69% of Americans Think Now Is a Great Time to Sell a Home. Here's Why It Pays to List Sooner Rather Than Later

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  • Fannie Mae reports that most people think it's a good time to be selling a home.
  • That could change later on in 2022 if mortgage rates continue to climb.

There's a reason today's sellers should act quickly.

While the start of 2022 may be a tricky time to enter the housing market from a buyer perspective, right now, sellers seem to have the upper hand. And most Americans agree.

A whopping 69% of Americans think now is a good time to sell a home, according to the January Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index. By contrast, only 25% of Americans think it's a good time to buy one.

But while the housing market might favor sellers today, that may not be the case as 2022 moves along. If you're thinking of selling your home, you may want to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.

Don't wait to sell

Right now, mortgage rates are sitting at relatively competitive levels, historically speaking. But rates are already higher across the board than they were at any point in 2021.

There's a good chance mortgage rates will continue to increase from month to month this year. For one thing, they've been so low for so long the only place for them to really go is up. Also, the Federal Reserve has made it clear it has plans to increase its federal funds rate.

The Fed does not actually set mortgage rates, or any consumer interest rates, for that matter. But its actions can influence rate activity so that in the wake of its plans, consumer rates could climb. That could, in some ways, be a good thing, since it can mean more generous interest rates at banks. But it could also mean higher borrowing costs on everything from mortgages to credit cards to personal loans.

If mortgage rates continue to rise this year, it could lead to less buyer demand. Once that happens, home prices could start to fall. If you want to capitalize on the chance to score as high a price as possible for your home, you may want to list it sooner rather than later.

Also, right now, the housing market is generally starved for inventory. But we don't know if that will be the case later on in the year.

A big reason inventory has been lacking is that sellers have been hesitant to list their properties during a pandemic. At this point, though, it seems like COVID-19 is here to stay, and as the country learns to cope with the virus rather than impose restrictions around it, that hesitance could turn to action -- and more competition.

Don't wait

If you're not sure if you're ready to sell your home this year, then by all means, don't rush into that decision. But if you're set on listing your home at some point in 2022, it could pay to do so now.

It's clear the start of the year is a great time to be a seller. But there's no guarantee the market will stay that way for long. And if you wait to list your home, you might end up regretting it.

Our Research Expert

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