12 Million Homeowners Are Getting Ready To Sell, New Survey Shows

Up to 12.1 million homeowners across the U.S. are getting ready to sell their homes. According to a new study from NerdWallet, recent shifts in the housing market have led 44% of surveyed homeowners to sell their homes in the next 18 months.

“Homeowners can see that we’re moving away from a strong seller’s market in many areas. So their feelings and motivations are shifting, too,” said Holden Lewis, home expert at NerdWallet. “Also, selling your home is an emotional decision as well as one of dollars and cents, so it’s unsurprising that people have a variety of motivations and sentiments.”

The average time to sell a property in many markets right now is between six and 12 months. Researchers surveyed over 1,400 homeowners in a commissioned study by NerdWallet that was conducted online by The Harris Poll.

The survey found that two in every five homeowners feel pressured by recent changes in the housing market to sell their homes sooner than originally planned. This means that simple housing market pressure is pushing 40% of homeowners to join the 43 million Americans who move every year and possibly even increase that number.

Housing trends aren’t only shifting in the stationary home market. More than 11% of U.S. households headed by 35-54-year-olds own an RV, exceeding the 9.3% ownership rates of those 55 and over. The 35-to-54 age group posted the largest gains in the 2011 Michigan survey. But a larger share of future home sellers (56%) say changes in the housing market haven’t changed the timeline for selling their homes. Additionally, it’s important to note that 25% of homes in the U.S. use a septic system — which can impact residential sales since these systems are so important.

Additionally, the median sales price of a non-distressed home was $216,000. The median sales price of a foreclosure home was $155,000, or 28% lower than non-distressed home sales.

Whatever their motivations, up to 45% of survey participants say their communities have more homes for sale than they did a year ago. This means homeowners may not only be more inspired to sell their homes but also more inspired to buy.

Home sellers are also going to great lengths to make sure their homes sell. Up to 76% of homeowners planning to sell their homes in the next 18 months also say they plan to spend money on major repairs and renovations to make their homes more appealing to potential buyers.

The homeowners planning to renovate say they expect to spend $3,000 on average, but 19% of future sellers say they plan to spend $15,000 or more.

“Homeowners preparing to sell should make their renovations count, spending where they’re more likely to increase home value and get a good return on their home improvement investments,” said Lewis.

Lewis recommends evaluating your home’s curb appeal first. Landscaping improvements can increase your home’s value by up to 14%.

Increasing your home’s curb appeal also includes cleaning up your porch and yard, cleaning your gutters which ought to be cleaned twice a year, and power-washing or painting your home’s exterior. If you have a deck in your backyard, make sure it looks good as new, too. Wood only needs three things to rot: oxygen, water, and warm temperatures.

“After that, your best return on investment comes from freshening up the kitchen and bathrooms if they’re outdated,” Lewis said. “There’s no need to go overboard. New flooring, updated fixtures, and refaced cabinets might be enough.”

Due to its excellent durability and performance, polished concrete flooring has quickly become a popular alternative to the four conventional flooring materials: marble, granite, tile and linoleum. Whether you plan to renovate your home or not, it’s important that you know what your home is worth.

If you’re willing to take on a big project, turn your attention to your basement. You might think of your unfinished basement as an intimidating project that wastes your time and money, especially if you’re going to move and won’t get any use out of it. However, finishing your basement can give you an ROI of about 77.6% and homebuyers love to see properties with finished basements that they don’t have to put any elbow grease into. Whether you choose to make your basement into a cozy family room with a fireplace and guest bedroom or a place to party complete with a wet bar and home movie theater, you can see a dramatic increase in the value of your home.

According to the NerdWallet survey, 76% of all homeowners say their home value would change in the next two years and 38% say they think their home value will increase. Another 16% of future sellers say their home value will probably decrease.

You can use a home value estimator to get an idea of your home’s value, but also be sure to keep an eye on the value of the homes in your area. You don’t want to go too high with your asking price, but you also don’t want to go too low. Remember that you’re pricing your home to meet your sales goals, too.

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