An investment in a home is unlike most other investments. Unlike stocks, bonds, and gold certificates, real estate is tangible. That’s why it’s so difficult to put a value on real estate. When determining a value of a home, many experts believe “the value of a home is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it.” When selling a home, it’s also important to give careful consideration to the benefits associated with selling a home. As an example, if a home is worth $300,000, and is appreciating at 8% per year, a seller may decide to wait another year to sell their home so they can sell it for $324,000, and earn an additional $24,000. This may not be a good idea. Every seller should carefully weigh the additional profit from waiting to sell your home, against the emotional benefits of selling now.
When determining the best time to sell, it’s a good idea to contrast and compare the emotional benefits of selling now, against the financial benefits that can realized from appreciation by selling later. Every seller should ask themselves the following questions, “if I were to sell today, what would it mean to me, and how would my life and my family’s life improve?”
For example, a retired couple has plans to sell and move to a community where they can enjoy the lifestyle benefits of being retired, but will lose a full year of those benefits if they decide to wait another year to sell just to earn an additional $24,000. No one has a crystal ball. We all tend to assume we have plenty of time to enjoy life, when in reality that time can be cut short by health issues, financial losses, or other unforeseen events. Therefore, the couple in this example may want to enjoy the benefits of selling and be less concerned about maximizing profit from a sale.
Make a list of all of the things that you would be able to enjoy immediately if you were to sell today. Then, use a conservative projection of what you think the extra profit will be if you wait to sell. Contrast the emotional benefits against the additional profit and come to your own conclusion as to whether it’s best to sell now or sell later based on your own personal situation.
Remember, it’s important to be fiscally responsible, but a little extra money may impact your quality of life and may not be worth it.