When is the Best Time for Baby Boomers to Sell their Home?

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Baby Boomers who own a residence ultimately face the issue of whether they should sell their home or retire in place. Many decide to downsize in retirement or move closer to their kids. So the question is, “What is the best time to sell your home?”

Historically, the best month for quickly selling a home at the highest price is May (don’t ask me why). Spring is better than Winter, and if you live in a warm climate anytime may be good. Just remember, working families often move during the summer school break to accommodate their children. Other major considerations are:

  • How much can you get for your home? Take a look at the prices for sales of similar properties in your local area by doing  a zip-code search on Zillow or Realtor.com.
  • How long will it take to sell your property? Is it a seller’s or buyer’s market (i.e., you will get a higher price and a faster sale when there are more buyers than sellers)?
  • What are the interest rates? Do buyers have access to attractive financing programs? How much income does a buyer need to qualify to purchase your home after a normal 20 percent down payment?
  • Have you lived in your home for at least two years so you qualify for tax exclusion on the first $500,000 of profit (for a couple)? If you are selling rental property or a vacation home, consult with an accountant first to determine the tax consequences for your income level.
  • What are the anticipated selling costs? Do you have to fix some things up before listing the property? What are local Realtors charging? Will you get enough profit to implement your plans (i.e., the underlying reason you wish to sell your home)?

Selling one’s home is not a decision to be taken lightly. Most Boomers have their major retirement assets tied up in home equity. It pays to be informed. I suggest digesting these quick articles to educate yourself:

The Bottom Line for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers have many reasons for wanting to sell their homes, vacation properties or rentals. Usually this centers around wanting to downsize, being closer to family or to consolidate finances. It is a process, so be prepared to take time and do your homework. The most important thing is that the sale successfully opens the door to what you want to follow.

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