By Victoria Kauffman, Keller Williams Ballantyne-Area Realtor
So, you think you may want to sell your house? It’s a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly! Every seller will have different reasons and different goals. Most importantly, you must be prepared – being prepared is absolutely crucial in the fast-paced ecosystem of real estate. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Where does your equity stand? Knowing this will help you establish how much profit you will gain with the sale. Simply stated, your equity is the price you paid for the property minus what is still owed on the mortgage. That money can then be used toward the down payment on another house, to pay off other debt, to take a family vacation, to save in reserves, and any combination therein. And remember, there are costs related to the sale of a house – excise tax, closing costs, real estate commissions. Considering both sides of equity, does it make sense for you to sell?
- What is happening in the real estate market? In the greater Charlotte area, we are experiencing HISTORICALLY low inventory, at less than two months of houses on the market. This means that if no more properties are put on the market, inventory would be at ZERO in less than eight weeks. What does that mean for you as a seller? It could mean that you have significant power in the transaction, that you receive more than your asking price, that you receive multiple offers and have choice. Considering the current real estate trends, is capitalizing on this sellers’ market your best bet?
- What is happening with interest rates? In case you haven’t heard, national interest rates are low, with no sign of a spike up soon. As a seller, you may want to get on the market now, before an uptick in rates. Why, you ask? Because lower interest rates give buyers ability to borrow more money. More money often means more house. The pool of ready, willing and able buyers may grow, leading to more qualified showing traffic and offers. And lest we forget, whether you are looking to buy a larger property or a smaller home, lower interest rates will work to your purchase advantage. Without a crystal ball, we cannot hypothesize if or when rates will rise (or fall further). Considering the fact that interest rates are low now, should you sell before they rise?
- Is your house sellable? Three things sell houses: location, condition, and price. Is the house in a desirable school district? Where does it sit within the neighborhood, on the main road or in a cul-de-sac? How much land does the house sit on? Does the house have updated finishes, newer flooring, fresh paint? How old are the systems of the property – the HVAC, the plumbing, the electrical components? What makes the house unique? What will be the best price – based on comparable data and the considerations of location and price we’ve already noted? Further, will an appraiser agree with this price? All of these accounts should factor into your decision to sell. In sum, considering the location, condition, and potential sales price, is your house sellable?
- Does your lifestyle match your desire to sell? A house is many things, not only where you eat and sleep, but also a representation of stability, pride of ownership. Surprisingly or not, deep emotional attachments are developed around a family’s house. The house may be where a couple returns after their honeymoon, where babies are brought home for the first time. Parents may note children’s height on a wall, teach them to ride their bikes on the driveway. However, life happens, and changes follow. Is more room needed to accommodate a new baby or aging relative, or is less room desired after the youngest kiddos head to college or their own first houses? Has a new job increased your commute, adding stress and thus adversely effecting your quality time with family? Is there a home for sale in a neighborhood you’ve always loved? Considering how your house fits into your lifestyle now, is it time to sell?
Victoria Kauffman is the Director of Growth/REALTOR of Kennedy Homes of the Carolinas at Ballantyne-Area Keller Williams. Her team ranks in the top 20%, and Victoria has been the team’s top producer since 2017. Victoria is an Ignite instructor for newer agents at KW Ballantyne-Area and serves as the Growth Committee co-chair for the Associate Leadership Council (ALC). Keep in touch with Victoria on social media at www.facebook.com/victoria.kauffman.54 and @victoriakauffman. Contact Victoria at 704-999-5931 or by email at Victoria@SoldByKennedy.com.