When Is The Right Time To Sell A House?

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Shorter Version

Est. Reading Time: 1 Minute

When preparing your home for sale or making the decision to do so, you may be under the impression that time is of the essence. It is not uncommon for your sense of urgency to grow after noticing your neighbors are listing their homes for sale left and right. After you receive that reassuring www.redfin.com email stating your home value has increased, it may seem like the right time to sell. This may sound silly, but if you refer to your property as a home (reflecting a stronger emotional attachment to memories and experiences) versus a house (simply acknowledging ownership) it will be a lot more difficult to pack up and ship out than you anticipate.

Is it the right time?

The following factors can affect the right time to sell a house:

  • Keep in mind that you could be preparing your home for sale before it is ready to be put on the market. The condition of the property, especially if repairs are needed, can decrease the net proceeds you would receive after selling.
  • Not all buyers are interested in becoming a landlord. If there is a tenant in the property, it is ideal to sell towards the end of their lease.  
  • If you have a family, relocating may induce conflict within a work or school schedule.

Consider your motivation to sell

For homeowners looking to sell their house, the ideal result could be a significant payout, whereas others may further consider the right time to sell as an opportunity to upgrade. Whatever your ideal goal is, remember that steadily increasing home values are a great sign that it is the right time to sell a house.

Before you call your realtor, it couldn’t hurt to take a moment or two to better examine your overall motivation to sell.

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Longer Version

Est. Reading Time: 2 Minutes

The right time…

Preparing your home for sale can equate to a laundry list of emotions that you didn’t realize you had. Let’s say you purchased your house with the intention of occupying it for a year. Now you received a job offer that requires you to relocate or travel. Maybe you are finally moving on to your next chapter after five years in your current home, extensive renovations, and a new pet. Perhaps you are planning on welcoming a child soon and you need more space.

The right time to sell a house could be defined by different milestones for different people, but it is more sensitive when you have a family to consider. If you are a parent, accounting for your child’s school schedule can play a role in when you sell and your potential moving deadline. On the other hand, it could be the perfect time to sell if you want your child registered for that A-rated school in the new neighborhood just in time for the approaching school year.

Pretend to be the buyer when preparing your home for sale

You may be thinking, “The market is high. It is now or never.” You are not alone, but would you buy your house all over again at the current price and condition you plan to offer? As a seller, the answer may appear irrelevant since your plan is to leave.

Realistically, putting yourself in the position of a potential buyer will help groom your house for future buyers.

The ugly truth is, when you see fellow homeowners in your community getting back-to-back offers you should open yourself to the possibility that your sale may not mimic someone else’s experience – if their property is more aesthetically pleasing than yours. Knowing what repairs may be needed before selling can save you time negotiating back-and-forth with buyers as well as money (potentially offering concessions or closings costs).

Talk to a lender

If you are worried about making mistakes with your money and your house already needs more repairs than you can afford, it might still be the right time to sell. It could possibly the best time to sell if you can walk away with money in your pocket to not only pay off your mortgage but start fresh. Although your research will not specifically tell you the time, day, and month to put your property on the market, you can at least increase your market knowledge enough to determine what options are available to you as a homeowner.

While conducting your due diligence, take advantage of a lender you can be transparent with regarding your finances. Discussing your intention to sell your house with a great lender will aid you in visualizing your numbers, calculating your potential net amount from a traditional sale, weighing in on short sales if you cannot satisfy your current mortgage payment, and estimating mortgage rates for a future purchase.

Don’t pressure yourself to jump from one mortgage payment to another if you don’t immediately have to.

Staying on top of your finances and local real estate updates will allow you to make an educated decision on the right time to sell your house.

Actionable Steps


Determine how ready you are to sell

Selling a home can be therapeutic (if you are simply looking for a change), exciting (if you are moving somewhere or starting something new), or even a means to an end (if you are aiming to lower your bills), but without a plan it can be problematic. Once you can zero in on why you want to sell, you can consult with your realtor to get your property listed.


Get to know the market

Being a homeowner doesn’t require you to be a real estate expert by any means. Keeping yourself educated about trending real estate activity will give you more insight on the right time to sell a house, interest rates, property taxes, and price point suggestions.


Prepare your home for sale

You don’t need to revamp your house for the next owner, but it should be presentable to the point where a buyer can walk in and imagine cooking in the kitchen or parking in the driveway everyday. The right time to sell a house may be when you can sell at the height of the market, but emphasizing your focus on preparing your home for sale for the right buyer can (fingers crossed) lead to a much smoother sale.

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About the Author

Debrah Sutherland

Debrah Sutherland

Licensed Florida Real Estate Agent

Debrah is a Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate and Certified REO & Short Sale Specialist with a growing team of successful agents. She educates future first-time homebuyers via her co-created e-course and local events. Her 90% referral business has allowed her to close over $13M in sales transactions.
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