2021 has brought record-breaking results for many homeowners across Canberra and the South Coast. So, with strong buyer demand, low interest rates and prices soaring to record levels, some might say there’s no better time to sell – or is there? Selling a property is one of life’s biggest financial transactions; however, the days when people buy one home and live in it their entire lives are long gone. Now, we’re likely to own a number of properties at different stages of our lives. So, is now the right time to sell?
Here’s our essential guide to help you make the decision that’s right for you.
Consider your circumstances
Despite a hot property market, when it comes to selling it’s vital that you make the right choice at the right time. So, what’s your motivation? And where will you go next? There are many factors that influence the decision to put your property on the market: a growing family, the need to downsize, or perhaps you simply want to make your dream home a reality. Whatever your reason, take the time to compare your ‘needs’ versus your ‘wants’ and list the benefits and drawbacks that a change in property and location might bring. Consider these questions: how will moving impact your life and your short and long-term goals? Do you want to stay local or are you open to moving to another suburb? If so, how will a new area affect your lifestyle? Consider everything – schools, sporting facilities, doctors, local amenities and transport options. Next, reflect on all scenarios. How will your new home be used in the short term, and could that change unexpectedly in the future? For instance, will you potentially need more space for visiting grandchildren or to care for an elderly parent? Taking the time to identify the must-haves and the nice-to-haves, as well as setting clear goals and a realistic timeframe will help you to decide what's best for you. Buying and selling property is an exciting time but it also requires good planning and careful consideration.
Assess your finances
One of the first things to do before embarking on any property journey is to assess your financial situation. Start this process by speaking with your accountant or financial adviser to ensure any decisions you are considering align with your short and long-term goals. This is also the perfect time to speak with your lender. Here, you should discuss your borrowing capacity and the amount of equity you have accumulated in your property. It’s also important to understand all of the costs involved when selling your home and if you’re buying another property. For instance, if you are upsizing, are you financially prepared for larger mortgage payments? A bigger home might mean you need more furniture or that your utilities costs will rise. Likewise, have you considered other financial implications such as stamp duty, legal fees, building and energy reports, agency fees, moving costs, and other incidentals. Additionally, what work do you need to do to your current property before you put it on the market? It might need essential repairs or some aesthetic touches to get it in the right shape for sale. Once your home sells, are you then buying an established home or building something new? Or could a smart renovation project achieve your desired outcome? It’s important to look at all possibilities. If you’re considering a new build, then ensure you account for expenses including construction, labour, legal, design, landscaping, building and/or development approval, as well as moving costs. Creating an accurate picture of your situation will pay dividends as you compare all scenarios and identify what’s financially viable for you.
Speak to an expert
Before deciding to sell your property, it’s important to understand the market and how it may impact you. This is where a property specialist comes in. Be sure to seek the expertise of a local agent who will help you understand your home’s potential market value as well as the value of comparative properties in your neighbourhood. An agent will also know how much interest your area is attracting and will likely know buyers who are ready to buy. Equally, a property specialist can help you understand the market in the area in which you are looking to buy once you’ve sold your home. Depending on your personal circumstances and the market, you may need to act quickly or put your plans on hold until conditions are in your favour. Either way, an agent can make sure the timing is right to ensure you get the best result. Arming yourself with as much market knowledge as possible is a vital aspect of the sale process and will ensure you capitalise on buyer interest and demand. Essentially, the more information you gather, the smoother the process will be and ultimately the better your result will be.