By: Serge Guenette

Should I stay or should I sell?


Deciding whether to sell or stay in your home is a major decision and there are many factors to consider. From seasonal changes to pricing and affordability to lifestyle changes, it’s important to make sure the time is right for you and your family.

We are experiencing numerous and rapid changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With businesses closing and social distancing becoming a new norm for Ottawa, Realtors and homeowners are facing a unique scenario when it comes to selling homes. Open houses have been halted, protoculs are in place for staff, and businesses are adjusting day-by-day to ensure that sellers are comfortable and safe if they choose to go through the process of selling their home during this time.

Be sure to touch base with your Realtor if you are considering selling your home this spring in order to receive the best advice and outcome for your home.

When is the best time to sell?

Looking just at seasonality, spring is traditionally the most popular time to buy a home. This is the case for various reasons:

  • Longer days: After a long winter, buyers are ready to escape their own homes, get outside and start looking.

  • Timing: Buyers who have children prefer to look for a home towards the end of the school year so that the move will not disrupt the children’s education.

  • Higher price: With this season being the most popular for selling, demand is higher, which means you’re better positioned to get a better price for your home.

  • Curb appeal:
  • With the snow finally melting away, your home and yard typically look better and fresh.

Reasons to sell

Even though moving and selling can be a hard decision to make, there are reasons why families are ready to sell their homes and start new. Those reasons include:

  • Price growth: Homeowners who have seen a strong price growth in their neighbourhood can benefit by selling at the right time to get the maximum value out of their home.

  • Outgrown your home: Moving to a new home because your current one no longer meets your family’s needs is one of the biggest benefits to selling your home. We invest so much time and energy into our homes, so making sure that it is the right fit for our family’s lifestyle is most important.

  • Maintenance: The upkeep of a house can be difficult. If you can no longer keep up with your home’s maintenance, it’s time to consider selling and finding a home that suits your needs. A home that is not maintained properly will lose value.

Reasons to stay

Not everyone has a choice of whether to stay or go, but for those who do there is much to consider. Some reasons for staying in your home include:

  • Slower markets: It takes longer to sell your home when the market slows down. Typically, homes that stay on the market longer will sees listing prices lowered in order to sell. If you don’t feel like you will receive proper value for your home, putting a pause on the sale is something to consider.
  • Emotionally connected: Most homeowners have lived in their homes for years and have become emotionally attached. Our homes accumulate many memories that we may not be ready to part with — and that’s OK. Make sure you are truly ready to commit to the process of selling and leaving your home before deciding to sell.
  • Other options: If the market isn’t on your side but you are having to move for a lifestyle or job change, consider benefiting from your property instead of selling. One benefit that removes the pressure of selling is renting the property, allowing the mortgage to continue to decrease and helping to increase the value for a later sale.
  • Location: If you love your neighbourhood but not your home, yet the options for buying another house in your community are slim, perhaps it’s time to think about renovating instead of selling. Renovating can help you love your home again and, if done with forethought, many renovations can increase the value of your home should you later decide to sell.

Still not sure whether you’re ready to sell or really prefer to stay in your home? Let’s talk. I can help you weigh the pros and cons by providing an impartial perspective. Then, if you are ready, we can look at next steps.