Many home owners look at the decision to sell as a decision influenced by external factors and variables outside a home owners control such as mortgage rates, wether it is a buyers market or a sellers market, and even world events and economics. In reality, when someone asks me if now is a good time to sell, I answer with a question, "That really depends. Do you need to sell?"
There are many reasons to sell; more space, less space, larger yard, no yard, entertain more fiends, increase standard of living, job change, change in family status, kids, more kids, and lastly, moving equity into a market with higher rate of appreciation. You didn't expect that last one, I know. Most of us aren't thinking of that when we start thinking about selling. And THAT is the only one on the list that the question "How's the market?" is an answer to.
The market has little to do with you decision to move in most cases.
Lets say that it is a buyers market and in order to sell you will have to take a 3% hit on your home originally valued around $200K. You sell for $194,000, losing $6,000 when you close. That sounds bad... however, now you are going to turn around and take the equity you do have and put down on your next home which is usually in the same buyers market and more expensive than your last home. Now you receive that same DISCOUNT on your purchase of a home around $300,000, which means you have turned your $6,000 "loss" into a $9,000 gain and are now "up" $3,000 form where you started!
"But wait, there's more..."
If the average appreciation in your market is a conservative 1.5% annually, then the year that you buy and then sell, you change your appreciation from about $3,000 per year to $4,500 per year making an extra $1,500 per year!
A buyers market can be a great time to sell and then buy!
The last 16 years has made many sellers very sensitive to "the market" as we saw the real estate market move up rapidly as consumer bought at the top of the market and then struggle to offload their properties to make a move when they had to. It was the first time in history that the real estate market did not make money over a 10 year period. Over the last several years, it seems that the real estate market has made a strong steady recovery. It will likely shift again over the next five to 10 years and when it does, you will want to have a strong equity position in your home, which is all the more reason to make a move sooner rather than later. The more time you have to pay on the principal on your loan, the better off you will be if a life event forces you to move during a market downturn.
So next time you wonder if now is the right time to sell, take a look in the mirror and ask your self if you need to make a move. If the answer is no, enjoy living in the home you love! However, if you are not in your forever home, or if it is time to make a change, your agent will help you navigate the market and protect your equity while we find the home that fits your needs and wants.