When is the Right Time to Move?

when to move
When to move?

Buy? Sell? When should you move?

It’s a difficult decision to make and no one can really tell you the right answer.  When is it the right time to move? There are some simple questions you can ponder, but it’ll likely require some number crunching and soul searching as well.  Read on, here are some questions to consider if it’s the right time or not, for you to move.

Financial Outcome

Are you likely to make money on the sale of your house?  The old rule of thumb that after 5-years or so, you’ve seen some appreciation in your property and lived there long enough to sort of recoup the costs associated with a move.  You’ll need to run some numbers on what you paid for your home, what your mortgage situation is, and what is a realistic sales price for your current home – consult with a local realtor for help with these comparisons.  Are you comfortable with those numbers?  Sometimes you’ll have to face a loss, but if circumstances warrant, it may still be the right decision to sell.

Market conditions

Is it a buyer’s marker (lots of supply out there to choose from) or a seller’s market (where the seller has the upper hand).  That may or may not make your decision for you – are you comfortable with the market conditions and how that plays into your housing future?

The Next House

Are you looking at an upgrade? If so, that likely means a bigger mortgage, bigger yard, bigger utility bills and more upkeep.  Or are you downsizing?  Regardless, be realistic in figuring the costs involved with moving to either a bigger and better home in a nicer neighborhood, or a smaller home that is closer to family or work or simply more affordable.

Reason for Selling

What is the real reason you’re wanting to sell?  Is it simply a desire for a new place, a nicer home?  Is a change in lifestyle prompting the move – like an economic change in the family?  Why are you considering a move? It’s generally agreed upon that it makes the most economic sense to move only when your needs change.  Not your desires.  When you move only when your needs change, you are more likely to benefit from the slow appreciation of the real estate market and spend less in costs associated with a move, like listing fees, closing and moving costs, mortgage loan changes and so on.


What do you hope to gain from the move?  Is it likely to bring you greater contentment in life?  More peace?  Is it simplifying things or did you just add an hour to your commute?  You need to really question what a move will do for you and your family.

It’s a major decision, and usually not an easy one.  Good luck determining whether the time is right for you to sell your home and make a move.  Get some assistance by consulting a licensed realtor for expert advice, do your homework and then follow your gut.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.


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