Last month we talked about whether this is a good time to buy a house. I also get asked about whether this is a good time sell.
Both questions involve trying to predict the future of the real estate market, and that’s a tough thing to do. Like I said last month, nobody I know has a crystal ball.
When people ask me about selling, my answer is usually, “Sure. Why not?” just like when they ask me about buying. But I say that with qualifications.
Let’s look at those.
Are you right side up? Because of rising prices over the past several years, just about everybody is right side up these days, but if you bought at the top of the market before the recession, you might not be. I’ve had a couple of listings in the past 18 months that had just barely pulled even with their pre-recession value. If the investment side of home-ownership is critically important to you, this is a very important consideration.
Are you being realistic? Nashville is still a hot market, but it’s not as hot as it was a year ago. Things have slowed down a little. There are a lot of sellers out there who apparently still think house will sell for anything they ask. That approach isn’t working these days. Nashville is still growing, money is still cheap, and there are lots of eager byers in the market. Virtually anything will sell if it’s priced right.
What’s your next move? Do you have somewhere to go? A lot of the folks I talk to would be more than happy to pull a ton of equity out of their property, but the market forces that built equity for them also raised the price of every other property in town. If you are okay making a financially-lateral move, or wiling to downsize, or move to a place where property is cheaper, great. Otherwise, plan to bring some cash to the deal or bump up your monthly spending.
And be sure you've thought about the possibiltiy of short-term lodgings after your house sells. In this market, it may sell well before you find another place to buy.
So, my answer to whether it’s a good time to buy: Sure. Why not? But be sure you know what you’re doing. Best to have a good realtor by your side.