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How to Be Sure You'll Make Money on Your Home Sale This Year

Real estate has been on a roll the last few years, and 2017 is shaping up to prolong that trend. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home prices are still on the upswing thanks to increasing buyer demand and a shortage of available homes for sale.

That’s good news if you’ve been thinking about working with a real estate agent to sell your home. There’s really no time like the present if you and your family are ready to make a move. Of course, before you start packing, there’s one question you need to answer first: Can you make more on your home than you paid for it?

Let’s look at a few signs that point to yes.

1. Business Is Booming in Your Neighborhood

Ah, there’s nothing like the sound of business being built in the morning! What’s that? You don’t like waking up to pounding hammers and buzzing saws?

Well, what if we told you that’s the sound of money?

Find expert agents to help you sell your home.

It’s true! Think about it: Businesses don’t open their doors in stagnant parts of town. They plant roots in areas with potential for growth. If new businesses are popping up all around you, your community is destined for an upswing.

Need proof? A recent Zillow study found that national home values increased 65% between 1997 and 2014, while those within a quarter mile of a Starbucks increased 96%. Talk about a caffeine boost!

2. Neighborhoods Near You Have Spiked in Value

Now that we’ve covered the business side of things, let’s dig into a few details. We’ll start by looking at neighborhoods near you. The question is: Have they gone up in value?

Trulia and Zillow both provide simple tools for exploring home value trends near you. Just ignore any estimates you see and study sale prices instead. Why? Because it’s a more accurate indication of actual market value.

Look for homes that have sold in neighborhoods near you. You can gauge which direction values are headed by comparing a home’s recent sale price with its pricing history. If neighborhoods near you are fetching more today than they did a few years ago, yours could do the same!

Related: Selling your home? Check out Chris Hogan’s latest  Retire Inspired Podcast: Home Seller's Special!

3. Your Next-Door Neighbor’s Home Sold in a Week

You could have sworn Bob and Betty put a For Sale sign in their yard just last week. But today, it’s gone. Did they change their mind, or could their home really have sold that quickly?

There’s a good chance it’s the latter. The latest NAR data shows home buyers continue to outnumber home sellers. If For Sale signs are disappearing faster than lightning, you probably have more buyers than homes available. And when demand goes up, prices follow.

4. Your Real Estate Agent Says So

If you’re looking for a sure answer, there’s only one place to go: straight to the source! We’re talking about a tried and true professional who knows your market like the back of their hand (or maybe even better)!

Ask an experienced real estate agent to provide a free comparative market analysis (CMA) to get you started. Your agent has the inside scoop on homes like yours that are either on the market or have sold in recent months. They’ll assess various factors for each comparable property, including:

  • List vs. sale price
  • Time on the market
  • Square footage
  • Home features and improvements

A true pro will take time to walk you through the results so you understand exactly how your home stacks up to the competition. With this information in hand, you can work with your agent to set a competitive price that’s based on fact, not emotion.

Looking for advice you can trust? We can introduce you to the top real estate agents Dave recommends in your area.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

Find a Seller's Agent

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

We know agents near you who can give you peace through the process.
Find a Seller's Agent

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

We know agents near you who can give you peace throughout the process.
Find a Seller's Agent