“But Bobbi… if I wait just a little longer, then I can get even MORE for my home right?!” This is a question I get from my prospective sellers ALL the time – when is the best time to make the most money? Homeowners often worry… “If I sell now and home values go up… won’t I regret it?”. To be honest, the biggest regrets I see are not related to money but to emotions – either for selling for the wrong reasons or waiting too long and not having a choice. But I know that money matters and that your home is possibly your largest investment – so let’s explore sellers’ remorse from the financial perspective (we’ll hit the emotional one another week!).
To me, the decision to sell your home involves looking at what factors you can control – and which you can’t.
Trying to guess what the housing market will do is like trying to time the stock market. When will rates rise? When will prices drop? Much like stocks, very educated people can make very educated guesses – and get some very big surprises. Since you can’t control other variables of the market, look at the ones that matter to YOU: how much could you sell your home for today… and would it provide the down payment for where you want to go next? Do the current rates offer the amount of purchasing power you need? The answer to these questions is far more useful than asking yourself ‘What if rates/prices/inventory levels rise next year?” or “Will my income rise with the price of the home I want to buy?”.
Most people aren’t selling just to SELL… but to get somewhere. Maybe that is the same area but in a bigger home. Maybe it is in a retirement community. Maybe it’s in mansion in another state. If you are waiting for the value of your home to go up… what could that mean for your next stop? If you wait to make more money on your home, can you still afford the price increase that comes with your next desired home? Could the senior living community you hope to live in become full? The options you have today may or may not exist if you wait, so if the numbers work now – waiting could also mean losing the peace of mind that your plan can come to fruition later.
Are you willing to deal with the consequences of waiting? What if life happens when the market drops and you have to sell low for a job relocation? What if the market rises after you have bought your dream home… but you still ended up exactly where you wanted to be? It’s all about perspective. The remorse that you are worried about today will feel very insignificant compared to the other ups and downs that life has to offer. Always consider what you can and want to live with today. I have yet to meet a seller who regretted doing what was right for them at the time … but I have met many who regretted not doing what they could while they could do it!
Article Inspired By: Afraid of Selling Your Home Too Soon—and Missing Out on Tons of Cash?
All my best,
Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/