How to Know If It’s Time for You to Sell a Home in Lake Forest Park, WA

Is it time to sell a home in Lake Forest Park, WA?

Deciding whether to sell, move, and buy something new is a tough decision at best.

Unlike buying and selling other assets like stocks or crypto, there’s a lot of emotional baggage attached to selling a home.

Really, selling your house is often not so much a market-driven issue as it is a lifestyle decision.

Real Life Experience: Many of our wonderful, analytical types here in the Seattle, WA area come to me about buying their first home, asking “How’s The Market?” and “Is It The Right Time To Buy A House?” We have that conversation and discuss the data trends and interest rates.

When I talk with sellers, they almost never ask when it’s the “right time” to sell a home. Instead we talk about how fast it can get sold, where they are moving to, what the plan is for the kids and family, and what is happening with their new job. Although the financial side is important, it’s rarely the driving factor in deciding to sell a home.

Sell your house in winter Seattle, WA.
If you are thinking selling a house, Emily Cressey, Lake Forest Park, WA Real Estate Broker will help you.

Plus, there’s all the extra work of getting packed up and moved. Most people like the excitement of buying a new house (that’s shopping!) a lot more than the hassle of getting their old home cleaned and packed up and ready to sell. (That’s work!)

So how do you determine if it’s really time to sell a home?

To find out, check out today’s article on how to know if it’s time for you to sell a home in Lake Forest Park, WA and discover the signs.

Make It Easier To Prepare Your Home For Sale

You can also click here to download our FREE Home Seller’s checklist to see if your home is ready to sell, and discover what you need to to do get it sold quickly and for top dollar.

Room By Room Seller's Checklist
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1) You’ve Outgrown Your Current Home

If you and your family have outgrown your current home, then it’s probably time for you to sell a home in Lake Forest Park, WA

Growing families need more room. According to, “The number-one reason why people sell their home is that they’ve outgrown their space because their family is getting bigger and they’re shopping for a school district.”

Or maybe you’ve had to move aging parents in with you and now need more room.

Or, like many people now, you may be working from home and need space for a home office.

Lake FOrest Park condo
Many people eventually find that they need more space in their home. Whether it’s for pets, spouses, kids, working from home, or taking on new hobbies, many times that condo or townhome that you started in, ends up feeling too small after a while. We sold this Shoreline, WA condo so the owner could become a travelling nurse!

Whatever the reason, if you’ve outgrown your current space, it’s probably time to sell the old home, and buy something bigger. Contact Emily Cressey – a Lake Forest Park real estate agent at (206) 578-3438 to find out what’s available in your area.

Here’s a fun video I put together during 2021 when everyone was getting out of the cities, and into the country and needed more space – all at the same time!

Need More Space At Home?  It May Be Time To Sell Your House And Move Up To Something Bigger!

2) You’ve Had Lifestyle Changes

Similarly, if you’ve experienced any major lifestyle changes, it may be time to sell a home.

As we know, baby boomers are a huge demographic and they are now in retirement age. Many are considering selling a home to access some of their wealth. Instead of keeping “dead equity” in a home that takes time and money to maintain, many are choosing to tap into that equity – and will sell a home and buy something smaller (downsizing). That frees up time for things a little more fun than dusting empty bedrooms and mowing that lawn!

Luxury Home For Sale - Glacier Peak Everett, WA
The family estate that served multiple generations may feel too large when it’s just for one or two.

Empty Nesters: Kick Up Your Heels!

The home with the big yard and lots of empty rooms may feel empty and excessive when your kids have flown the coop. You may have too much to maintain. Plus those property taxes, insurance and HOA fees keep going up!

Homes For Sale In Greenlake Seattle WA
My grandmother sold her home in Winderemere near the UW, to move to the Hearthstone retirement home across the street from Greenlake. She loved being around more people, joining clubs, acting in groups and not having to take care of her large family home of 50 years. Here we are watching the Milk Carton Derby at Greenlake!

Aging In Place

Homeowners nearing retirement age could be thinking about aging in place, in which case a home with a ground-floor master suite, or even a 1-level-home a could be essential. Other things that people look for when they downsize are a smaller yard, aged-based communities like 55+ neighborhoods, and proximity to kids or grandkids who may have settled in other towns.

Working From Home Is The New Normal

Millennials are another huge demographic group and they have been excited about the possibilities provided to travel through remote work, online businesses and tech jobs, or travelling jobs such as nursing, that can be performed on a contract basis.

Or perhaps you or your partner have decided to work from home or to start a business and you’ll need a home office.

Lake Forest Park Home office
This Office Provides The Perfect Work-From-Home Space… something that is becoming more important as more and more employees do not go into the office every day, anymore.

The Home Is The Stage Upon Which Your Life Is Performed:

If anything has dramatically altered your lifestyle from what it was when you bought your home, you should consider selling. Some people even move to accommodate their pets. I don’t know if I would sell a home and buy a new one just to help my aging dog, but I have seen it happen…

Think carefully about whether your current home adequately serves your needs, and then decide accordingly.

3) You’re Experiencing Financial Distress

Not all people sell a home because they need more room or because they need to accommodate a new lifestyle. Some sell a home because they are simply too financially stressed to stay in their current home.

The good news is that thanks to the run-up in home values over the last few years, most home owners now have a significant amount of equity in their homes. Thanks to lower interest rates, many people chose to refinance and reduce their monthly mortgage payments.

That being said, there will always be some situations in which you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Job loss, medical bills, family death, divorce, bankruptcy are all disruptions which may cause you to need to sell your home.

