Written by PJ Wade
What are you waiting for? Inherent in ownership of real estate—a house, condominium unit, second home, investment property – is the reality that eventually it will be sold.
Since there is no expiry date or “best before” restriction on real estate ownership, knowing when to sell can be a significant challenge for owners.
Do you recognize your ownership style in any of those mentioned below?
- Real estate investors use property comparison and number crunching to arrive at the ideal “when to sell” and reinvest their funds for maximum returns. Residential owners could do this too, but usually don’t.
- Recreational properties like cottages and ski chalets are often dispassionately sold when ownership is no longer practical and costs outweigh time used and benefits gained. Although similar realities may be true for residential real estate, emotional ties and community connections can overshadow practical issues.
- Residential owners can make enlightened financial decisions or respond to lifestyle or work changes that dictate a move, or….
- A lucky few unexpectedly happen on their ideal next home and are, therefore, motivated to sell quickly and snap up this dream home.
- Many other homeowners debate for years about selling versusstaying because there are no clear cut influences to precipitate a decision to sell. Some compromise quality of life and struggle with inconveniences in a property which no longer meets their needs.
- Others miss real estate price peaks which they later regret and whine “if only I’d”.
- A surprising number wait to see which quirk of fate will trigger a move—job change, new baby, illness, divorce, a lottery win….
What are you waiting for?
Here are the Top 6 Seller Procrastinations that distract sellers from making well-thought-out decisions about the value of their real estate and what to do with it:
#1. “I’m waiting for the value of my real estate to increase.” If you’re planning to buy more real estate with the proceeds of the sale, waiting for a better market may not be the best strategy. When your property goes up in value, so do others. Gains in your neighborhood may be canceled out by gains in the area you’d like to move to. You’ll achieve the greatest benefits when the differential between your current neighborhood and your ideal next location favors your real estate. Real estate professionals make their living balancing gains for seller-buyers, so don’t try to do their job when you don’t have their training and access to data. Concentrate on finding the local professional with in-depth knowledge of the two neighborhoods in question who is ready to work on the best sell-buy strategy for you.
#2. “I’m waiting for my house to be painted/fixed up, so I make top dollar.” Once again, increasing market value is what professionals do for their listing clients. In fact, professionals go beyond value increase to make sure their clients net the best return on their investment in the property. Yourideas, unlike those of professionals, on what to renovate and how will not be based on current, first-hand experience with buyer reactions. Don’t spend a dime until you have professional feedback on what will make your real estate more valuable to qualified buyers.
#3. “I’m waiting for the last kid to go to college.” That departure date bears no relationship to the ups and downs of real estate markets. Wait for this arbitrary day and you may be doing yourself out of enough money to finance your child’s education, or at least a chunk of it. Annual estimates of market value for your property will enable you to make an informed choice about the right time to sell. Most real estate professionals do not charge for this up-dating service, but you want to receive details, not just “ball-park” opinion.
#4. “I’m waiting to retire.” That may be a long wait since 20th Century, pension-rich retirement is history. Now, your real estate should be a financial partner in your future. Managing home equity is your new job as we have been explaining here for ages. Same idea as #3 where professional market knowledge gives you the edge.
#5. “I’m waiting until I can comfortably leave behind the memories we’ve made here.” Being sad to leave a home, cottage, or building that has brought you and your family pleasure is not a bad thing. Would you prefer to be desperate to get away from the real estate you own? Take videos or do what you can to preserve the memories, so they are not a barrier to choice.
#6. “I’m waiting for…” Passively waiting to see what happens is not a plan or a strategy – it’s a cop out. Monitor real estate and financial markets to determine when you have the greatest advantage. Strategize how to increase the value of
your real estate in the meantime. Take this on yourself, or search out a real estate professional who shares your long-term vision of gaining the greatest return on your real estate investment.
What are you waiting for?
Social media and technology in general can fill up our time and give us the illusion that we are doing a lot.
- The problem is you may be very busy watching other people make real estate decisions, while you accomplish little for yourself.
- You can be very busy commenting on what others are doing and not doing, while you procrastinate.
Are you spending enough time evaluating your decisions and thinking about what you are doing and not doing about your real estate?