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Should I sell my house now?

Wondering if now is the right time to sell? We’re here to help.

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When you’re wondering whether it’s the right time to sell your home, it’s common to have a lot of different questions running through your mind. Should I sell my house now? What is the housing market doing in 2023? Will house prices go up or down? Should I just build an extension instead?  Basically, there are a lot of questions that boil down to one key point: How do you know the right time to sell?

There are a lot of different factors when deciding whether to sell (or buy, for that matter). Some of these factors will be out of your control — like the economy or the market in your area. Some of these factors will be more to do with your personal circumstances — your job, your housing needs, whether you’re ready to handle the upheaval of a move.

So here’s what you need to consider…

Should I sell my house now: 2023?

Should you sell your house now? Well, let’s look at whether that’s even a question. For many of us, we’ll have the luxury of deciding whether or not we want to move home, but there are sometimes when we might not have an option. There are a few reasons why you may have to sell your home: 

  • A divorce

  • Relocating for a job

  • Selling an inherited property

  • Upsizing or downsizing 

  • Struggling to afford mortgage repayment.

You may end up having to sell a home in 2023 because life circumstances demand it. If you’re wondering more about whether you might want to sell this year, we’ll get to what the 2023 housing market might look like later on. For now, let’s look at the options of what you can do with your home.

Should I sell my house or extend it?

Many of us sell because we need more space, but can you get more space right where you are? If you’re worried about mortgage rates and the cost of moving — and you already love your neighbourhood — you may want to think about extending instead. You’ll have to see if you can get permission to extend and consider all of the costs of the materials and work (which can be hefty), but if you love your current home, it’s an option.  Not sure how to decide? Well, weigh up the cost of moving — we have a handy calculator that can help you out — vs the cost to build an extension. It’s a good place to start.

Should I sell my house or rent it out?

What about renting? If you need to move but you love your current home, you may choose to rent it out instead — and then you can either buy a new property or rent one, depending on your budget.  If you really don’t want to get rid of your current home and think you may come back to it one day — like, say you’re taking a short-term role in a new city — it lets you keep your home while providing some income. 

Of course, that isn’t always the right choice. The rental market is sky high right now, so you may find that renting the new place feels prohibitive (although you will be getting rental income from your current property). And you’ll need to make sure it’s allowed under your current mortgage. Or you may just think it’s too much hassle. It’s all down to what works for you.

Am I at risk of negative equity if I sell my house now?

When wondering if you should sell your house now, you may have heard about “negative equity”. The good news? It might sound scary, but it’s pretty unusual. Negative equity essentially means you owe more on the home than the home is actually worth.

So when does this happen? Basically, when there’s been a big market crash. Say you bought a home for £200,000 and your mortgage is £180,000. But before you’ve really made a dent in your mortgage, the market drops so your property is only worth £170,000. So you owe more than it’s worth. As we said, it’s really unusual — and normally would only come with a huge drop in the housing market, rather than just a small fall. If you do have negative equity, it’s important to consider whether it’s really the right time for you to sell.

It might sound scary, but negative equity is pretty unusual."

Will house prices go down in 2023?

Hmmm — that’s the question. The predictions for the house market in 2023 have been all over the place. After the mini budget in 2022 and the spike in mortgage rates, people predicted a huge crash in 2023. But then, many of those predictions softened a little. Some are saying the market may continue to slide down, but not with the same crashing sound they originally imagined. The truth is, predictions are always changing. As we said, there may be a reason you need to sell your home — a growing family, divorce, or anything in between. It may be that you’re in a position to wait until the market is really strong again. One important caveat, prices going down can actually help you if you’re upgrading. If you’re looking to buy a bigger home, the difference between the price of your current home and the next one is likely to be less in a falling market. So really, it’s all down to your circumstances.

How do I know it’s the right time to sell my house?

So we’ve looked at the macro factors to consider — whether the housing market in 2023 means it’s the right time to sell a house. Now let’s talk about the personal factors.

When you're deciding whether to move right now — and knowing if it’s the right choice for you — there are questions you have to ask yourself. A lot of it will be down to your individual needs, but there are some questions that come up for potential sellers again and again.

  • Do you love your current home?

  • How do you feel about your current neighbourhood? 

  • Are you looking to be closer to family?

  • Do you have more opportunities because of remote working?

  • Are schools a priority?

  • Could you extend your current house rather than move?

  • Are you in a financial position to take on the mortgage you want?

  • Are you factoring in the costs of moving? 

  • Would it change your commute?

  • Is upgrading to a bigger home worth it?

  • Can you afford the home you want in the area you want?

So should you move now? Well, that depends on you. Use the economy and the market to get a sense of how quickly your house would sell and what price it would sell for — we’d recommend a quick valuation to get a good estimate — and then you need to take that information and factor in your personal circumstances. Does selling this property in this market make your life better? Do the advantages outweigh the stresses? Is the move you’re hoping to make realistic financially?

A lot of the time, the answer will be yes. But not always. So take your time, ask questions, and remember that we’re here to help.

Should I sell my house now? FAQs

Interesting question — the agreed wisdom has always been that spring is the best time of year to sell a home, as everyone comes out of hibernation. But that’s not always the case — Boxing Day tends to be the most popular time of the year for browsing and, as we’ve seen over the last few years, macro factors can affect the market way more than the seasons do.