Should You Sell or Stay?

House and money on the scale with woman in a thoughtful pose

Should You Sell or Stay?

Tips for When to Love It, When to List It.

By Nora Hickey

A home is never simply a place to eat and sleep in between a busy life, but a space to live and make memories. Because a home bears the marks of each unique inhabitant, the question of whether to stay or move is often a difficult one. There are multiple, valid reasons for both. With the help of Liz Schichtel from Realty One New Mexico, who has helped clients make these decisions in Albuquerque for years, we’ve come up with some reasons for both.

When to Sell
  • If the market is in your favor. “The first thing I always do is run a market analysis — what you owe on the home and closing costs — to see if you would be able to sell your home. I also look at the year you bought it and what the market is looking like now. Here in Albuquerque, our market has been steadily climbing for five years, so it’s a seller’s market,” Schichtel explains. 
  • Your lifestyle is changing, which means your home is getting too big or too small. “A lot of people bought homes in the 1960s and ’70s, and now they
    are selling and moving. Younger
    people are coming in and renovating them,” Schichtel notes.
  • You want to change areas for schools, better commute time or other resources. 
  • You aren’t able to renovate because of regulations from the city or an HOA (Home Owners Association). Or, renovations you desire are physically impossible on your existing house. 
When to Stay
  • Your home equity has the potential to go up. This happens when the homeowner’s interest in the home increases due to the property value going up, and/or the mortgage being paid down. You could also borrow against home equity to make renovations, and earn a higher resale price.  
  • You live in an area of scarcity. If you live in an older eighborhood, you often won’t be able to re-create that exact house style, street design, tree age and more. “We can say that there are parts of an area that will always retain their value because of scarcity. These older houses can’t be remade anymore,” Schichtel says.
  • You can renovate your current home to fit your changing needs — to accommodate kids or aging in place.
  • You probably won’t see the money you put into renovation back from a sale. “If you put $50,000 into the
    home, realistically you’re probably not going to make all of it back — depending on where it’s located,” Schichtel says.
  • It’s the wrong season to sell. “It’s always better to sell in spring and summer,” Schichtel notes. “June and July are when we have a good bump in real estate.”
Can’t Decide?

And, there is one solution for those who just can’t decide: renting. If it’s not a good time to sell, you may want to hang onto the house and work with a company to rent it while home values go up or upgrades can be made.