In 2019, more than five million existing homes were sold. If you’re considering joining the number of homes sold in 2020 or 2021, you likely aren’t sure if now is the best time. This is understandable. The world has seen many significant shifts this year, thanks mainly to the pandemic. What has been considered desirable to homebuyers over the last decade or so isn’t relevant anymore? New considerations have emerged, and home sellers aren’t sure where they stand. Is now a good time to sell your house? The answer will likely surprise you. Continue reading to learn if now is a good time to sell, as well as reasons you may want to wait.
Now Is a Good Time to Sell – With Exceptions
For the most part, now is the perfect time to sell your home. This statement is supported by the fact that prices are up, mortgages are down, and there aren’t enough homes to fulfill buyer demand. All of this is discussed more in-depth below. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. If one of the three following situations applies to you, it’s best to wait to sell your home.
Wait to Sell if You’re in the Pandemic’s High-Risk Category
It doesn’t matter how great the current market is if you’d be placing your health at risk. While the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to everyone, certain people in high-risk categories need to be safer than others. At-risk populations include seniors over the age of 65, as well as pregnant or recently postpartum women. Anyone with a preexisting condition or who is or recently has been on medication that suppresses your immune system also shouldn’t sell your home now.
Selling a home means allowing strangers inside who may or may not be carrying the viruses. Allowing this risk at home means even healthy people will need to take serious precautions.
If You’re Generally Healthy…
If you’re generally healthy, it’s fine to decide you still want to sell your home despite the pandemic. However, you must take every possible precaution to keep yourself and your family safe.
A few basic guidelines include:
- Only allowing pre-approved people to tour your home
- Requiring masks and gloves for everyone entering the home
- Allowing only one or two people inside at a time (and not allowing children to attend)
- Having all your household members (save one or two) stay in a specific room or take a ride in the car during a viewing
- Wear a mask and gloves yourself
Wait to Sell if Your Home Is Small
Smaller homes simply aren’t in demand right now. After spending considerable time inside, more people are choosing to scale up. This doesn’t mean, however, smaller homes won’t become desirable in the future. If your home is small, you won’t likely get a fair offer on it in this current market. It’s best to hold off a little while, if you can, and wait for the demand for these properties to grow.
You Might Want to Wait if Your Home Is in an Urban Area
This isn’t all-inclusive, as some urban areas still have thriving housing markets. In many cases, however, people are choosing to sell their homes in the city and move to the suburbs. The pandemic is the reason behind this. People want to go where there are fewer people but still access to the things they’ll need. The suburbs, of course, is an ideal place.
However, before you decide based on this cautionary statement, it’s advised you research your local housing market. You may find your urban area isn’t selling well, or you may find it’s selling fine. If in doubt, consult a local real estate agent to be sure.
Homebuyer’s Want to Buy Now
The good news for most people is homebuyers want to buy now. The demand for homes has increased in recent months and is expected to continue growing. According to the National Association of Realtors, demand for homes was up forty percent in September compared to the previous year.
What does this mean for you?
It means more people than ever are looking to purchase a home. With a broader market, your home isn’t only more likely to sell fast but also at or above your asking price. Bidding wars are also more common when the buying market is high.
Mortgage Rates Are at a Low
Mortgage rates on new loans are continuing to clock in at all-time lows. Interest rates are lower now than in a long time, which many are trying to take advantage of. Forecasts are uncertain but seem optimistic that rates will stay low for quite some time.
Home Inventory Remains Low
Housing inventory has been too low to meet market demands for quite some time. But, now they’re reaching an all-time low. It was reported in June that housing inventory was 27 percent lower than a year earlier. When this is combined with a growing market of homebuyers, your chances of selling skyrocket. People are more willing to compromise on what they’re looking for when presented with fewer options.
This also means now is the perfect time to sell your house as-is without putting any considerable money into it. Buyers are more likely to be willing to invest a little money into a home or property when their options are limited.
Home Prices Continue Rising
During the first quarter of 2020, home prices rose a little less than eight percent. This is excellent news for anyone looking to sell their home. Rising home prices contribute to an ability to get your asking price, or even more. When other homes are priced higher, you can raise your asking price to keep up with the market.
Of course, the exact price you’ll get for your home depends on many factors. A few things to consider when pricing your home include:
- Where your home is located
- The age of your home
- The age of your roof
- What updates or repairs have been done on your home in the last 10-15 years
- The size of your home
- The amount of property your home sits on
- What desirable features your home is equipped with
- The overall condition of your home
If you’re not sure how to price your home in this market, the best thing you can do is speak to a real estate agent. They can help you set a price that will make you happy and help your home sell quickly.
Home Buyer Needs Have Changed
The current buyer’s market is different than what we’ve seen over the last decade or so. Previously, many people were looking for homes in urban or suburban areas that were smaller in size. Buyers were looking for homes without dining rooms and with small to moderately sized yards.
The reasons for this were abundant. Yards, for example, require substantial upkeep. Many were deciding they were either too busy to keep up on more extensive lawns or that they simply didn’t want to deal with it. Dining rooms were decided to be obsolete, and eat-in kitchens mostly took their place.
The Pandemic Changed Things
Housing needs and wants have seen a significant shift since the COVID-19 pandemic. After spending months stuck inside, many people have decided they want to scale up their homes. They’re looking for more livable space. This is especially true for families, who likely want more room to spread out. Families wish for bigger living areas, more bedrooms, and larger yards. With many people working remotely, home offices have come into high demand. Homes with spare bedrooms, dens, or basements that could be converted into home offices are also highly desirable to the modern homebuyer’s market.
With all this free time, people have decided dealing with the maintenance a larger yard requires isn’t so bad. They want an outdoor space where they can freely spend time – without having to wear a mask or worrying about others potentially being infected. Certain luxury home features are also being searched for by homebuyers in the upper-income ranges. Outdoor kitchens, pools, home gyms, and larger car garages are all back in style.
Is It a Good Time to Sell a House? It Depends
Now is generally a great time to sell your home, with a few key exceptions. You may want to wait to sell your home if you’re in a high-risk health category or if your home is small. You might want to wait if your home is in an urban area. With that said, you can always sell your house to a cash buyer or real estate investor since they’re always in the market to buy.
If you are curious about how to sell a house contact our team to learn tips on timing the market. We look forward to connecting with you.