Sunday, June 12, 2022 / by Teresa DiPeso
As much as you love your Shore home, there may come a time when you start thinking: Should I sell?
According to the National Association of Realtors®, homeowners tend to stay in a house about ten years before they sell. Think that sounds shockingly short? Or way too long? The fact is, people’s time frames will vary widely based on their reasons for selling.
The choice to sell your home can come about for a variety of reasons. And it may have been something you’ve been considering for a long time, or a snap decision.
Sometimes a sudden defining event prompts a homeowner to sell—a transfer, death, or divorce, which quickly starts the process. More often, it is a slower process—children leaving the nest, a need to be closer to a relative, retirement, or the desire to be in a smaller, bigger, newer, or different area. The gestation period for this type of decision is often two to four years.
There are many common reasons—financial and emotional—that lead us to sell our current home. Plus, you don’t always see these reasons coming, so if you’re wondering whether or not to list your house, here are some telltale signs it’s time to sell, even if it hasn’t been ten years.
It’s a seller’s market
Let’s start with one of the most obvious reasons to sell: It’s a seller’s market, which means you stand to make a nice profit on your property.
A few signals: Cape May County sold listings are currently receiving an average of 99.8% of list price, there are 17.5% fewer listings year-to-date, and listings are selling 13% more quickly, also year-to-date.
We are still in the midst of a very significant seller's market, and it's a perfect time to cash in.
Cape May County homes are selling for a lot
As mentioned above, CMC listings are receiving an average 99.8% of list price, which is historically high for our area. In recent years, prior to 2020, a typical average would be around 96% for Cape May County sales. That extra 2-3% can adds up.
The national average for sold homes in April was $450,600. Cape May County far outpaced it, despite being a largely second home market, with an average of $520,000 in the same month. The Shore real estate market is and will continue to be an extremely desirable one. Now is an excellent time to capitalize in the huge demand for homes here.
You’re financially stressed
Not everyone sells their real estate in order to pad their bank account. Some homeowners underestimated their ongoing housing costs and simply sell to ease their mortgage burden, or to cash in their equity and use it for other purposes.
If your property taxes or mortgage payments have become unmanageable, the best recourse may be to sell and find another home that’s more affordable, Shayanfekr says. Selling your home is better than struggling with a big mortgage loan, and possibly risking foreclosure.
To breathe easy, your monthly housing costs, including your mortgage interest, principal, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and HOA or condo fees if applicable, shouldn’t exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.
You’ve outgrown your home
The starter home you moved into when you were expecting your first child isn’t necessarily the house you need now that you have three preteens and pets. It’s bittersweet to give up the memories you’ve made in your home, but if your living quarters are causing you stress rather than comfort, “take the leap and sell up.
Another factor may be other life changes, such as death, serious illness, or divorce. These are all emotionally wrought experiences that may warrant a need for change. Relocation for a new job is another factor.
You’re tired of home maintenance
The average homeowner shells out $2,000 a year for maintenance services. Not repairs, mind you, but scheduled services such as landscaping, snow removal, septic service, private trash and recycling, and housecleaning.
Sick of watching these payments steadily drip out of your bank account? You could sell, and buy some lower-maintenance real estate such as a condo or new construction. You might even want to try renting, and let a landlord worry about leaky pipes and other property hassles.
You’ve built up enough home equity
If you've owned a Shore home for the past few years, you've likely seen a significant increase in your home's potential value on the market. If you've owned for 5+ years, you've probably seen much more. This is the market sellers dream about, the opportunity to cash in on your investment and find the new Shore home that better suits your needs.