We’re not young anymore. But will we get more for our place if we wait a year or two?

“We’re ready for a townhouse in Texas—more than ready. But will we come out ahead if we wait another year or two?”

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I’ve heard this question—or variations of it—literally hundreds of times. Winters feel longer, stairs feel steeper, and sellers are more than ready to move on to the next stage of their lives. But they still hope to time the market and end up with a little extra cash in their pockets. And who can blame them?

Answering their question honestly requires a frank, open conversation that isn’t always easy. Still, this reality check is an important one. It’s all about timing, and my answer involves two different kinds of timing. One can’t be predicted, and the other can’t be stopped.

The first part of my answer is that we can’t time the market, and we can’t predict the market. Maybe your home will sell for more a year from now, but maybe it will sell for less. And two or three years from now? Who knows? There are no guarantees. To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

If sellers have decided they’re ready to move on to the next stage of their lives, then I advise them to price their home so it will sell in the market we have now—not the market we wish we had. That doesn’t mean giving it away, but it does mean listening to what the numbers are telling us. With every seller, I base that part of our conversation on a thorough, fact-based analysis of what similar homes are selling for and what inventory is still out there. All those other homes are our competition.

The second, more difficult part of this conversation has to do with timing and uncertainty, too. When sellers have reached a certain age, their only certainty is that from here on, time will pass far too quickly. Potentially, extra funds from the sale of their home could make those remaining years more secure, more pleasant, and just plain more fun.

Although it’s good to be prudent, many sellers wait too long and miss out on those opportunities. I don’t want to dwell on this, so I’ll just say that over the years I’ve often worked with children, grandchildren, and other heirs to help settle the affairs of relatives who’d been in no hurry to sell. I’m glad to help those sellers, too.

So if you’re determined to stay in your current home as long as you possibly can, then good for you. (That’s our plan, too.) But if you’ve already decided that it’s time for that townhouse in Texas, a condo in Florida, or simply a place in town that’s a little closer to the kids and health care, my advice is this: When it’s time, it’s time.

Curious to learn more about cabins and lake homes for sale NW Wisconsin? As your NW Wisconsin Realtor, I’ll be glad to help you find the lake home, cabin, or waterfront property of your dreams. To get started right now, give me a call at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

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