Few people buy a home and stick with it forever. If your current home doesn’t feel like home anymore - if it doesn’t meet your needs, or if you’re simply ready for a change, don’t hang onto your house until 2021. Here are four reasons to sell your home this year:
Rates Are Low
At the beginning of the year, the average interest rate for a 30 year (fixed-rate) mortgage was 3.72%. Financial professionals estimate that this number will fluctuate a little throughout the year, but that it’ll stabilize at about 3.8%.
3.8% is a fair rate, and the benefits of a reasonable rate are two-fold: Firstly, people are motivated to buy before the rate increases, so you’ll stand a better chance of selling your house. Secondly, if you sell your home this year, you’ll be in the market for a new one, and you can take advantage of the 3.8% rate.
Waves of New Buyers are Entering the Market Right Now
Millennials are entering the real estate market. Homeownership numbers are way down for this generation, partly due to increased cost of living, low wages, and high student loan debt.
84% of millennials dream of owning a home, though, and many early millennials (those in their 30s) are in a position to make that dream a reality. With this wave of first-time homeowners entering the market, sellers with homes in the low-to-mid price range should expect to sell their homes quite quickly this year.
Property Values Have Increased
If you purchased your home more than two years ago, the equity you’ve gained is equal to the mortgage payments you’ve made plus the increase in your home’s value. The increase in your homes value means that you can move to a bigger or nicer house or one in a more desirable neighborhood.
If you sell your home this year, you may end up with the house of your dreams for little-to-no change in your mortgage payments.
2021 May Be Too Late
It’s impossible to predict the future. We know that right now, real estate is a seller’s market, but that could change quickly. With talks of a looming recession, home buyers will likely become much more cautious.
The housing market is already showing signs of a crash. Inflation, a reliable predictor of a real estate crash, is currently quite high at 32%. Another warning sign is the Housing Bubble Bellwether Barometer, an index of homebuilders and mortgage stocks. The HBBB rose exponentially in 2017, just like it did in 2005 (a couple of years before the last recession).
During the last recession, housing prices dropped, and people still weren’t buying.
Selling Your Home
If you decide to sell your home this year, you’ll need to make some other decisions.
Will you sell your home yourself, or will you hire a real estate agent? Hiring a real estate agent has benefits - some buyers feel more comfortable dealing with a licensed agent, realtors have industry knowledge that can facilitate the sale of your house, and they can guide you through the paperwork. But you don’t need a realtor to sell your home. The market is saturated with buyers, and with the internet, your reach is virtually endless. If you’re willing to put in the extra time, you can sell your home without a realtor. If you decide to skip the real estate agent, consider hiring a professional photographer to take attractive photos of your home to lure potential buyers.
Will you renovate, or sell your home as-is? You’ll likely find a buyer either way, but there’s a big market for fixer-uppers. Homebuyers are watching renovation shows on television and thinking, “Hey! I can do that!” Many buyers are on the lookout for a good deal on a house that needs a little TLC, so don’t rush to make cosmetic upgrades.
Whatever path you take towards selling your home, you should start the journey soon. A great new home awaits!
When the time comes, check out our article on packing for a move.