How do I decide the best time to sell my home?


 
Selling a home can be a significant undertaking and there is a lot to mull over to choose the right time to do it. Here are a few things that I would encourage you to consider when making your decision.

Real estate can be cyclical. There is generally a noticeable surge in the number of prospective buyers and listed properties in the spring and early summer in Ontario. This is because the weather is better, days are longer, and many families prefer to buy homes before the next school year begins.

Having said that, home sales take place all year round, with some activity even happening on major holidays. If the real estate market is saturated with more properties for sale than buyers, you may wish to consider selling your home when the market is more balanced or in your favour.

Assess the real estate market. It can be affected by a variety of other factors besides the time of year. Take, for instance, interest rates, which have been increasing recently. In a market with rising interest rates, the number of buyers who can qualify for mortgages and afford homes typically declines. The overall state of the economy influences the market. If the cost of living, inflation and unemployment increase or there is a recession, the real estate market may either slow down entirely, or just when it comes to certain types of properties.

Remember that preparing a home for sale can require time, effort and money. Reflect on what you would like to do before listing your home for sale. Are you planning any renovations or repairs? Are they necessary to sell the property for more money? Do you need to declutter the space, and would you like to get it professionally staged? Think about whether it is feasible for you to accommodate these tasks with your schedule and other priorities.

All of this is in addition to the cost of selling the home, which may include fees for your real estate agent and legal counsel, as well as other possible implications such as capital gains, if the property is not your primary residence.

Crunch your numbers to see how much all this will cost and determine if you are financially comfortable with moving forward now or whether you should wait.

Reflect on what is driving your decision to sell. Have there been any changes in your finances or family’s health? Is it because you have purchased another property and want or need to sell quickly so that you don’t have to manage two mortgages at once? Is it because your you would like to find another home that is better suited for your current needs – larger or smaller?

The reasons can be countless. Being clear about why you want to sell your home can help dictate your approach – when you put it on the market, if you do renovations and repairs, and what you list it for.

As always, I recommend that do your research and consult with an agent who is knowledgeable about your neighbourhood and the local market conditions. All the best.

If you have a question for Joe about the home buying or selling process, please email information@reco.on.ca.


This column is for general information purposes only and is not meant as legal or professional advice on real estate transactions.

Joseph Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He is in charge of the administration and enforcement of all rules that govern real estate professionals in Ontario. You can find more tips at reco.on.ca, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RECOhelps.

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