Top 5 Factors to Determine if Now is the Best Time to Sell

There are many important factors in determining the best time to sell your home — including what your personal needs are, understanding the seasonal trends, the current condition of your home, your current financial position, and whether the local market conditions are in your favor. Interestingly, due to Coronavirus, many unique opportunities have been presented to create an ideal “Seller’s Market.” Here are our top 5 factors to determine if now is the best time for you to sell your house.

1. What Are Your Personal Needs?

Knowing the seasonal and market trends in the real estate market are important factors in determining the best time to sell your home; however, the primary decision to move and sell your home is often a personal one. There can be several personal reasons why you need to move, including the following:

  • To upgrade to a new or better home
  • Starting or growing a family in one’s own household
  • Other family reasons such as caring for older parents
  • Relocating for a new job or job transfer
  • Need to find cheaper/better housing
  • Wish to downsize to a smaller home

Whatever your personal reasons are, knowing your own needs and communicating them with your Realtor can really help determine the best time to sell.

2. Are the Seasonal Trends in Your Favor?

Homes usually sell faster in the Winter and Summer, and they are also more likely to sell at or above the asking price; however, currently, we are experiencing unique seasonal trends in the market overall due to Coronavirus, which has created an even greater pent-up demand to buy.

For example, historically on Maui, the Fall (September) season has been a quiet time for real estate pending sales with families returning home and children in school. However, this September proved to be different with 51 more properties going in escrow vs. September 2019.

pending and sold homes on maui

“One thing 2020 has taught us is to expect the unexpected. Who would have guessed in October 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial average would hover around its highest, Maui real estate sales are strengthening and interest rates continue to remain historically low?” said Reta Chin, Strategic Business Development at Fidelity National Title & Escrow Maui.

As we are now in a unique market position due to Coronavirus that could prove to have great benefits for Sellers, the idea of waiting for a better season might also have greater consequences — like missing out on a new job opportunity or delaying an important life goal.

3. Are the Market Conditions in Your Favor?

You’ll often hear the real estate market described as either a “Buyer’s Market” or a “Seller’s Market” depending on how competitive it is to buy versus sell — and right now, it’s definitely a “Seller’s Market.”

At the start of the year home sales understandably went dormant during the beginning phases of the Coronavirus pandemic, but now that the lockdown restrictions have lifted — the real estate market is recovering nicely and gaining momentum, with strong buyer activity continuing.

With increased buyer activity and the number of homes for sale to meet this pent-up demand at an all-time low, competition is fierce with fast sales and multiple offers being made.

“Many sellers can get top dollar in the current market conditions,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

According to the REALTORS® Assoc. of Maui, home prices increased in 2020, with the median single-family home prices going up 9.1% to $785,000 for Single Family homes (Statistics for September).

At this same time in 2018, the median single-family home price was $754,248.

real estate median sales price maui

4. What is the Current Condition of Your Home?

Considering your personal needs for moving — how much time, effort, and money it will take to prepare your home for sale?

If you need to sell your home fast, then it might be better to focus on minor repairs and cosmetic updates.

If you are able to wait longer, then re-modeling your home can be a fantastic way to increase its value and your final sale price.

You can also choose to not do any repairs or upgrades to your home at all and adjust its price to reflect its current condition.

All of these factors will determine the best time to sell and also your final selling price.

5. Are You Financially Ready?

For most homeowners, being financially ready to sell your house comes down to one factor: equity.

So how much equity is enough? At the very least you want to have enough equity to pay off your current mortgage with enough left over to provide a 20% down payment on your next home. However, if your sale can also cover your closing costs, moving expenses, and an even larger down payment — that’s even better.

What is important to note is that with today’s historically low interest rates, there’s an opportunity for Sellers to maintain a low monthly payment while getting more house for their money.


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