Generally, if a home owner has been paying down a mortgage on their home for more than 7-10 years… they have increased the equity in your home considerably. Also despite some minor and major market corrections, due either to a housing bubble or a recession, the value of their home has also appreciated to a similar degree.
So, if they have owned their home at least 7 years, and haven’t refinanced with a second mortgage, any time should be a good time, with some major exceptions. Let look at some.
Is the market soft?
In a country as large as the US, there are different types of housing markets. But most urban centers have similar markets. There are major exceptions like Detroit, but as people are moving to the city more and more (for access to better amenities and health care
So if you are unsure, you may want to contact a well known real estate agent in your area. They are quite likely willing to give you an idea of what your home is worth, and can even perform a CMA (comparative market analusis) to give you an idea of what your home would sell for.
If you are in a buyer’s market – you may find your property sits on the market for a long time. It may be worth your while to wait until conditions improve, meaning you make several thousand dollars more for your property.
Time of Year?
When considering the time of year for selling – there really is no bad time. Since, while it’s true that December has the smallest number of people looking to buy each year, it is also the time of year with the least homes for sale. So even in a smaller market – the advantage still goes to the seller, since the proportion of buyers to sellers might be the same
Condering the Rental Market
The good news for some owners is that the rental market is far more stable than the buy/sell market. Even during the housing bubble, rents usually remain the same.
If you find yourself needing to move and aren’t sure it is a good time to sell, you might consider renting your real estate.
It’s not without its risks. Renters do not care for a property like an owner does, and there is usually some wear and tear even with great tenants. But it can be a nice second income if you know what you are doing.
Some tips for renting;
- check references, do not rent to someone without references
- check credit. Potential renters should submit to a credit check
- where applicable, do a court check. This is to determine if there has ever been an eviction forced by the courts
- A realtor can perform these checks for you
Use these flags to screen out problem tenants. Rent to those with clean records only.
Hire a property manager. For a monthly fee (usually between $100 and $150) a professional service can screen your potential tenants, and they know how to act immediately if there are problems.