If your home sold for top dollar you’d no doubt celebrate like crazy. But, how would you feel if you checked its value a couple of years later and found that it had risen even more? Would you be kicking yourself for selling too early?
This is what’s called “sellers remorse” and there are many home sellers suffering from this affliction all over the country. This is absolutely mental torture and it can occur anytime someone sells their home and later discovers they could have gotten more money had they hung on longer. Some home sellers get sellers remorse even before listing their house, thinking they should wait longer so they can ask for more money. They start ruminating about the possibility of leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table if they list now rather than waiting.
Does this sound like you? It’s totally understandable because we’re very much in a seller’s market right now with home prices still going up nationwide.
It’s natural for sellers to reason that if they just hang onto their house a while longer they could get more. The same reasoning holds true for buyers. They think if they can move faster they are likely to get a better price.
The truth is that it’s impossible to determine in advance exactly when the market will turn. You’ve got to find a way to accept that you acted on the best information you had at the time you decided to put your home on the market and here’s why:
1. The housing market is just as unpredictable as the stock market.
We all know how impossible it is to predict the stock market and the same goes for real estate. If we all had a crystal ball that would tell us exactly what to expect, we’d all be millionaires. Even the most successful Wall Street investors and economists cannot know what the markets will do. And real estate agents cannot accurately predict where home prices will go and when.
So, if you’re a home seller stop stressing over this. You know that hindsight is always 20/20. Just keep in mind that home prices can always drop, which means you’ll be thanking God that you sold before that happened. Or, if prices do go up in a year or so, you’re going to have to look at things long-term.
Look ahead ten years from now. When you do that you can see that whatever money you might have left on the table, would have not made much of a difference. What may seem like a big deal today won’t seem that significant down the road because life will have taken many different turns by then.
2. If you delay selling, the price of the homes you’re looking at to buy will likely go up as well.
In these situations, there are always trade-offs. People sell their homes for a variety of reasons. Some want to downsize into a smaller, more manageable home, whereas others have growing families and need more living space.
If you are planning on buying another home in Spokane County after selling the one you live in now, it is very likely that home prices are increasing at the same rate throughout the county. So, in the end, it all becomes a wash.
A good real estate agent is not going to tell you to wait so you can make more money on the house you’re selling. Any additional money you make on this home, you are very likely going to have to spend on the next one.
3. You should sell your home when it best suits your lifestyle.
My final piece of advice is not to treat your home like an abstract commodity. Yes, your home is an investment, but it’s not like a stock that you sell when it reaches maximum value. The sale of your home should align with your life circumstances. It needs to meet the needs of your family, whether in terms of size, how far it is from your office, if the schools in the area are good, and more.
So, if you’ve got another baby on the way, are changing jobs, or your teenage twins have been accepted to a better school across town, then it makes sense to sell your home now so you can move into a home that fits your new circumstances. There is no point waiting!
In these situations, sellers have no choice but to put their house on the market right away. When this happens I always tell my clients not to worry about selling too soon, that they need to focus on the big picture. Whether they need to move so they can be closer to family, settle where there are more job opportunities, or make room for a new baby, these adjustments represent positive life changes and this is what they should be focusing on.
It’s time to stop driving yourself crazy wondering when the perfect time to sell will be. Life has a way of working out and I promise you that you’ll sell your home when it’s perfect for you.