Should I Sell My House in 2024? Factors to Help You Decide

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High mortgage rates kept would-be home sellers on the sidelines in 2023, but with three Fed rate cuts expected over the next 12 months, many homeowners are wondering: should I sell my house in 2024?

If your pandemic-era low mortgage rate has kept you from moving or the inventory in your desired neighborhood has been wholly unimpressive, we’ve got good news for you — there are several reasons to be optimistic about the 2024 housing market. Experts are predicting rebounding home sales, lower mortgage rates, stabilizing home prices, and increased inventory.

That being said, sellers should be realistic about the current market. Conditions are improving, but we’re far from the pandemic housing boom.

“Sellers need to understand that the extreme sellers market of ’20 – ’21 with multiple, cash offers over asking is over,” says Richard McKinney, a top agent from ​​Port St Lucie, Florida, with 26 years of experience.

According to property data site CoreLogic, home prices in the U.S. increased by more than 5% year-over-year in November 2023. But McKinney says he’s seen prices coming down in higher price ranges, and in some cases, properties are taking months to sell. “Sellers and agents need to be out in front of price, marketing, and staging because rising inventory will eventually lead to lower prices.”

Ahead, we tackle the big question on many homeowners’ minds: “Should I sell my house in 2024?” We break down the pros and cons, drawing on insights from the latest housing market forecasts and seasoned real estate agents.

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Pros for selling your house in 2024

Lower mortgage rates will get buyers off the sidelines

Existing-home sales inched up 0.8% in November 2023 following five months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). However, this month-to-month change can mostly be attributed to October’s near-8% mortgage rates — a 23-year high — which put off many home buyers.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts home sales will rise 13.5% year-over-year in 2024 as mortgage rates decline somewhat (he estimates an average of 6.3%). Buyers and sellers who sat out the housing market in 2023 are generally expected to return this year.

“The demand for housing will recover from falling mortgage rates and rising income,” says Yun. “In addition, housing inventory is expected to rise by around 30% as more sellers begin to list after delaying selling over the past two years.”

According to a market forecast report by the Wall Street Journal, here is what other industry experts are predicting for the 30-year mortgage rate by the end of 2024:

  • Mortgage Bankers Association: 6.1%
  • Fannie Mae: 6.5%
  • 6.5%
  • Redfin: 6.6%

An inventory shortage will give sellers the upper hand

Homes are currently in short supply, with only 714,176 active listings as of December 2023, according to the St. Louis Fed. While inventory increased 4.8% over the same period last year, compared to December 2019, active listings are down a whopping 36.6%.

Inventory is likely to improve in 2024, but the nationwide housing shortage (reports indicate there’s a deficit of 3.2 million homes) means a seller’s market is still in order for 2024. Nevertheless, Bob Weibrecht, a top real estate agent in Arnold, Missouri, advises sellers to be flexible to avoid deterring potential buyers.

“Sellers are listing their homes as ‘As-Is’ and are unwilling to perform local occupancy inspections,” says Weibrecht. “Additionally, they are informing buyers they will not make any repairs or provide concessions after the buyer inspections. By doing this, these sellers are limiting their buyer pool to individual investors and investment companies who wish to buy and flip.”

Weibrecht’s statement is supported by the findings in HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights for End of Year 2023. According to the survey of over 1,000 top real estate agents nationwide, the second most common deal-breaker for buyers was a lack of seller concessions, accounting for 26%.

Home prices will stabilize but remain high

Home prices climbed 5.2% from November 2022 to November 2023, according to  CoreLogic. Prices tend to decrease or stabilize when mortgage rates are high, but low inventory is keeping them elevated, benefitting sellers looking to maximize their equity.

NAR is forecasting that the median home price will tick up 0.9% to $389,500 this year. Declining mortgage rates could improve affordability by lowering monthly payments but are not expected to make a significant impact on home prices.

While some sellers might be tempted to wait for prices to peak, real estate agent Dinara Sammartino of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, offers a word of caution: “They think the seller’s market will get better, they keep holding on, and it’s going in the other direction,” she says. “It’s still a seller’s market, and even though the rates are high, inventory is low. They are holding out for more, but it may never come, and they may miss the best time now.”

Cash will still be king

Buyers capable of making all-cash offers are doing so to avoid paying thousands of dollars in interest over the lifespan of their loan. Cash offers are great for sellers because they are less risky and shorten the buyer’s timeline for closing on a house. All-cash deals made up nearly 37% of single-family home and condo sales in the third quarter of 2023, according to ATTOM, a real estate data company.

Most experts anticipate that mortgage rates will hover around 6%-7% in 2024, which suggests that cash transactions are likely to remain a popular choice among buyers. Baby Boomers, who accounted for 39% of home buyers last year (the largest share of any generation), are showing a growing preference for all-cash purchases. In fact, 32% of younger boomers (ages 58-67) and 51% of older boomers (ages 68-76) opted for this method of buying a home in 2023.

Sellers looking to secure a cash deal instead of a traditional sale involving a mortgage might benefit from HomeLight’s Simple Sale. Once you’ve answered a few questions, we’ll provide you with a competitive, all-cash offer for your home within a week. There are no additional fees, agent commissions, or prep work involved. Plus, you can close in as few as 10 days.

