The Pros and Cons of Moving Before You Sell

Deciding whether to move or not before selling your home can be a tricky choice. You might wonder whether it’s a smart move or could lead to unnecessary complications. This decision is more common than you think, with many homeowners facing the same dilemma. In this article, we’ll explore both sides of the coin: the advantages and challenges of moving before you sell. From the ease of staging an empty home to the financial implications of juggling two properties, we’ll cover all you need to know to make an informed decision.

1.  The Bright Side: Pros of Moving Before You Sell

Deciding to move before selling your home can come with many benefits that simplify the selling process and alleviate some of its associated stresses. Let’s explore the pros of this decision.

A person showing thumb up.
There are many pros of moving before you sell.

1.1 Stress-Free Staging and Showing Process

One of the biggest advantages of moving out before selling your home is the ability to stage it without the added pressure of living there. Without the constant need to keep the house tidy for showings, you can focus on creating an inviting and attractive space that appeals to potential buyers. That can involve strategic furniture placement, enhancing the curb appeal, and highlighting your home’s best features. With fewer distractions and personal belongings, buyers can more easily envision living in the space, leading to increased interest and potentially faster sales.

1.2 Potential for a Cleaner and More Appealing Home Presentation

An empty home often appears larger and allows potential buyers to see the full potential of each room. Without existing furniture and decor constraints, buyers can more easily visualize their furnishings in the space. Also, an empty home allows the focus to remain on the architectural features and overall layout, which can be a significant selling point. Presenting a clean and uncluttered environment can create a more positive impression that resonates with prospective buyers.

1.3 Avoiding the Hassle of Living in a House While It’s on the Market

Living in a home while trying to sell it can be incredibly stressful. Constantly keeping the house clean for showings, accommodating last-minute requests for viewings, and dealing with the disruption to your daily routine can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being.

Therefore, moving out before selling allows you to maintain your privacy and normal lifestyle without the added pressure of selling your home. You can come and go as you please without worrying about interrupting potential buyers or having to hide personal items during showings. That can make the selling process much more manageable and less overwhelming for you and your family.

1.4 Easier Scheduling for Repairs or Renovations

Moving out beforehand can streamline the process if your home needs repairs or renovations before being put on the market. Contractors can work more efficiently in an empty house, and you won’t have to worry about coordinating schedules or inconveniencing yourself and your family while the work is being done. Taking care of any necessary upgrades or repairs before listing your home can increase its appeal to potential buyers and potentially fetch a higher selling price. This proactive approach can also help expedite the selling process and minimize your home’s time on the market.

2.  Consider the Challenges: Cons of Moving Before You Sell

Deciding to move before selling your home isn’t without its drawbacks. While it offers certain advantages, there are also potential challenges and risks. Let’s explore the downsides of this decision.

A person showing a thumb down for the cons of moving before selling.
Moving before selling does come with a few challenges.

2.1 Financial Strain of Handling Two Properties

One of the most significant drawbacks of moving before you sell your home is the financial burden of managing two properties simultaneously. Renting or owning a new place while still paying the mortgage on your old house can stretch your budget thin. That can be particularly challenging if your old home takes longer to sell than anticipated, leading to extended periods of double mortgage payments. According to recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), carrying two mortgages is one of the top financial concerns for homeowners considering this option.

2.2 Risks Associated with Leaving a Property Vacant

Leaving your old home vacant while it’s on the market can pose several risks. Vacant properties are more susceptible to vandalism, theft, and damage from natural elements. Without regular maintenance and supervision, issues like water leaks, pest infestations, and structural damage can go unnoticed and worsen over time. Also, vacant homes can attract unwanted attention from squatters or unauthorized occupants, increasing the risk of property damage and liability issues.

2.3 Insurance and Security Concerns for the Vacant Property

Insuring a vacant property can be more expensive and complex than insuring an occupied home. Many insurance companies offer specialized policies for vacant properties with limited coverage and higher premiums. In addition, maintaining adequate security measures, such as installing alarm systems, security cameras, and securing entrances, is essential to protect the vacant property from theft and vandalism. A failure to properly secure the property can result in denied insurance claims and additional financial losses.

2.4 Emotional and Logistical Challenges of Moving Twice

Moving is already a stressful and time-consuming process, and moving twice within a short period can exacerbate these challenges. Packing, transporting, and unpacking your belongings twice can be physically demanding and emotionally draining, as it prolongs the upheaval and disrupts your sense of stability.

At the same time, moving to a temporary residence before finding a permanent home adds uncertainty and instability, making it challenging to settle into a new routine or establish roots in a community. This prolonged period of transition can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being, leading to feelings of anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion as you navigate the complexities of multiple moves.

3.  Deciding What’s Best for You

Deciding to move before selling your home is a significant step that requires careful consideration of various factors. Thus, to be sure you make the right choice for your unique circumstances, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and consider several key factors.

A scale with question marks on each side.
Weigh your options to decide what’s best for you.

3.1 Assess Your Financial Situation

Before moving forward with your decision, closely examine your financial situation. Evaluate your current mortgage, outstanding debts, savings, and monthly expenses to determine if you can comfortably afford to carry two properties simultaneously. Consider consulting with a financial advisor to gain insight into the potential long-term implications and develop a realistic budget that aligns with your financial goals.

3.2 Consider Your Family’s Needs and Timing

Another important factor to consider is your family’s needs and timing. Consider any upcoming life events, such as job changes, school transitions, or family obligations that may impact your ability to move. In addition, consider the emotional impact on your family members and their preferences regarding the timing and logistics of the move. Open communication and careful planning can help ensure everyone is on board and comfortable with the decision.

3.3 Evaluate the Housing Market Conditions

The housing market’s current state can also influence your decision regarding moving before you sell your home. As a result, research local market trends, including home prices, inventory levels, and average days on the market, to gauge the demand and competition in your area. However, market conditions vary significantly depending on location and other external factors. Therefore, consider seeking guidance from a real estate agent who can provide expert insight and help you navigate the complexities of the market.

3.4 Choose Reliable Moving Services

When moving before selling your home, choosing the right moving services is fundamental to having a smooth and stress-free transition. Look for movers with positive reviews, proper licensing and insurance, and transparent pricing policies like Family Moving and Storage. By choosing trustworthy professionals, you can minimize the risk of delays, damages, and other potential complications associated with the moving process.

Make Your Move with Confidence

Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons of moving before you sell your home, it’s time to decide. However, remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. What works for one homeowner may not be the best choice for another. Also, carefully consider your financial situation, your family’s needs, and the current housing market conditions. Most importantly, trust your instincts and choose the option that feels right for you and your family. Whether you decide to move before selling or wait until after, know that you’re taking an important step toward achieving your goals and creating the next chapter in your life.