In the United States, the real estate market is primarily made up of existing, pre-owned homes. Roughly 5.3 million existing homes were sold in 2019 compared to just 683,000 new homes.
Selling your house can help you afford a new place, convert your equity into higher-yield investments, and help another family start a life of their own. Still, parting ways with your home can be bittersweet. What if you feel buyer’s remorse immediately after selling it?
If you’re thinking about selling your home, feeling unsure of yourself is normal. Clear your mind by pondering these questions to ask if you are thinking about selling.
1. Have you found somewhere to move?
Seeing as you almost certainly aren’t willing to be homeless, you’ve probably found somewhere to move. If you’ve been thinking about selling your house for a while, you should already have a list of suitable places to rent or buy.
You might be in the early stages of contemplating selling your home and haven’t found somewhere else to live yet. That’s okay. Before sinking any more time into thinking about selling, we recommend that you search for places to live. Open a blank spreadsheet and list important details like city, zip code, address, amenities, price, and contact information. Update your list every week or so to make sure these listings haven’t been removed.
2. Can you bankroll your move?
If you can’t afford to move without selling your home first, you should reconsider your decision to sell.
Let’s assume you can’t bankroll your upcoming move. Owning a home provides a solid opportunity to save money. Even if you’re strapped to the gills with debt, you should take advantage of your homeownership and start saving. Considering your lack of available funds, being anxious to move because you aren’t satisfied with your current living situation should come as a warning sign. Moving without sufficient savings often results from impulsive decision-making.
Cut your expenses and start saving money. Reconsider your move in six to 12 months.
3. Have you thought about a rent-back agreement?
You can’t realistically expect to buy a new home and sell your existing home on the same day. For this outcome to come true, you, your new home’s seller, and your buyer can’t willingly back out, have any closing problems, or run into any delays. A rent-back agreement can remedy this timing issue.
A rent-back agreement lets you rent your home for a set period from the new owner after the deal is closed. Never expect to rent your newly-sold home from its new owner without writing it into the closing agreement. Failing to afford yourself this legal protection could result in your eviction or stop the sale from going through.
4. How much debt do you have?
A whopping 80% of American adults are saddled with debt. Another source indicates that $38,000 is how much debt the average American carries around.
Everybody’s living situation, income, and level of debt is different. Nobody should sell their home if they still have mortgage debt or don’t have enough savings to pay for six months’ worth of their regular living expenses. Although some extreme exceptions exist, you should avoid justifying selling your home if it has a lien against it, you don’t have a sufficient emergency fund, or are otherwise swamped with debt.
Don’t feel alone if you’re anxious about selling your home. Tons of Americans feel much like you. Leaving debt behind and improving your finances is possible. Save money, avoid taking on new debt, and reduce your expenses immediately to prepare yourself for selling your home in the not-so-far future.
5. Have you performed an emotional inventory?
Emotions are very different from finances. Despite these differences, the two are closely linked. Sadness can influence people to spend more money than they usually would and hasten their decision-making.
Assume you sell your home and experience seller’s remorse. Sadness is a hallmark of seller’s remorse. In addition to feeling unmotivated, this negative emotion could cause you to make even worse financial decisions.
Harvard University researchers have found that sadness also warms people up to sacrificing long-term financial well-being for disproportionate short-term benefits.
Predicting the future isn’t possible. To reduce the likelihood of experiencing seller’s remorse, perform a deep emotional inventory to determine whether you’re ready to part ways with your home. Be prepared to feel insulted by lowball offers, leaving your home in a stage-ready form for months on end, and ditch an asset with profound sentimental value.
6. Do you have a real estate agent?
Many homeowners have successfully sold their homes without real estate agents over the years. Although splitting part of your home’s sale price with a real estate agent doesn’t sound nice, a good agent’s services are well worth the price.