Is Now the Right Time to Sell Your Halifax Home?

Is Now the Right Time to Sell Your Halifax Home?

Is Now the Right Time to Sell Your Halifax Home?

Thanks to Nova Scotia’s hot housing market, Melanie Cameron says selling her Sackville home last fall was a breeze. The process was quick and easy and the house sold for $24,000 over asking. Then, she watched the market get even hotter. “I’m happy I waited and sold when the market was high,” says Melanie. But she jokingly adds, “Now I’m thinking, ‘What if I waited another six months? I could have made even more.’”

 2020 was a record breaker for real estate in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), which includes nearby towns like Sackville. Prices shot up, sales volumes increased and there are no signs of things changing any time soon. Even experienced real estate agents like Pat Currie have never seen anything like it. “You scratch your head and go, ‘Oh my goodness, how do we adapt to this?’” says Pat.

 Melanie’s home was one of many houses Pat sold last year for above asking price. Her most dramatic example of the heated housing market was the sale of a lakefront property in a popular Hammonds Plains subdivision. The house went $250,000 over the list price. “We had 43 viewings in three days, a multiple offer situation and 19 offers in hand, all over asking price,” she recalls.

 The current market is ideal for anyone looking to sell fast at a high price. And, you might be wondering if now is the best time for you to sell. It’s a question Pat and her colleagues get asked often these days.

 “A lot of people are hoping we have that crystal ball to figure out how the market is going to be in a year’s time because they’re saying, ‘Well, should we hold off? Should we wait six months? What is it that we should be doing?’” Her answer: “There’s never a bad time to sell.” But she does advise her clients to ask themselves a few key questions before deciding to sell their home.

 One big question is where do you go next? In this seller’s market, you’ll likely sell quickly and need to have a place to move into. Pat says now is a perfect time for those who want to sell their home and move into an apartment or condo. However, she suggests getting that lined up in advance.

 Timing can be a bit tricky for anyone looking to buy again, but Pat says it’s wise to purchase the new home before selling the old one. “We have to explore all of that first because you can get all excited about making some good money on your property, but we need to know that you’re going to be able to lay your head down at night in a safe place that you can call home.”

 It’s also important to consider all the costs associated with selling. Not only the real estate commissions and lawyers’ fees but also things like bridge financing if you end up having to pay the mortgages on two homes for a short period of time while you sell your existing house.

 As well, she says really think about your budget and whether you’re prepared to go into competition because it’s likely that the house you want to buy will attract multiple offers.

There are other financial factors to consider too. For instance, are you willing to replace key items in the home like window coverings and patio furniture, if the buyer asks for them? “Sometimes, if you ask top dollar for your house, they’re going to ask for the farm.” Replacing a lot of costly items can quickly add up and it all takes away from the bottom line.

 As you can see, there are many things to consider, which is why having an experienced agent working with you can help you make the right decisions and give you more peace of mind. “Talk to your REALTOR® because there are too many moving parts, too many factors involved in selling a house,” says Pat.

 While no one knows exactly what the future holds for the Halifax housing market, Pat doesn’t see prices continuing to escalate at the rate we’ve been seeing. “Personally, I feel it’s not sustainable.” She views the current situation as more of a reset with Halifax house prices, which lagged behind other urban markets for years, now levelling up. COVID-19 fueled the fire, but the housing market here was heating up well before that and she eventually sees more balance coming back to the market.

 Melanie hopes Pat is right. She’s happy with her decision to sell, especially because her work as a dental hygienist was affected by the pandemic lockdown last year, and she now feels better able to face any future financial uncertainty. But she misses having her own home for herself and her two children, so she’ll be closely watching the market, waiting for the right time to buy again. “I know that prices will probably never drop, but I’m hoping they balance out where the bidding wars will stop.” 

 Are you wondering if now is the right time to sell your Halifax area home? We’d love to help you take the next step towards achieving your goals. Contact us today.

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