Top 5 Reasons People Sell Their Homes

why people sell their home

What motivates people to pull up stakes and move away from friends and family? Why would a couple leave their dream home for a smaller property closer to town?

People have any number of reasons for packing up their belongings and moving to a new home, and this article will cover the top five reasons homeowners put their homes on the market.

1. Financial Distress

It’s an unfortunate but true fact that financial distress is one of the top reasons that people sell their homes. Homeowners who’ve purchased a home that just barely fits into their budget are especially sensitive to fluctuations in their financial situation, but so are homeowners who are experiencing any big life changes. 

Financial distress can be triggered by any one of these events:

  • Death 
  • Divorce
  • Job loss
  • Illness
  • Debt

Instead of letting a home fall into foreclosure, a homeowner who is experiencing financial distress should contact a real estate agent and prepare to list their home for sale. Getting ahead of foreclosure sets homeowners up for success in whatever the next phase of their life holds.

2. Financial Improvement

On the flip side, financial improvement is a positive reason that people upgrade their residences. A promotion or a pay raise are just a few of the instances that prompt homeowners to relocate to a new city or a larger home. 

Depending on the local market, rather than renovating their current home, homeowners can get a bigger bang for their buck by selling and trading up their residences.

3. Change in Family Circumstances

As homeowners enter new life stages, a previously perfect home no longer meets their needs, and they may find that they need to adjust their housing to accommodate their new circumstances. A new baby might finally convince a couple that their starter home just isn’t big enough anymore, or with all of the children out of the nest, a couple may decide that it’s time to downsize. 

A forever home isn’t a forever home anymore when children become caretakers of their parents, or family members move in together to save money. Whether it’s adding or subtracting family members, a change in life circumstances can subsequently also prompt a change of address. 

4. Cash Out in a Hot Market

The temptation to capitalize on a seller’s market may be all the motivation that a homeowner needs to list their home. With 2021 home prices up over 15% from last year and interest rates at historic lows, some homeowners anticipate that they won’t see home prices at this level again for years. They’re choosing to gamble by selling their primary residence while prices are high, and then they’re betting that home prices will drop enough to buy again at a much lower price. 

Many homeowners are also decamping from an expensive area to an area with a lower cost of living. States like California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York saw an extensive net migration out, while more affordable states like Idaho, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida saw a large influx of new residents. A more affordable state could mean a low-tax state, like Tennessee, or it could refer to more affordable housing, like South Carolina.

5. The House Itself

Interestingly, homeowners are more likely to move within the city they currently live in for house-related reasons and are more likely to move out of state for job-related reasons. Property amenities that were once attractive to a homeowner may have crossed over into the nuisance stage. A pool that needs constant repairs or an acre yard that constantly needs mowing has transitioned from being an exciting part of homeownership to being a headache. 

Deferring maintenance for years leads to a home that needs nearly everything replaced. Rather than installing new windows, a new roof, a new furnace, new carpet, and replacing a rotten deck, a homeowner could just decide to sell the house as-is and walk away. In this instance, the yearly maintenance chores were a once-in-a-decade chore, and it shows all over the house. 

Homeowners who bought at a different stage in their lives frequently find that their priorities have changed. The location of the home may be a drag if they’ve changed jobs and are now commuting further, or if the home isn’t close enough to shopping or schools. Selling their home to move closer to work or school makes more sense than hanging on to a house that doesn’t meet their needs anymore.

The Bottom Line

A housing situation that no longer meets your needs could happen for any number of reasons. Whether you’re trying to upsize, downsize, or move closer to family, selling your home at the perfect price gives you the financial tools you need to succeed. If you’re ready to move onto the next stage of your life, AgentStory can connect you with the perfect real estate agent that can help you make that transition.

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