Are You Gun Shy about Selling Your Home?
by Ed Kunkel Jr., military Veteran and Realtor®
You know that at some point soon, you will have the need to sell your home. You’re not sure when will be the appropriate time to put your home on the market, and you want to make sure that you get the best value for your home when it’s time.
You’re not alone, many potential home sellers are, pardon the expression, ‘gun shy’ about making the move and putting a For Sale sign in their front yard. If you’re waiting for the next ‘boom’ to hit our market, you’re going to be much better off doing business while our markets are seeing a conservative 3-5% growth in value now.
Sell in Winter?
Every year that I have been in business, winter months have always proven to be productive. It’s a common event to see home buyers wanting to find, and be settled in their new home before Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Then, there’s the buyers that wait until January to buy because of the perception that “nobody buys homes in January”, and are looking for a sweet deal. Real Estate sells all year around, and this winter season of 2013 is proving to be no exception to the norm – the market is buzzing with buyer activity, and there’s not enough inventory to keep up with the demand.
So where are you now? Are you sitting in a home that is too big for you, and would rather downsize to save on your energy bill, while using a huge chunk of equity to pay cash for your next home? Or have you outgrown your starter home and are ready to buy something newer and bigger? The longer you wait when the market conditions are ideal now, the more it’s going to cost you as a consumer when you buy your next home. Added to this, you’re paying property taxes that are likely increasing as your home’s value continues to improve.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
It’s truly time for you to weigh your options on what is best for you. If you sell your home, where would you want to move to? Is it within the same area, but a bigger home? What could you benefit from if you had a bigger home? Would it enable you to engage in a hobby you have been putting off? Would an extra bedroom be ideal for your family? What about making improvements on your commuting time, or having the ability to host family gatherings? For my future downsizing clients, what if you could significantly reduce your cost of living by selling your home, and using the equity to pay mostly or all cash for your smaller home that costs less money to manage? What would that do for you? Could you change your budget enough to afford to travel more? Would this change help enable you to retire sooner?
So from pondering these questions, where do you start to make sense of it all? First, do the numbers. Call me (or another Realtor® professional that is an expert in your area) to help you figure out the value of your home. Next, figure out ideally where you want to be when you make this move, and how much realistically it will cost you to buy another home.
Disassociate Yourself with your Home
You have to start helping your mind absorb the idea of selling your home by disassociating yourself with your home. You need to be in the mindset of “this house is a resource that is going to help me move to where I want to be”, your fond memories of raising your family do not add value to the home, your experiences instead add value to your heart – having a grasp of this will help you move on. From there, you have much work to do, but you’re not by any means alone – ask your Realtor® for referrals to help you with this transition. We have contacts to help you with staging, de-cluttering, professional cleaners, roofers, handymen, and much more. To benefit from the best curb appeal and best overall appeal, you can’t be afraid to ask for professional help. It’s always worth it in the end!
Ed Kunkel, Jr. is a Managing Broker/Realtor® at Keller Williams Realty in Olympia, Washington. Visit Ed here. Ed’s Military History: Veteran – U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve; Highest rank, E5; 11 years combined military service.