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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com

“Are you having trouble deciding whether or not to sell your real estate – home, recreational property, investment property?  It’s not the length of time you’ve lived in or owned a property that determines when it’s time to sell.  There’s no magic number of ownership years that triggers a move.

The reasons to sell are not the same for every seller nor for every property.  What is the same are the issues and decisions facing sellers as part of the decision.

The following FIVE KEY QUESTIONS FOR SELLERS summarize the issues and decisions involved.

  1. WHY NOW?  What is driving you to feel that you must sell now?  Is there one main reason you are considering a sale now….or do you feel that you “should” sell either to cash in on higher real state prices or because “at this age” that’s what is expected of you, or…?  These and other “shoulds” can be difficult  to handle alone.  The former requires expert input to arrive at an accurate market value.  The latter is an out-dated ageist viewpoint that should be ignored in favor of considering whether this real estate really suits your present and future needs.  Real estate professionals can offer practical suggestions and alternatives.  Add to this analysis an honest assessment of what you love about your current real estate and how it may limit (or not limit) your life – physically, financially, work-wise, location-wise, etc.
  2. WHAT’S NEXT?  Where will you move to?  Do you have the next step clearly set out in your mind, or are you juggling a few vague ideas?  Are you aiming for a mortgage-free lifestyle?  And who is directly involved in the move…decisions should be  made by those who will use the property and shoulder costs….”Aging in place”, or staying on your home instead of moving into assisted living or extended care, is the new trend for mature property owners.
  3. WHO WILL BE THE IDEAL BUYER?  Is this the ideal market for buyers most attracted to real estate like yours?  Identifying the best potential buyers helps place many decisions in context.  For instance, would a major renovation be a good investment or would cosmetic retouching be more cost effective?  Would staging be worth the cost, or would a simple de-cluttering be enough?  The answer lies not in what you would prefer to do, but in what ideal buyers would most favorably respond to.
  4. WHAT WOULD A “SUCCESSFUL SALE” INCLUDE?  How much do you need to net from the sale of your home?  Owners tend to have inflated views of the value of their home that are tied to pride of ownership.  If you are planning to purchase property with the proceeds of this sale, do you know how much you’ll need to sell for to buy that next property?  Will you need to sell your current property first to be sure exactly how much you have for the next step?  Or can you accept the risk of temporarily owning two properties or needing outside funding to purchase the next property before you sell the current ?  What do you need to achieve through the sale of your real estate?  Beyond financial concerns, what other factors will make this a successful sale?  Is there a particular moving date that holds value for you?  Which items do you want to take with you?  Appliances – stay, or go with  you?  Etc.
  5. WHO WILL HELP YOU ACHIEVE THIS SUCCESS?   Real estate professionals are trained to provide real market data that will put your expectations in the context of current market conditions and buyer alternatives.  The more effective you are at identifying the ideal set of real estate skills and experience necessary for your success, the more successful you will be.  And aren’t you (or both members of a couple) the greatest asset you have because you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else?  You also have the most to gain and to lose, so improving your real estate savvy is well worth the effort.

SOURCE:  PJ Wade/realtytimes.com     IMAGE:  huffingtonpost.com

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