Well, we’re into the Spring Market now and with that, we’re seeing more people out on the search and more listings coming on board.
The psychology of selling a home has always interested me and I got to thinking about all the different reasons people decide to put their home up for sale. Here are a few of them.
- FOMO (fear of missing out) is usually more prevalent in a seller’s market. Some sellers feel that if they don’t list their place at a certain time of year (ie: Spring) they won’t get the offers or price they are looking for. If your home is priced right and shows well, it will get noticed regardless of the time of year.
- Upsizing – many first time buyers get their first home when its just them. A few years later, add a couple of kids, maybe a dog and they’ve outgrown their space.
- Buyer’s remorse. Maybe they thought they could get by without a front yard, but the noise from the main street is just too much. Or the neighbour’s constant backyard hoe-downs are too much. Or they’re sick of the creaking floorboards of their 70-year-old house. Whatever the reason, homeowners believe they made a mistake and want out.
- The neighbourhood changes. Seemed great at the time but maybe there is increased traffic from rental properties now, the sidewalks are crumbling or there is too much commercial development nearby.
- Upsizing. Their careers are flourishing or they’ve come into money, and they can afford the bigger, grander, more expensive residence they’ve always longed for.
- Deferred maintenance. Putting on a new roof, replacing the siding, or buying a new furnace isn’t sexy or gratifying. Sometimes it’s easier to buy a newer home and get out before it’s time to spend the big bucks.
- Equity. Some homeowners can’t stand the fact their place is worth all that money and they can’t, as the saying goes, “eat the house.” Rather than stare at four walls with empty pockets, they cash in, taking advantage of appreciation in property values. Not so easy in a buyers’ market, though.
- Foreclosure or bankruptcy – never a pleasant topic, but some people simply can’t sustain payments on a home and end up losing them. I’d like to debunk a common myth: Foreclosures don’t necessarily mean you get a home for a fire sale price. Banks aren’t big on negotiating discounts.
- New job or transfer. Work-related relocation forces people to pull up roots. Sometimes people balk when a new job means a longer commute in heavy traffic so they look for a place closer to the new job.
- Family. People frequently move to be near relatives, especially as they age. On the other hand, sometimes they move to put distance between themselves and their kin. Dysfunctional and fractured families have been known to grow closer after being separated.
- Need a new challenge. Some people enjoy renovating a home. But once the work is done, they get restless. They like nothing better than selling up and moving on—to the next fixer-upper.
- Different interests and priorities. Some folks are simply tired of owning a home and would prefer to travel, pursue a hobby, or be less responsible. So, homeownership loses its priority status and selling a home turns into the ticket for realizing dreams.
- Changes in relationships. Moving in with a partner or getting married usually means selling for one or both of the parties. Divorces and breakups are also a common reason for people to sell homes. One party may need to buy out the other and not have the cash available; the place may not be affordable to sustain on a single income; or the home simply holds bad memories.
- Empty nesters. The kids have grown up and moved out, and now the parents want a smaller place. Plus, the older you get, the harder a big house is to maintain, and the better an apartment or townhouse looks. We have a detailed budget comparison for different types of downsizing homes – email us for a PDF copy!
- Retirement. Active-adult communities are attracting many buyers over age 65. These planned communities can offer workout and recreational facilities, and social gatherings—along with health and medical facilities, making it easier to age in place.
- Death. When a partner dies, the survivor often finds the home too big or too full of sad memories to remain. Maybe grown children find the familial home impractical to keep after their remaining parent goes.
It’s also critical for seniors who are considering a move to make sure they have all of their finances in order so they can make an informed decision. Jill Chambers of Financial Concierge specializes in this field and is definitely worth checking out if you or an aging loved one is considering selling their home.
Lastly, as a realtor we always want to make sure that someone isn’t selling their home under duress. Whether it’s a divorce, bankruptcy or other personal financial distress or a new job, the reason someone has to sell is confidential. If a potential buyer asks why my client is selling, I never disclose. I don’t want to give their realtor any leverage in negotiations.
So, as we see the For Sale signs pop up across the city, remember that there are people who are impacted by it and many legitimate reasons behind them.