As news of rising home prices spreads, more and more homeowners are wondering if now is a good time to sell their house. After all, higher home prices mean bigger profits, right?
Unfortunately, home prices aren’t the only thing you’ll want to think about before listing your home—especially amid a pandemic.
If you’re considering whether now is a good time to sell your house, here’s what you’ll want to factor in:
Buyer demand: Do people want to buy your home?
This one’s a clear yes. Homebuyer demand has surged in recent months, and according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications to purchase a home were up 40% annually in the first week of September.
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Part of this is low mortgage rates, which keep clocking in new, all-time lows, and part of it is pandemic-related. Many renters are looking to get out of cramped, close quarters amid social distancing efforts, and existing homeowners are moving on to bigger properties—often in more suburban areas where space isn’t a premium.
The pandemic: How safe is it to sell your home?
The pandemic naturally creates some new challenges. As a seller, it means opening your personal home to strangers, including ones who may be infected with the virus. It also means enhanced cleaning protocols, which could be burdensome depending on your schedule.
You can offset these risks by being careful about who you let on the property. Only allow buyers with pre-approved mortgages to schedule tours (this ensures they’re serious), and require masks, gloves and other precautionary measures while in the home. Setting up hand sanitizing stations throughout the property can also help.
Competition: Are you up against a lot of other sellers?
This will vary by market, but nationally, housing inventory is way down. Data from Realtor.com shows that national supply has dropped 36% over the year. The nation’s four-month supply of homes is the lowest level seen in 16 years.
This limited inventory, plus the swath of homeowners likely waiting to sell until post-pandemic, could give you the upper hand—both in negotiations and when pricing your property.
Your goals: Are you buying a new home after?
If you’d be selling your home only to buy another, you have some unique considerations to take into account. First is the market’s low mortgage rates. Low rates can allow you to cut costs on a similarly priced property or buy a bigger, more expensive home for the same monthly payment. Either way, it’s a win for your pocketbook.
The downside in today’s environment is the high competition. With so many buyers on the market, finding a home may be more difficult. Additionally, you might pay more for that property once you do.
Consult an expert if you’re not sure
Ultimately, every market is different. If you’re not sure if selling your home is the right move, consider talking to a local real estate agent before moving forward. They’ll have a pulse on area market conditions and can advise you on your unique situation.