When Divorce Forces A Sale Of Your Home:

If you are going through a divorce and NEED to sell a home, click here for more information and a special report.

Selling your home after a divorce - PDF - Washington State
Download Your Free Guide On How To Sell A Home After A Divorce

If you find yourself feeling “house poor,” getting behind on payments, unable to keep up with home maintenance, or just see yourself getting into a hole that gets deeper every month, it may be time to sell your home.

Selling Your House “As-Is”:

Did you know that you don’t HAVE TO fix up the property, or do any repairs in order to sell a home? We can list it for you and specify “owner to do no repairs” on the listing. This is very common for estate sale houses, actually. We call it selling a home “As-Is.”

We can also make a direct offer to buy it from you, like a “We Buy Houses” investor, if you like, but that’s not typically what I recommend. As a licensed real estate agent, I have a fiduciary duty to inform you of all your choices and advise you of what I think would be best for you.

  1. I recommend most people list their homes with me to sell it on the open market and get the best price.
  2. However, I also offer “home buying” services, if you just want to get it sold fast and move on. Here’s a little video about how that works.

Either way, I am happy to walk you through your options and help you decide what is best for your situation when you want to sell a house – whether it’s an estate sale, on behalf of an ill relative, or your own property.

Selling A Home That Needs Repair As-Is

4) You’ve Built Up Some Equity

Another sign that will help you know it’s time to sell a home is when you’ve built up a good bit of equity in your current home.  Thanks to the strong real estate market in Lake Forest Park, WA over the last few years, most people have seen a substantial increase in their home equity through appreciation, even in a short period of time.

If you have a mortgage and you haven’t built up much equity yet, you may not make enough on the sale to make a big profit. Remember: in the early stages of mortgage repayment, your monthly payments basically just go toward interest. And on top of that, selling a home comes with a pretty hefty cost. I typically tell people to account for about 8% of their home’s value to go toward the transaction costs for the sale.

If you’ve owned the home for less than 5 years and appreciation has been slow, or homes have gone down in value over that time, then it can be hard to make up the difference. I have actually helped people in this situation, and bought their house by taking over their payments, but this is an edge case scenario.

What About Buyer Sentiment?

And there’s something else to consider beyond just equity concerns.

Some buyers may wonder why you’re turning around and making a fast sale on a home right after you bought it. Was there something wrong with it? Was it haunted?

Buyers can dream up all kinds of negative scenarios when a seller hasn’t owned the home for very long.

In this case, you can discuss with your agent whether you’d like them to disclose your reasons for selling. Knowing that there was a personal change, such as a divorce, or new job can put buyers at ease that the problem is personal and not related to the condition of the home.

Emily Cressey Warns Seattle Home Buyers Of Inflation Ahead
Your Agent Should Only Share Information About Your Motivation With Your Permission. Sharing too much can weaken your negotiating position. But sharing just enough can sometimes draw buyers into the situation, get them intrigued, give them confidence in the home and result in a purchase offer. Discuss your situation and be upfront with your realtor so she can help you decide on the best strategy for marketing your home.

5) The Local Market Is In Your Favor

A final thing to consider in determining whether it’s time for you to sell a home in Lake Forest Park, WA is the state of the local real estate market.

If your local market favors sellers, then it’s likely a good time to sell because you can probably get more money for your house and sell it sell it more quickly than you otherwise would. Currently the Lake Forest Park market is considered a seller’s market because inventory is low and homes are selling quickly. Check with me for current stats at the time you read this article.

Although Lake Forest Park has historically been a strong appreciating market and a great place to buy or sell a home, if things slow down and we start to see homes sitting on the market for 4-6 months or more, that would be a sign that we were shifting into a “buyer’s market.” If that were the case, maybe you should reconsider selling, and hold off till market conditions improve.

Median Home Prices In Lake Forest Park, WA
Median Home Prices In Lake Forest Park, WA can go up-and-down, depending on the time of year, and what’s happening the the Seattle, WA and regional real estate markets.

A word of caution: You may see all sorts of headlines in the newspaper based on national news figures… recession, the stock market, inflation, and general “doom and gloom.” You may worry that it’s not a good time to sell a home.

However the real estate market isn’t national, it’s local. Remember the first rule of real estate? Location, Location, Location!

Seller Tip: Here’s how industry pros recommend that you proceed when considering selling a home. . . 

  1. Look at recent sale prices for houses in your area. Are those sales higher than in previous years? If so, it may be an especially good time to sell a home.
  2. Next, call a local real estate agent and ask her to do a free home evaluation for you. She’ll help you determine a realistic price your home will likely sell for, and come up with a strong marketing strategy to get your home sold.

Don’t Make a Rash Decision

Emily Cressey - Real Estate Agent - Lake Forest Park, WA
Emily Cressey – Real Estate Agent – Lake Forest Park, WA

One thing you should definitely avoid in trying to decide if it’s time for you to sell a home in Lake Forest Park, WA is making a rushed decision.

Although you may have thoughts about your personal situation and whether you want to (or have to) sell a home, the difficulty in making the right decision often lies in the uncertainty that stems from not know enough about the state of the local market here in North Seattle.

That’s where your Lake Forest Park, WA real estate agent can be a huge help. In addition, a good agent will be able to help you work through the lifestyle aspects of the decision. So what are you waiting for? When you’re trying to determine if it’s time to sell a home in LFP, be sure to contact us today at (206) 578-3438.

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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