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What to consider before selling your home this spring

Date posted:  5/17/16 09:00:00 AM

If you have been considering selling your home, now might be the time to start making moves. The National Association of Realtors reported existing-home sales increased in January 2016 to the highest annual rate seen in six months. And interest in homes will likely grow through the spring and summer.

"The spring buying season is right around the corner and current supply levels aren't even close to what's needed to accommodate the subsequent growth in housing demand," said Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist. "Home prices ascending near or above double-digit appreciation aren't healthy - especially considering the fact that household income and wages are barely rising."

Even if it is a seller's market, you may still want to ensure selling is the best decision for you and your situation. When deciding whether or not to sell, consider these factors:

Home improvement and maintenance completed 
Even if housing inventory is low and demand is high, no one will want to invest in a home that needs work or is in the middle of a project. NerdWallet suggested ensuring all remodeling jobs are completed prior to listing your home. If you need more time to address damage, improvements or replacements, put off selling your home until you are prepared to invest the time and money into all necessary projects.

Equity is built up 
If your mortgage balance is still pretty high, it may not be worth selling your home - especially if you think the sale price wouldn't be enough to pay off the balance of your home loan.

If you aren't sure of the market value of your home, it's a good idea to reach out to a professional real estate agent and ask for their input. The experience they have in the market will give you a more accurate prediction of what your home will sell for; knowing this can help you make your decision.

Ensure you can afford the move 
The price of a new house isn't the only expense you'll need to think about when selling a home. You will also need to move, which can be quite expensive. Prior to listing your home, work out your current finances to determine if you can afford hiring professional movers, which can easily cost more than $1,000.