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Cons for selling your house in 2024

The market is anticipated to improve further in 2025

Nobody knows for sure how the 2024 housing market will pan out, and the crystal ball is even cloudier for 2025. But that hasn’t stopped Morningstar, a Chicago-based financial services firm, from making bold predictions.

In a recent report picked up by Fortune, economists at Morningstar wrote, “We expect [the Federal Reserve] to cut the federal-funds rate aggressively in the coming years, driving the rate down from 5% currently to below 2% by 2025.” While the Fed doesn’t set mortgage rates, changes to the federal funds rate can trigger a rise or fall in mortgage rates.

Morningstar forecasts that mortgage rate will sink to 4% in 2025, while Moody’s Analytics takes a more conservative approach, estimating that mortgage rates will decline to 5.5% by late 2025, Forbes reports.

Housing experts surveyed by Fannie Mae also predict that home prices will increase by 2.4% in 2023, followed by 2.7% in 2025. So, if you’re aiming to get top dollar for your house, you might think about holding off on selling for another year.

Some sellers will have to grapple with high mortgage rates themselves

The housing market gridlock that plagued 2023 — in which sellers were reluctant to give up their ultra-low mortgage rates, and buyers were just as reluctant to take on record-high monthly payments — could take up to three years to subside, according to Goldman Sachs.

Home sellers who are seeking to buy a new property with financing might prefer to wait until mortgage rates decrease and home sales activity rebounds. Of course, there’s always the option of buying now and refinancing later; it all comes down to budgetary constraints and personal preferences.

“Buyers think that if they wait to buy, some miraculous interest rate fairy is going to float down and give them a 3% rate again,” says Peter Derry, a top agent in Charleston, South Carolina. “The best thing to do is buy ASAP, within your means, as you start to pay off the home sooner.”

The chart below showcases mortgage rates’ steady climb and then gradual descent in 2023:

2023 average 30-year mortgage rate

January February March April May June
6.13% 6.50% 6.32% 6.43% 6.57% 6.71%
July August September October November December
6.81% 7.18% 7.31% 7.79% 7.50% 6.8%

Sources: Freddie Mac, NAR

Strategies to sell your house in 2024

Work with a top agent for a faster, more profitable sale

“What clients truly require is a seasoned real estate agent who has navigated fluctuating markets, offering tangible data and expertise that novice agents lack,” says Christine Peyton, a top agent in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, who has sold 100% of the listings she’s taken on.

Connecting with an experienced agent can help you better understand the conditions in your local market and determine whether or not it’s a good time to put your house up for sale. HomeLight’s agent matching program is free to use and puts you in touch with multiple top agents so you can choose the professional who best fits your needs.

An agent will guide you through the sales process, including pricing and marketing your home, negotiating with buyers, and connecting with contractors to make repairs and provide various services.

Connect with a Top Agent

Thinking of selling? Connect with a top agent in your area who can help sell your home faster and for more money.

Budget-friendly upgrades get your sale moving

“Taking care of even the most minor of things can have a big impact on the psyche of a buyer as they walk through a property,” says Carlos Lobato, a top agent in Miramar, Florida, with 20 years of experience.

Even if you don’t have the budget to replace your garage doors, you can improve curb appeal by updating the mailbox or house numbers, or simply laying down a new doormat.

HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Report found that the third biggest selling point in 2023 was a larger or improved outdoor space or garden area. Agents recommend investing in basic yard care, costing about $340 (539% ROI), and fresh mulch for approximately $275 (536% ROI) to potentially increase resale value by almost $4,500.

When it comes to your home’s interior, Deidre Quinn, an award-winning agent in the Philadelphia area, suggests giving your space a fresh coat of paint before putting it on the market.

“It’s one of the least expensive and one of the top things I recommend to my clients,” she says. Choose one neutral color so prospective buyers can envision the home with their own furnishings.

Other quick and budget-friendly upgrades include replacing old showerheads, painting kitchen cabinets, and installing a smart thermostat.

Declutter and deep clean to make your house shine

Quinn advises sellers to pack up a lot of their belongings so buyers can visualize themselves and their possessions in the house. Rooms also photograph better when they aren’t overflowing with furniture and knickknacks.

Begin decluttering by sorting through closets and cabinets. Box up what you don’t need on a daily basis and donate clothing you haven’t worn in years. Throw out expired cans or packages of food that have been hiding in the corners of your pantry. You’ll be amazed at how much extra space you’ll have once you’re finished!

Give your house a thorough cleaning to make it sparkle. Don’t forget to wipe down light switches, door handles, and outlet covers. Take out a broom to sweep storage areas such as the attic, basement, or garage. If you’re too busy or can find a million excuses not to clean, hire a professional cleaner for an average rate of $50 per hour.

Go for it if selling will help achieve your goals

While high interest rates and low inventory may deter some homeowners from selling in 2024, others may have to move for a variety of reasons. Maybe you scored a new job in a different city or require a bigger house to accommodate your growing family.

If you’re in a similar situation and need to move into a new place quickly, HomeLight’s Buy Before You Sell program allows you to unlock your home’s equity for the purchase of a new home. You’ll be able to buy your new home without a home sale contingency and sell your home vacant with less hassle.

For those who are still on the fence about selling their homes, Quinn recommends asking yourself these questions: Why are you moving? Is moving in line with your goals and the quality of life you want to achieve?

Your responses will help determine the answer to the question, “Should I sell my house in 2024?”

Writer Julie Guthmann contributed to this article.

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