Choos­ing the right time to sell a home

Know the fac­tors to con­sider when its time to move

The Covington News - - SHOWCASE OF HOMES -

Home­own­ers are fully aware of the fluc­tu­at­ing real es­tate mar­ket that’s ex­isted since the turn of the cen­tury. What’s a good mar­ket one day might be bad the very next, mak­ing it even more dif­fi­cult to choose a time to put a home up for sale.

Of­ten adding to that dif­fi­culty is the hand­ful of other vari­ables, such as weather, ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion, and just how many other peo­ple are sell­ing at the same time as you. Those think­ing of putting their home up should con­sider the fol­low­ing fac­tors first.

• Lo­cal econ­omy: If your lo­cal econ­omy is strug­gling, then it’s gen­er­ally a bad time to put your home up for sale. High un­em­ploy­ment rates are one thing, but if a large com­pany with ru­mored lay­offs is in your im­me­di­ate area, chances are peo­ple will be shy­ing away from look­ing for a home. Large pur­chases such as home buy­ing are un­der­stand­ably put on the back burner when peo­ple fear they might be los­ing their jobs.

On the other hand, if a large com­pany is mov­ing into your area and bring­ing with it an en­tirely new work­force, this is great for your lo­cal econ­omy and rep­re­sents a good time to put your home up for sale, as those mi­grat­ing to your area will need a place to live.

In­ter­est rates: This is a no- brainer, but low in­ter­est rates make hous­ing more af­ford­able, cre­at­ing a great op­por­tu­nity for sell­ers. Chances are, if you’re sell­ing a home, you’re also look­ing to buy one, so low in­ter­est rates will not only help you sell your home, but help you bet­ter af­ford to buy your new one as well.

Com­pe­ti­tion: Com­pe­ti­tion can work in two ways. If your home is one of very few in your area on the mar­ket, that’s a good thing, as po­ten­tial buy­ers will be more likely to com­pro­mise if there are fewer choices avail­able to them. How­ever, buy­ers like to com­par­i­son shop as well, and might be quick to make a de­ci­sion if they can com­pare your house to an­other in a sim­i­lar price range.

Pend­ing sales: The pend­ing sales in your area can in­di­cate whether a mar­ket is mov­ing slowly or rapidly. Pend­ing sale refers to homes that have been sold but not yet closed. To de­ter­mine how quickly or slowly a mar­ket is mov­ing, com­pare the num­ber of pend­ing sales to the num­ber of new list­ings. If there are sub­stan­tially more new list­ings than pend­ing sales, the mar­ket’s not mov­ing fast, and it might not be the best time to sell your home. If the ra­tio is closer to 1: 1, then the mar­ket’s do­ing well. In gen­eral, there will al­ways be more new list­ings than pend­ing sales, but the closer the two num­bers are to one an­other will in­di­cate the con­di­tion of the mar­ket you’re about to en­ter.

Sea­son: Tra­di­tion­ally, spring has been the time most sell­ers put their homes on the mar­ket, which makes it one of the more com­pet­i­tive times to sell your home. If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a mild win­ter, you might want to con­sider putting your home on the mar­ket in mid- to late- win­ter. In­ter­est rates will likely be lower around this time, and you’ll face less com­pe­ti­tion as well. If it’s a par­tic­u­larly harsh win­ter, how­ever, this is not a good approach, as buy­ers won’t be out pa­trolling neigh­bor­hoods in two or three feet of snow.

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