Making the move: deciding when to sell your place

Selling your house

Whether you’ve owned your home for decades or you only just moved into it last year, there could be a whole host of reasons why you might decide to sell and move on. Perhaps you’ve noticed a real difference in the way the market is performing, and you want to capitalise on that and ensure that you don’t miss out on price changes. Or maybe you want to move to fit a new set of circumstances, such as a job move or a new baby on the way.

Whatever your reason for deciding to move, it’s well worth thinking through your options and ensuring that you’re making an informed decision about what to do. If you don’t, you may well end up regretting your decision – and that’s not a desirable development for anyone! This article will look at three distinctive scenarios in which people often choose to sell their properties and move on – and explore what the reasons for doing so might be.

When the price is right

The housing market changes on a regular basis, and rises and falls are not out of the question. In fact, they’re relatively common – especially if you’ve owned your property for a number of years. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you respond to this in a positive manner – and in a way that preserves your own financial position. If the market is rising and you’re ready to move, for example, it’s a good idea to think about what your own long-term plans are. 

If you want to sell and move on, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to do so once this particular rise in the market has been and gone. Meanwhile, if prices are dropping, it’s definitely a good idea to see whether or not they have dropped for homes which are one or two levels above you. If they have, you might be able to strike a real bargain – and now could be the time to sell. 

When your circumstances change

Having the luxury of selling a property at a time which works for you is amazing – but if that doesn’t transpire, you might find yourself looking for other reasons to sell up. One of these could be a change in circumstances. If you have a young family, for example, you might want to sell so that you can purchase that dream property which has a larger number of bedrooms. Alternatively, if you want to downsize due to a bereavement or because of your children flying the nest, you might want to get things in motion as soon as possible for the big move. 

However, changes in circumstances don’t have to be so serious or life-changing. Perhaps you’ve decided that you want more outdoor space, for example, or maybe you want to move into a property which has a certain characteristic – such as a conservatory, or a large garden which has enough space for children and pets. If this is the case, it’s worth remembering that life really is short: if your equity and mortgage calculations mean that you can sell up and move on, there’s no time like the present. If this doesn’t work for you right now, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make it work in the future. In fact, you might find that you are able to start saving now to get that extra portion of the deposit or buying power in order to make a circumstances-friendly move in the months and years to come. 

When needs really must

In an ideal world, it would be possible to make a big move such as a house sale on one of the two grounds outlined above – either because a new place would suit you better, or because there’s an opportunity to make a sound financial decision. Sadly, there is a whole range of circumstances in which it’s not always possible to make your decision based on such rational grounds. Sometimes, life gets in the way of key decisions like this, and you need to make a decision which works in the here and now – even if it’s not friendly to your long-term plan.

Take the example of a death in the family. If you’re not covered by a policy such as life insurance, the loss of one of the people paying the mortgage can deal a huge blow to your ability to sustain your current home. In that situation, you may have to take the equity you have out of the home and move somewhere else with a smaller mortgage in order to ensure that you can continue to meet the repayments.

Sometimes, the lines between “needs must” and a change in circumstances are blurred. If you were to lose your job, for example, it may feel like you have to move house – although it could also be seen as a change in circumstances. To some extent, the category this will fall into depends to some extent on what sort of savings you have in place. If you’re able to fund your current outgoings for a few months in order to avoid falling behind on mortgage repayments, you’ll have the luxury of treating it as a temporary circumstance change – so it’s definitely worth planning ahead in this way. 

Moving house is often ranked as one of the most stressful things a person can do, and it’s especially stressful in the case of buying and selling homes. One way to comprehend the difficulties is to break them down into categories: the “needs must” category, of course, offers little leeway, but a circumstance change or even a change in the housing market can also be factored into your decision. In the end, there’s no one ideal time to buy or sell a home – but by thinking through all of your options in the manner outlined above, you’ll stand the best possible chance of doing it at a time that is right for you. 

If you’re looking to sell your home, National Property Trade could help. Learn more here.