There comes a time in every property owner’s life when deciding whether or not to sell becomes a priority. Some may get overly eager in a strong market and think their time is now, however that can’t be the only motivation. There are plenty of reasons why you should sell your property and timing is everything. Even though house prices are falling and auction clearance rates are low, your own personal priorities should take precedence and you may get out just in time, enabling you to forge ahead to the next stage of your investment plans. So, with that in mind, here are 10 reasons why you should consider selling right now.
1. It’s the right financial climate
Despite the questionable behaviour of the property market, there is a combination of favourable conditions currently that could result in you getting some decent cash return on your investment. A consistently low cash rate from the RBA, low interest rates and appealing conditions for overseas investors (such as a weak Australian dollar and share market) could collectively create the perfect environment for you to maximise the return on your investment.
2. The market is right for your property to sell
Selling just because everyone else is, or reactive selling in a hyped environment, are not reasons to sell. However, if the market is strong for properties like yours and despite falls, they are still earning good returns, the timing may in fact be good for you to consider the options. Keep close tabs on sales of houses similar to yours and follow that up with an appraisal of your own property from your local real estate agent. A choice to sell now may not be in your original investment plan, but sometimes solid opportunities cannot be ignored. Selling at above and beyond what you may have previously anticipated, not only strengthens your financial position, it helps you achieve your investment goals much faster.
3. You need the cold hard cash
Various life events can alter the course of our plans considerably and sometimes we have to shift focus. Although property will be one of your most valuable assets, it can also be a bridge to another stage of your life. Challenges such as crippling debt, life threatening health issues, divorce and even death can all demand an immediate re-evaluation of your current financial position. On a more positive note, it might also be that your priorities have simply changed and you want to upgrade some aspects of your life. Again, this alone is not a reason to sell, but if there is a combination of forces at play and your end result will be favourable, then read the signs and respond accordingly.
4. There’s no more value left to add
If you have invested considerable amounts already in adding value to your property, maybe the time has come to sell up, cash in and start again. In the early stages of property ownership there will definitely be things you can do to add value to your property, however there will be a point where you have either done all you can possibly do, or the time has come to cut your losses and move on. There’s only so much renovation one property can take after all! If you have transformed your initial investment into a stunning flawless masterpiece that will wow the market, then why not cash in on all of your hard work? Getting a good sense of what features the market is looking for, will help confirm your decision and of course there’s nothing like an appraisal to tell you how the market might respond, once your property hits the market.
5. Your neighbourhood just became cool
Sometimes local markets buck the trend of the regional markets and you may be in that glorious sweet spot where your neighbourhood just became the coolest place in town. It can be hard to predict this event when you buy, but if you find yourself in this fortunate position, then maximise the opportunity! Sometimes neighbourhoods slowly build up to their cool credentials and other times it can happen in the blink of an eye – a new hip café, a hot new wine bar or a celebrity moving in – can all up the ante and before you know it the place is crawling with hipsters and everyone wants in on the action.
6. It’s time to upsize
When we first buy a property there are plenty of reasons why that particular property is ideal. As time passes however, our priorities change and with shifting needs there is inevitably a requirement for more space. Maybe you’re in a relationship now, expecting a child or growing your family, or have decided to work from home so need extra rooms. Whatever the reason, upsizing your future can be expensive, as you have more requirements on your list than the last time you shopped for property. If a combination of factors can result in your making a decent profit on your original purchase, upsizing can not only be possible but also more financially achievable than you previously thought.
7. It’s time to downsize
From the one-bedroom apartment you bought in your 20s, to the 4-bedroom family home you bought in your 40s, time marches on and the properties we choose reflect the different life stages we go through. Once the kids move out, the next life stage is upon you – the nest is empty and you find yourself rattling around like a pea in a jar, in a house too big for your needs. Downsizing is a difficult decision and it can be an emotional time, but it can also be liberating as you shed all the ‘stuff’ from the past and move into a simpler, less cluttered phase of your life. It’s not just empty nesters either – separation, divorce and death are all unexpected realities that can require a change of environment - one that is less expensive and free of memories of a different time in our lives. Scaling back and simplifying things can make the transition from one stage of your life to the next much easier and also leave you with some extra cash to play with, as you look for something bigger and better than what you had before.
8. Your priorities have changed
Just as our life circumstances change, so do our personal priorities. The property you buy as a first home buyer may have perfectly suited your needs at the time, but 5 years later your life looks quite different. Maybe you want something bigger, or smaller, or maybe it’s more specific such as outdoor space for a pet or something closer to work, friends or family. Sometimes it’s the neighbourhood itself – being in the heart of the action was great when you were young and single but now it’s just noisy and dirty and your yearning for something more clean and serene becomes overpowering. Whatever the reason, only you will know when the time is right. If you can manage to make some cash, as well as upgrade your life to a newer fresher version of itself, then your long-term investment goals may come to fruition in different ways to what you had anticipated.
9. Renovate or bust
If you’ve studied the market closely and for long enough, there will come a time when you realise your property is in trouble; you can no longer sit back and hope its value will increase all by itself. Some features quickly become dated and without regular upgrades, repairs and restorations, a property can start to look tired and forlorn. It is at this point that you will need to decide whether to renovate or sell. Will the money you invest in renovating actually deliver you a decent return, or should you cut your losses and sell now before further decreases in value occur? It may seem strange, but sometimes it’s actually cheaper to sell and start again, than it is to renovate. Many a novice has poured thousands into a new kitchen or bathroom only to discover they have simply restored it to what the market considers as standard, rather than added value. An appraisal will help inform your decision here, so get advice from the experts then either shape up or ship out.
10. You’re just over it
The truth is, sometimes we just need a change. After years of doing the same daily commute to work, cleaning the same rooms and rearranging furniture a dozen times to freshen things up, the time comes when you have simply outgrown your property and you need a fresh start. This is a great time to look for property because you are excited about new possibilities, but you also have the freedom to sell when the timing is right for you. Take some time to prepare your property for sale and have a good idea about what you want to be different in your new home so you can be clear in your search. Once you’ve studied the market enough, you can see what your money will buy and reassess your priorities based on the facts in front of you. You may need to sit it out a while longer until conditions are more favourable, or your timing may be perfect! Either way, it’s okay to move on - just make sure it’s done with a measured and informed approach.