourself: “Can I afford NOT to sell right now?”
Unless you are truly upside down with your current mortgage, now is one of the best times to sell your home and move into the home you have always wanted.
Buyers are waking up. The fall and winter real estate market brings out the serious buyers. Buyers who are “just looking” and think “it might be nice to move” stick to the summer months. Well priced and prepared homes are selling quickly and sometimes even with multiple offers.
Interest rates are still incredibly low! Do you have a 6 or 7% mortgage right now? You can sell your home and buy one with today’s lower rates (often 3.25%-4%.) That means you can buy more house for the money, enabling you to get what you truly want. A $200,000 home with a mortgage payment of $1600/month at a 7% rate, may only have a $1250 monthly payment at a 3.5% rate*.
Competition is low. Home owners who just wanted to put their home on the market to see what would happen, have since left the market. Others are still “waiting until prices go up” even more before putting their homes on the market. Sadly, that means that prices will go up on the homes they want to buy as well. However, this leaves the door wide open for you to sell your home.
Let the others wait and miss out. You know what you want. You are the one with vision and an eye for opportunity. Can you really afford NOT to sell now?
*rates listed are PITI taken from a handy online mortgage calculator. Be sure to check in with your local mortgage broker for the latest and most detailed rate information.
That's right. I said are you having any fun?
OK, call me crazy. I guess I'm just one of those irritatingly cheerful people who like to have fun with whatever mundane task I am tackling. I am guilty of playing loud funky music while I vacuum, singing while doing the dishes, and dabbling in "the dusting game" (my mother's invention – as you may imagine it worked like a charm on me as a child.)
Now I realize that selling your home is not exactly a mundane task. Whether you have chosen to tackle the job on your own or through a Realtor®, you are probably well aware of the imposition that having your home on the market can be on your life.
Why not get organized and have a little fun?
Sometimes organization can be the key to keeping things on the light side and avoiding situations that will surely bring you down.
Make sure everyone in the household knows about scheduled showings.
A centrally located calendar or clipboard will work great. If you are working with a broker, make sure you are both clear on what type of notification you would like for showings. Be flexible! Remember, your goal is to sell your home, not to make potential buyers jump through hoops. If you can accommodate a short notice showing, then by all means do it. Just make sure that everyone in your household is aware so that you will not have any surprises.
Don’t go it alone!
Involve the entire household in maintaining an orderly home. This is one of those critical times when you need them all to pitch in. If more than one person is making the mess, then one person simply can not be responsible for cleaning it up. Remember you are living as if you were on display in a fishbowl. If everyone will be gone to work or school during the day, then make sure the house is picked up before you all go to bed. Mornings can be hectic enough without having to add cleaning to the list.
Get all the dirty dishes at least into the dishwasher.
Wipe down the counters and bathroom vanity.
Put toys away (this goes for grown ups too.)
Keep clothes hanging in the closet or in dressers where they belong.
Maintaining a tidy home is far easier than spending three hours trying to return a disaster area back into a clean home.
Remind your family members that you have a household goal in mind. To sell your home! Look at this as a team effort and when your home sells, the whole team will feel accomplished.
OK, after writing this, it still doesn't sound like that much fun, but it least it doesn't sound that daunting either. Besides, the real fun begins when your home sells…but in the meantime…let’s break out the cleaning music! Anyone up for the dusting game?