Is Now the Right Time to Sell Your Home?

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You’ve been thinking about it for a while. Perhaps you're ready for a little more space or you want to downsize. Maybe you’d like to be in a different neighborhood or closer to family. Whatever your motivation, as you begin to seriously consider selling your house, you may have the question, “When is the right time?”

You’ve likely heard people throw around terms such as “Buyer’s Market” and “Seller’s Market” and wondered what in the world those mean, how you can know which one you are in, or if it even matters. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Buyer’s Market: This usually means that there is more “inventory” (or houses on the market) than there are people wanting to buy them. When this happens, houses tend to sit on the market longer and sellers are more willing or compelled to lower their prices. This means the buyer has more negotiating power than the seller. Keep in mind that this isn’t across the board. Even in a buyer’s market a desirable house in a great neighborhood can have multiple buyers competing to purchase.

  • Seller’s Market: Basically, this is the opposite. When there are more people looking to buy homes than there are homes for sale in a particular area, there is much more competition over the available homes. This means sellers can usually set their prices a little bit higher than usual and they may even be lucky enough to have multiple offers. Just like above, this isn’t the case for every home. It depends on where the house is located, the condition of the home, and the size of the home.

Those are the basics. But that doesn’t answer your pressing question: Is this a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market? And, more importantly, is NOW a good time to sell MY house?

Did you notice the two parts we emphasized in this question? There is a question about timing and a question about you? Let’s tackle both of those separately.

Am I ready to sell?

This can mean very different things for different people. So, maybe first we should say what it doesn’t mean. You don’t have to have finished every house project on your list. You don’t have to have another house ready to move into tomorrow. And you don’t have to have all of your possessions packed up before you start the process of selling your home. But you should consider the following questions before you call an agent and get the ball rolling.

Can I set aside some time to get my house on the market?

Don’t worry, truly busy people sell homes all the time. This is part of what a truly great real estate agent is for. They can help you decide if and what projects to tackle on your home to make sure it’s presented in the best light. They can arrange high quality photographs and a property highlight video of your home. And they can field all questions from potential buyers. But, there will be some time commitment from you. You may want to touch up paint or plant a few flowers. You probably want to tidy your house before those photographers and videographers show up. And you will need to evacuate your home when buyers come to see it. But, please don’t stress. You can control the timing on these things. You can even set times when you will not allow people to see the house or you can request that you always get a certain amount of a heads up before someone is allowed to come see your house. All of this is to say that the timing for these small inconveniences does matter. It’s why most people don’t list their home the week of Christmas or the week school gets out if they have young kids. So do think through the rhythms of your family and talk to your agent about this timing.

Do I have a plan for what’s next?

You do not need to have another house lined up. In fact, many people cannot afford to buy a house before their current house sells. That’s ok. There are a lot of options here. However, you do want to think through a plan for the happy occasion when you do sign the papers and sell your house. Some options you can definitely discuss with your realtor are: renting your house back from the buyer before they move in so that you have some time to house hunt for your next house, having your agent type up a “bridge loan” offer for the next house you want, which basically states that you only buy this new house if and when you sell your current house, or lining up a temporary rental for when you need to be out of your current house but aren’t ready for your next move. There are so many options and a knowledgeable agent can help guide you here. The most important thing is to simply talk through the possibilities, make a plan, and remain flexible.

So, you’ve thought about the timing for your family and you have a next move or a plan for the next move lined up, and you’re ready to list your house. But the question remains, is now the best time according to the market?

Is the timing right in the market?

This question does not have a simple answer. No one can predict with one hundred percent accuracy what will happen in the housing market in the next six months or six years. But we can reasonably look at past numbers and current trends to tell you a few things that may answer your questions and concerns.

Is it a seller’s market?

The brains who monitor these things will likely tell you that right now in the DFW region the market is fairly balanced or perhaps slightly more on the buyer’s side. But the truth is more complex than this. For the past few years we have been finding a middle road after the exploding real estate prices of 2020-22 followed by the hike in interest rates of 2023. As the market begins to return to more of a normal place, it seems to be following the usual trends. For example, while houses were sitting with For Sale signs in the yard for longer in January 2024 (an average of 55 days), that number is down as of April 2024 (to an average of 36 days). Keep in mind that this is an average. Depending on the size, location, and condition of a home, the house could sell the day it goes on the market or could take a few months. In general, we are seeing more houses available than we have in the past, which is helpful to buyers. But does that mean you could lose out in this situation? Not necessarily. It really means that you and your agent will simply need to talk about how to make your house as appealing as possible in this market. That may mean pricing or doing a few things (such as staging your home) to make it stand out to buyers. But it definitely doesn’t mean you have to wait around for months to see if the market will change.

The truth is, Fort Worth remains one of the fastest growing cities in The US. That means everyday people are moving here and looking for homes like yours. A talented and knowledgeable agent can have honest conversations with you about your home’s marketability today.   

Should I wait until interest rates go down or less homes are available?

The answer is (and we’re sorry about this), it depends. If your number one priority is to make the most profit off of your property, then most investors will tell you to hold onto it as long as possible. But the truth is, for most of us, there are competing priorities. You may want to be closer to work or closer to your kids’ school for the sake of your daily quality of life. You may feel like you have zero storage in your home and you’re losing your mind trying to keep your house organized. Whatever your priorities are, they matter. So you have to weigh what is most important with you to all of the “what ifs” about the market. There’s not a clear-cut answer. Interest rates will likely not go down as low as we saw them in 2020-2022. We likely won’t see the kind of bidding wars over homes we saw in those years. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good price for your home now.

This leads us to a final question about seasons and time of year. Depending on who you ask, there are good times in the calendar year to sell your home. Of course, people are moving for various reasons all year long. But spring and the early half of summer do tend to be the hottest time in the market. More people are looking. The worst of the Texas heat hasn’t yet set in. It can be a great time to list your home. 

Does this all sound like too big of a decision? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Remember that a good agent is not going to pressure you to sell now, but will help you decide if and when you’re ready. We’d be happy to help you connect with any of our agents at LEAGUE, each of whom are committed to doing what is best for YOU. That means they will share with you their knowledge and experience and give you the best advice they can. But they will do what you want and will always do their best to serve you when it comes to timing and everything else. 

About LEAGUE Real Estate

LEAGUE Real Estate is a full-service brokerage in Fort Worth, Texas. We are a community of agents dedicated to meaningful service and creative media.