Is it the Right Time to Sell Your Home?


With the median selling price of a single-family home in Rhode Island currently at $450,000, now may be the perfect time for you to sell your home.  But the question we often hear from people thinking of selling their home is – “where will I live next?” And it is a good question.

By selling now, you will likely make a record profit. But if you must put that profit into a new home, you may have to spend even more and that may not be what you are looking to do. The goal in real estate is to buy low and sell high, which is difficult in this market as prices are above average throughout much of Rhode Island.

Here are 3 tips to think about: 

Tip 1: Consider moving to an area of Rhode Island that is considered a “fringe market” - an area outside of a high-cost area that has room for growth.  Rhode Island has several of those areas, where there are still opportunities to make a strategic investment in a home. Consider having a conversation with your real estate agent to see if any of these areas match your needs.

Tip 2: Consider a fixer upper, or alternatively, a distressed house – a house that has title issues or is bank owned.  My husband and I bought our home in East Greenwich in 2020, and it was a fixer upper! We monitored it for several months, and when we noticed it reached the desired price, we seized the opportunity to sell our current home at a substantial profit. This allowed us to successfully execute the “sell high and buy low” strategy.

Tip 3: Flexibility. If you can be flexible, consider renting for a little while. This can be tricky for those with children and rents are high - the average rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in Rhode Island is $2,170 right now -  but renting can be a good option for those thinking of trying out a new area or downsizing. Important things to consider: Will you like this area? Do you need more space or does smaller work better for you? Renting can give you insights you won’t get from driving through a town or neighborhood.

What Should You Keep in Mind Before you Decide?

There are some things to keep in mind as you consider selling. Is now a good time for your family to move? Do you have enough equity in your house? When was the last time you refinanced? Are you close to retirement? If so, selling when the market is high could really help grow your nest egg and give you more options when you actually do retire. Your real estate agent can help you with some of these questions.

Do your research. Get advice from a real estate agent who understands you and knows your market. Understand the value of your home. Do you have to fix it up first or is it ready to sell now? Having a clear understanding of your options is key to making a smart decision. Considering whether to sell your house can be an emotional decision, but expert advice can help.

And remember the only perfect time to sell, is the time that is right for you.

About the Author: Jennifer Cosgrove O’Leary is one of the top 10 Realtors® (as certified by Real Trends) in the state of Rhode Island and the Co-Owner/Broker of Greenwich Bay Brokers. She is the only Certified Divorce Real Estate agent in the state. Jennifer leverages her years of interior design experience, as well as her degree in occupational therapy to provide guidance on the critical aesthetic and ease of use elements that are part of the home buying and selling process.