Most people don’t up and decide to sell their house on a whim. It’s either an expedient process motivated by a job change, or a longer process that includes a lot of thinking, preparing, and prayer. If you have been on the fence about whether to sell – you’ve been mulling it over, you’ve been considering a different neighborhood, your kids are getting older and you don’t love the school district – I’m here to tell you that if you are debating sooner versus later, the time is now. Right now.
There are several reasons why now is the perfect time to sell your house and make a great deal on it. One of those reasons is because multiple financial experts have been suggesting lately that the red-hot sellers’ market that’s been going on for a few years now is on the precipice of cooling off. I’m not talking another Great Recession or anything – simply that inventory is finally starting to keep pace with demand (rather than barely/not covering it), and the epic returns sellers have been seeing may be in the rear-view mirror by the end of this year.
“It’s definitely still a seller’s market in most of the country. But it’s not the same seller’s market that you saw in the last couple of years,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist. “You might have to think about how your home compares to the competition that buyers are going to see when they’re shopping. And you might have to price a little bit more competitively, or think about other enticements to attract buyers.”
But, like I said, that’s just one factor. The other reasons to sell your home now are positive ones that could only benefit you.
Millennials want homes, and they are turning out in droves to buy their first houses. One of those homes could be your current home. Nearly 5 million Americans will turn 30 in the next two years, and 30 is the age when the average citizen buys their first home. They are settling down, and they yearn for a place to call their own as much as their parents did. And they are hitting a point in their careers where that is something feasible. Millennials will be a driving force in the home-buying sector for quite some time, and that wave is just starting to hit now. And it’s not just first-time buyers who are out on the home hunt. Older millennials are hitting the milestone in life where they’re outgrowing their starter homes and want more room, or something nicer, so you can count on them to show up as well. There are more interested buyers right now, which makes this a great time to put your house on the market.
One of the big factors driving the sellers’ market is scarcity… as I mentioned above, there just haven’t been enough homes for sale for all the people who want to buy, especially in hot neighborhoods. That balance is starting to tip, but not. quite. yet. Right now, if you stick a “for sale” sign on your lawn, there’s still a good chance that you might be one of the only homeowners selling in your neighborhood, which means that someone who wants to buy in has limited choices… buy your home, or wait for something they like better. In any case, your house will stand out. If you wait to sell, you risk having other neighbors putting their homes up for sale alongside yours, putting you in the unfortunate circumstance of having your houses compared and having to price more competitively. Nobody wins in this scenario. It makes sense to sell earlier while you are still the only dog in the race.
Experts have been predicting since mid-last year that interest rates would be rising. They did show some scaling at the end of 2018, but ever since the New Year, something remarkable has been happening… rates are falling, and just last week hit a 12-month low of 4.37 percent. What this means is that it is a great time for buyers, because they can get more house for less interest, and people who have been tentatively holding off on purchasing are, all of the sudden, coming to the table. This means more buyers prowling around out there, including prospective buyers for your house. A rate dip also invites trade-up buyers as well. Once they sell their homes (as many people are taking the hint on, hence this post), they will be looking for a new place to live. This is a situation where both buyers and sellers benefit: sellers want to get a great rate when they move, and buyers also lock in a good rate.
Now is an especially good time to sell if your house is on the lower end of the market. Across the board, THE most-requested homes are those that are starter-friendly, with price tags under $300k. The national median home price is $298,300, and houses that fall below that marker are in hot demand. There is no sense of slowing down in this area, and there are in fact indications that these houses might be in hotter demand than ever before. These houses are the ideal starter homes, which represents a whole section of the market, and they are also great for people downgrading, like empty-nesters. If you live in a small home and are looking to trade up, you might find that you actually get multiple offers right away on your house. And with the great interest rates (see above), now is also a great time for you to buy as well.
These are just a few of the reasons that it makes sense to sell your house now, rather than later. The market cool-down hasn’t yet affected prices, and you still stand to make a handsome profit if you list now. There might be more competition, and house prices might not be flying upwards at the rate that they have in the last seven years, but you still are going to make a good deal if you’ve owned your home for a few years. But do it now, before the climate changes too much. That’s the lesson here.