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How Long Should You Live in Your Home Before Selling?

Getting an itch to sell your home? Whether you’ve just moved in, have put in a few years or have lived there for decades, you might be wondering how long is the optimal time to stay in your home before selling it.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, the average amount of time a homeowner will stay in their home before deciding to sell it is 10 years, but that isn’t necessarily what you need to do. Under 10 years and ready to list? Many experts will cite the “five-year rule,” that you should stay in a home at least five years before selling.

So what’s the sweet spot, and what factors should the decision depend on?

1. Your Mortgage

Thinking of selling your house? First and foremost, consider your mortgage payment. If you want to make money when you sell your home (and, come on – who doesn’t?), then your sale price must be greater than what’s left of your mortgage.

When you first buy your home and begin to pay your mortgage, the first few years will go toward interest, not the principal amount. This typically means that it’s more difficult to make money off your sale under five years. However, if you put a larger downpayment on your house, then your interest rate and mortgage will probably be smaller, making it possible to make money in a shorter amount of time.

2. Equity

Your home equity represents how much of your home you actually own – so building home equity is mucho important! When you decide to sell, you’ll want to have a lot of equity. If your goal is to build a lot of equity in a short amount of time, you can do things like making a large downpayment when you buy, making additional payments toward principal, refinancing to a shorter loan term or renovating key areas to help increase value.

3. Market Conditions

Primarily looking to move as a way to make money on the sale of your property? You’ll want to make sure you’re selling in a seller’s market. If you notice the price per square foot in your area is increasing, chances are that homes are staying on the market for a shorter time. You should also take note of homes near you that are selling. It might seem time-consuming – but that’s where we come in! We have a pulse on home sales in your neighborhood and can help you determine the right time to sell and buy.


Want more tips? Let’s grab coffee to chat about the value of your home, and whether it might be the right time to sell.

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