As home prices increase, homeowners have options. Some are quickly gaining back the equity they lost over the last several years. That creates opportunity to refinance, remodel, or maybe sell.
If you're sitting on the fence trying to determine whether to list your home for sale or to stay in it, consider these important tips.
Tip 1: Do a "Love it or List it" Analysis.
On a sheet of paper write down the things you love about your home and the things that might cause you to decide to list your home for sale. Take your time doing this. Really give every aspect of your home consideration. Do you like the neighborhood? Is it where you want to stay for a long while or even retire? Is the area or your home lacking something? Could remodeling your home be the solution?
Once you do the "love it or list it" analysis, you'll be able to identify which parts of your home are bothering your the most. With that information, you can now start to explore more options.
Tip 2: Do your research.
This applies to both options–remodeling or selling. Visit other neighborhoods that you might like to live in. Carefully explore the surrounding area, the homes, the types of people, the shops, businesses, and churches. Think about your commute. Would it be longer? Would it cost more in gas? Are there any gains to offset extra costs? Gathering these details will help you add more to your "love it or list it" analysis.
Also, invite some real estate agents to your home to get some expert advice on how much your home would sell for and how long it might take. When you get that information, it can help you determine if selling is best.
Next visit some remodeling companies. See their remodeling projects and invite their team to your house to offer their suggestions. Sometimes what a homeowner thinks is a difficult remodel is really quite simple. Of course, the opposite is true too. For instance, if a home doesn't have the supporting structure it needs, a remodel could become very complex or, in some case, impossible, which might prompt an immediate desire to sell.
Tip 3: Have your financial records in order.
Whether you decide to remodel or sell, having your financial records easily accessible is vital. You'll need these documents for both situations. Knowing what upgrades you've already done to the home will help when it comes time to sell. And, having your tax documents and other financial information on hand will help you if you decide to remodel using financing.
Tip 4: Evaluate the process.
Talk to expert listing agents and remodeling companies so that you can completely understand what to expect with both processes. If you're listing your home, learn about the marketing process, holding open houses, showing your home, what large items might need to be removed, and the overall timing of how long you'll need before you close escrow. For remodeling, get details about the length of the expected renovation. Will you be able to live in the home or will you have to find a place to stay? Will you use one firm to do both the design and build process? Often this is easier and can be less costly than using several contractors.
Take your time and pay close attention to all the details. Both selling and renovating a home are major decisions. Make sure you give the decision-making process ample time as well as compiling a considerable amount of research to make your final decision.