When is the best time to sell the home you live in?

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When is the best time to sell the home you live in? You’re not going to sell your home because property journalists and commentators are saying that prices are falling. That would be silly. Here are some perfectly sensible reasons to sell your home.

Hankering for a lifestyle change

A little talked about problem with settling into your home and neighbourhood for the longer term is the ho-hum of familiarity. Heading to the same grocery store week after week. Ho-hum. Driving the same route home from visiting family or friends. Ho-hum. Rifling through the junk draw to pull out the same old takeaway menu options. Ho-hum. Walking your dog along one of three different routes. Sigh. Have you been dreaming of a sea change, tree change or mountain top retreat? Maybe now is the best time to sell and open your life up to new experiences.

Your street is full of strangers

Demographic data clearly shows that there are trends in who moves to which areas, and when. At one point in time you may have known several neighbours reasonably well because you were around similar age and backgrounds.  But life comes along and neighbours, for all sorts of reasons, may have since moved on. Knowing your neighbours can contribute to a sense of security and ‘home’. If you feel like a stranger in your ‘hood, perhaps now is the best time to sell and move closer to family or friends.

You have no real ties

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely to be over 55. You may be a parent of adult children who have since packed up their belongings (or some of them at least) and moved out. That terraced half-acre block was probably a brilliant idea when you had a whole bunch of children running around. You may have changed careers and job location, or you may be in the planning stages of retirement from a full-time career. If you no longer have obligations keeping you in your home, now is the best time to sell.

Gardening and maintenance is a pain

Back to that wonderful half-acre landscaped backyard with the high maintenance swimming pool. How’s the maintenance working for you? If your property is getting to an age where maintenance jobs simply never let up, and the gardening upkeep has become a chore rather than a hobby, now might be the best time to sell your home, simplify your life and perhaps even put some cash back into your weekly budget.

You’ve been dreaming about improving lifestyle quality

Do you often find yourself sharing stories of disbelief about how much buyers are prepared to pay for local houses? Imagine if you sold your property. What could it mean for your quality of life, if you could cash in on the capital growth of your home and downsize to a desirable location but one that has a lower median property value? Perhaps now is the best time to sell.

Costs to consider before deciding to relocate

If you’re not feeling significantly restless about moving, in some situations it may be more economical to renovate and stay put, rather than relocate. A commonly thrown around figure for the cost of renovating is 5% of the improved value of your home.  Try this renovation estimator to calculate your renovation budget based on your location.

If you’re thinking about selling, you’ll need to invest some time in calculating and comparing the costs and benefits. If you are turning your planning to your retirement years, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified and experienced financial adviser.

Here are some of the costs you’ll need to consider if you’re thinking about selling, and then buying a home more suited to your lifestyle:

  • preparing your home and garden to attract an optimum sales price
  • real estate agent costs – including commission and marketing fees
  • 10 to 20% deposit for the new property
  • Bridging finance
  • Legal fees
  • Mortgage establishment fee
  • Valuation fees
  • Transfer of title fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Removalist costs
  • Minor to major repairs and maintenance – consider this at both ends.

If you do decide that selling up and moving elsewhere is the best decision to meet your lifestyle goals, speak to your preferred real estate agent about how to optimise your sale price. Seasonally homes for sale present best between February to Easter, and then September to end of November. However, this is also when the market is more competitive so sometimes, depending on the appeal of your property, it can be opportune to list in less seasonal periods.

Calculating the benefits to be gained from relocating

We’ve looked at the costs involved in relocating, but what about the potential benefits?

Last year (2017) CoreLogic released a summary of House value growth performance of the most popular retiree council areas nationally. If you look at the median housing value of many of these popular retirement locations, and compare it with your current median housing value – could you end up with a boost to your retirement funds by selling up and moving?

While there is lots of talk about declining property values, don’t panic and sell. Your reason for selling the home that you live in, needs to be driven by your lifestyle preferences, not by market trends. Of course, if there was high confidence that property values for your area had just hit rock bottom, you may be best to ride it out a while. Ask for qualified advice. The sky isn’t always falling!

More information

REA Australian Property Report July 2018

Photo by Jasper Boer on Unsplash

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