It’s where your daughter took her first steps, where you planted your first garden, where neighbors became lifelong friends. So it’s understandable that the thought of selling the family home asserts a heavy, emotional pull.
But, inevitably, life changes. The kids grow up and move out. You switch jobs and the commute becomes endless. Or, the family grows and suddenly, there’s nowhere to put anything. But, you’re still on the fence. How can you be sure that this is the right time to sell?
“Discovering the perfect moment to move isn’t easy, especially with all the emotional baggage involved,” says Chris Richardson, president of Richardson Properties. “But there are some steps you can take to help you make a thoughtful decision.”
Consider these questions when weighing your options for selling your home.


1. Does the house still fit your lifestyle?
You can retrofit a house to suit your needs, but it’s important to balance the cost of remodeling against the value of finding a house that would fit your family comfortably today. Make a list of your home’s pro’s and con’s. Be certain that, if you do remodel, you’ll be able to recoup the cost of the improvement when you eventually sell.
2. Can you afford to move?
Begin by identifying your home’s current market value. “This is where a savvy real estate agent can be of enormous help,” says Richardson. “An agent will do a comparative analysis to discover how your home measures up to similar properties that have sold recently. Once you know your home’s fair market value, you can gauge how much you can reasonably expect to make in a sale.”
Next, visit a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The lender will do the numbers to see if your income and assets, including the assets from the sale of your present home, will be sufficient to put you in the home you desire. Be sure to factor in the costs associated with the purchase: the down payment, closing costs and moving fees.
3. Have you completed necessary repairs?
Draw up a list of repairs that will need to be completed to get your house ready for sale; then get estimates of what these repairs will cost: everything from painting the kitchen to putting in new shrubs to add to curb appeal.
A home inspection is bound to turn up repairs. Taking care of these issues beforehand will put you in a better bargaining position at contract time.
4. Have you decided on your plans for the future?
Take some time now to figure out where you’d like to move. Think about location, property size, the cost of property taxes and the amount of maintenance required. Look at a sampling of properties to discover what you’d actually like in the price range you can afford.
When you’re ready, choose a trusted real estate agency like Richardson Properties to lead you through the selling process.
With more 40 years of experience, the team at Richardson Properties knows California real estate. From deciding to sell to finding the new home of your dreams, their agents can help you with all of your real estate needs. They’re also exclusively partnered with Christie’s International Real Estate, which means you can expand your search abroad.

Visit or call 805-781-6040 to start on your real estate journey today.