Buying & Selling

Should You Sell Your Home? 7 Signs That It’s Time

Every year at this time, “For Sale” signs pop up in yards all over – as if they were some kind of strange spring flower. And, every year, lots of homeowners start questioning whether this should be the year that they, too, list their homes for sale.

Selling a home is a big decision. It’s also something that you have to approach both from an emotional and a practical perspective. Your home is probably your single biggest asset, but it’s also your castle – it may be where you loved, laughed, played and possibly even raised a family for years now.

Whether you’re downsizing, relocating or simply looking for a change, how do you know when it’s really time to sell and when it’s better to wait a little bit longer? Here are some signs that are a clear indication it’s time to put your home on the market:

1. Your Home No Longer Meets Your Physical Needs

Is your house suddenly feeling too big or too small? It happens. That “starter home” may have been great when it was just you and your spouse, but now that you have two small children it feels like there’s no privacy or space – and you really need a yard. Or, maybe your big family home is starting to feel like a burden now that the kids are grown, and you’re tired of dusting rooms that you barely enter and mowing the lawn.

Whatever the reason, if your current property no longer suits your needs, it’s time to start looking for a new home that better fits your lifestyle.

2. The Market Is Favorable for Sellers

To say that the real estate market has been a bit unpredictable lately is an understatement. For more than a year, houses were selling so fast that buyers were competing with each other on nearly every listing. Interest rate hikes in recent months have caused things to cool a bit – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad time to sell.

The local real estate market can be very different than the national trends. Keep an eye on how well homes are selling (and at what prices) in your own area, and consult with a trusted real estate agent to determine if the time is right to list.

3. Your Neighborhood Is Changing

As neighborhoods change, so do property values – and so can your feelings about where you live. Even if the changes are positive for your financial picture, they can significantly alter how you feel about your home.

New businesses and amenities may have moved into the area, prompting an influx of buyers over the last few years who seem like they have little in common with you. Your once tight-knit community of young families may have gradually changed to the point where you no longer know your neighbor well enough to borrow a cup of milk. If you feel out of place in your own community these days, that’s probably a strong signal that it’s time for a change.

4. You’re Tired of Dealing with Maintenance and Repairs

There’s no question that homeownership has its perks and rewards – but it also is a lot of work. Maintenance tasks can pile up faster than you can tackle them. This can happen simply because your lifestyle has shifted. Maybe you’ve started your own business and you simply don’t have the spare time – or maybe age and illness are making it harder to keep up.

If you find yourself constantly struggling with repairs and maintenance issues, it may be a sign that your home is more than you can handle. Selling your home can free you from the burden of constant upkeep and allow you to downsize to something more manageable or even move into a condo or an apartment.

5. You’re Just About Ready to Retire 

As you approach retirement age, downsizing to a smaller home can be a smart financial move. A smaller home typically means lower expenses, which can be especially beneficial if you’re living on a fixed income. 

People approaching retirement also sometimes find that it isn’t so much that their neighborhood has changed so much as they’ve changed – and they no longer find their community to be a good fit. Maybe you used to love urban life, for example, but now find yourself yearning to spend time in a rural area where life is slow and there’s room for a garden. 

6. You Want to Invest in Yourself

Sometimes homeowners are ready to invest in themselves and their future. Whether you want to start a business, go back to school, or travel the world, selling your home and using the equity can provide the financial resources you need to pursue your dreams. 

If you bought your home some years ago and it feels more like a weight that’s keeping you back than a source of comfort and pride, it may be time to “cash out” and move on.

7. You’re Simply Ready for a Change

Finally, homeowners sometimes simply feel ready for a change. Perhaps you’re tired of the same old routine, or you’re looking for a new adventure. Maybe the home even holds negative memories for some reason, and you’d rather be rid of them.

Whatever the cause, you may simply find yourself emotionally disengaged from the property and ready to go – and that’s as good of a reason as any to sell.

Ultimately, the decision to stay or sell is really entirely up to you. Absent any pressing financial issues that are forcing your hand, take your time and do your research. Speak with an experienced real estate agent about the market and let your heart guide you.