Most Homeowners Think Now's a Good Time to Sell. Should You?

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 1, 2021

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A Sold sign in front of a driveway leading up to a family standing in front of their new home.

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Should you gear up to list your home, or sit tight and wait?

If you've been thinking of selling your home, you may wonder whether it's a good time to put your property on the market. It may help you to know that seller sentiment was more positive in March than in February.

According to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), the percentage of respondents who believe it's a good time to sell a home increased from 55% to 61% last month. Meanwhile, the percentage of property owners who think it’s a bad time to sell decreased from 35% to 28%.

That said, just because seller confidence has risen doesn't mean it's the ideal time for you to list your home. To figure that out, ask yourself these key questions.

1. How much local competition is there?

Housing inventory has been low on a national level for the past few months, which is good for sellers. Less competition makes it easier to find a buyer. And you'll be more likely to score a higher asking price. But just because there's low inventory in general, doesn't mean that's the case for your neighborhood. A number of comparable homes could have just hit the market, in which case you may want to wait for them to get scooped up before you list your property.

2. Can I afford a new home once I sell my current one?

Once you sell your home, you'll need someplace new to live. And so it's important to make sure you can afford a new home before giving up the one you have. Home prices have soared throughout the country. Find out if you can swing a new place in the area you're looking to move to. Similarly, you'll need to make sure you're in a good position to qualify for a mortgage on another home (unless, you expect to make such a killing on your current home that you won't need to take out a new mortgage).

3. Is there a specific reason for me to wait?

If your home has features that are best highlighted at a different point in the year, then you may want to hold off on selling. Say you have a large swimming pool in your backyard that's still covered up because it's too cold to use it. You may be better off listing your home once you're ready to open up your pool so you can show it off. Similarly, you may have gorgeous landscaping that really pops in the fall, when the leaves change colors. Waiting a number of months to list your home could make it easier for you to capitalize on that curb appeal -- and walk away with more money as a result.

The fact that more people think that now's a good time to sell may influence your decision to list your home. But ultimately, you'll need to work through the above questions to make sure that's the right call for you.

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