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by Maurie Backman | Published on Oct. 22, 2021
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Here's why selling today may not be such a smart bet.
If you've been contemplating selling your home, you may have heard that now's a great time to do so. A limited amount of housing inventory and low mortgage rates have combined to create a scenario that's definitely a seller's market. And if you list your home now, you may not only get a quick offer, but an offer at a price you're quite happy with.
But while it may seem like a great time to sell your home, you may want to hold off for one key reason.
The glaring lack of inventory that's plagued the housing market all year goes both ways. While low inventory gives you an advantage as a seller since you'll have less competition, it also means you might struggle to find a home to move into when yours sells.
Of course, if you're going from selling a home to renting one, that isn't an issue. While rent prices have risen across the country, there seems to be a reasonable amount of rental inventory. But just as many buyers today are struggling to find homes, so too might you have a hard time finding a new home that meets your needs and fits your price range.
Keep in mind as well that you may not want to compromise on any of the details of your next home. Say you're selling because you want a certain number of bedrooms, or you're set on having a finished basement. As much as you may not want to compromise on those things, you might also struggle to find a home in your price range that checks those boxes.
There may be specific circumstances driving you to sell. If, for example, you're just plain out of space in your current home and living there is a struggle given your family size, you may want to sell immediately. Similarly, if you're stuck in a career rut and need to relocate for better job opportunities, you may want to list your home sooner rather than later.
But if you are going to sell, you may need to gear up for a struggle in buying a new house. And if you're upsizing, don't be shocked if you wind up stretching your budget to take on your new mortgage -- even if you command a respectable sale price for your current home.
As much as housing experts keep insisting that sellers today have the upper hand, that misses one big piece of the puzzle: People who sell their homes today also need a place to live. And while you may do quite well on the seller side, once you find a buyer, you might join the ranks of those struggling to find a suitable home in today's extremely tight real estate market.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
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