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Selling Your Home: When Should You Take the Leap?

for sale sign on a house - market
Article originally published in the September 2017 issue of Our Town Magazine.

Unsure when to sell your home? If you’ve been on the fence, now’s the time to take a leap: it’s a seller’s market right now! Limited home inventory has driven home prices up and days on the market down, with average homes spending just 42 days on the market. Better yet, the median original listing price up 6.4% and still rising, due to continued low supply of homes.


Don’t just let the market decide for you, though. There are several other factors you should consider when deciding to sell your home:
You’re Financially Ready to Buy a Home Again

Make sure you’re in the right place financially to sell your home and move. Make sure your credit is in good order and ensure that your debt is in the clear. The ideal situation for you as a home seller is to have all non-mortgage debt paid off and three to six months of expenses in your family’s emergency fund. Financial maturity is key to a successful, stress-free home selling experience.

Equity is in the Green

The first quarter of 2017 found only 10.4% of homes to have negative equity; that is, only 10.4% of homeowners had a larger mortgage than their home was worth. This percentage has been falling since 2012, as the housing market rebounds after the recession. If you’re not sure where your equity stands, you can consult with a real estate agent to get a free comparative market analysis (CMA) that will determine an approximate value for your home.

You’re ready to sell and buy a new home if your home’s sale can provide at least 20% equity towards your next purchase. By putting 20% or more down on your next home, you can avoid private mortgage insurance, and save hundreds of dollars each year.

Your Home No Longer Fits Your Needs

Do you need more room for your expanding family? Have your children have moved out, and now you have too much room? A lot has happened in your life since you bought your home, if you evaluate and discover that you just can’t live there as comfortably as you used to, then it’s probably time to move on.

Being ready to sell your home means more than just realizing the physical features of your home no longer fit your knees. You need to be emotionally prepared to step back and let your home go. Once you have said goodbye, emotionally, to your current house, you’re able to sell it and find a new place to call home.


At the end of the day, make the right choice for you.

Even if you find all the above to be true for you, there is no one plan for everyone. Consult with a professional real estate agent to discuss your personal situation, and figure out what’s best for you and your budget.

And if you decide to sell, just remember, the Ratchford Realty Group is the Smyrna team to work with!