Back to top

Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Home Selling

Thinking of selling your house? Deciding to put your home on the market can feel overwhelming.

After all, there are so many moving pieces to consider, from inspections and appraisals to open houses and walkthroughs – and then there's the part where you pack up and find a new home.

When considering whether to sell your home, here are five questions to ask before you take the plunge.

Small wooden cutout house next to a calculator.

1) What's My Home Worth?

A home's market value depends on multiple variables, such as:

  • Location
  • Square footage and usable space
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Year it was built
  • Upgrades and updates
  • Unique features (such as a pool or workshop)

External factors come into play, as well. Economic conditions, neighborhood amenities and local market trends all influence your home's value. Usually, real estate professionals determine how much a home is worth by comparing it to other, similar homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood.

2) When Is the Best Time to Sell a House?

Though you can sell your home at any time of year, research indicates that certain months — and even certain days – may be better. A recent study analyzed ten years of home sale data. The research shows that home sales during late spring and early summer tend to offer higher premiums.

Home sales in May bring in the highest premiums, coming in at more than 13 percent above market value. Drilling down even deeper, homes that sell on May 23 go for 19.3 percent over market value.

And the "worst" months to sell a home, as far as seller premiums? December and October tied for last place, with November and January providing the second- and third-lower seller premiums.

3) How Much Equity Do I Have in My Home?

Deciding to sell often rides on your ability to purchase your next home. This, in turn, may depend on how much equity is available in your current home.

Equity is the percentage of the home that you truly own. If you previously paid off your mortgage or originally purchased your home with cash, you've got full equity. If you're still paying off the house, calculate your equity by subtracting the amount you owe on your mortgage from the market value of your home.

In most cases, you'll want enough equity to cover:

  • Mortgage payoff
  • Selling costs
  • Closing costs on a new home
  • Moving costs

4) How Much Will It Cost to Sell My House?

As a general rule, expect about 10 percent of your home sale to go toward selling costs. Real estate commissions take up a large chunk of the profits. Usually, these range from 5 to 6 percent of the sale price.

For instance, if you sold your home for $300,000, expect commission fees of $15,000 to $18,000. Fees are usually split between the buyer's and seller's agents and, in most cases, the seller bears the cost.

You may also bear potential costs such as:

  • Pre-sale home inspection (to help you avoid any unpleasant surprises)
  • Repairs and upgrades
  • Home staging
  • Closing costs
  • Property tax

5) How Long Will It Take to Sell My Home?

Of course, there's no cut-and-dried answer to this question, as every situation is different. Look to market conditions and local real estate trends to make this determination.

In a "hot" or "seller's" market, low inventory and high demand mean buyers have less choice. Often, sellers can expect higher sale prices and fewer days on the market.

In contrast, homes often take longer to sell under "buyer's" market conditions. When available home inventory is higher, buyers have more options and can take their time, leading to more days on the market.

Determining whether to sell your home can be complicated. Carefully considering key factors such as equity, cost and timelines will help you navigate this complex decision.

Family in the kitchen.

Cover home, auto & more.

Encompass Insurance offers protection for the things that matter most.

Find an agent

The general information contained in The Encompass Blog is provided as a courtesy, and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this website are subject to periodic change without notice. Information provided on The Encompass Blog is not intended to replace official sources. Although attempts will be made to ensure that the information is accurate and timely, the information is presented "as is" and without warranties. Information contained on The Encompass Blog should not be mistaken for professional advice. Information contained herein should not be considered error-free and should not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. Use of website information is strictly voluntary and at the user's sole risk. We encourage you to obtain personal advice from qualified professionals when making decision regarding your specific situation.

Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers. The Encompass Blog does not monitor all linked resources and cannot guarantee their accuracy. Statements, views and opinions included in an independent provider's material are strictly those of the author(s). These views may not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of The Encompass Blog, the Encompass family of companies or its agents, officers or employees.

ECC Monitor: OK