Life is unpredictable. For homeowners faced with an unexpected relocation and a tight timeline, this unpredictability can mean trying to quickly decide whether to become a landlord and rent out the current home or put it on the market and work toward a quick sale. If you are a homeowner facing this situation, the following considerations can help you make the best choice for your situation.
What is your equity position on the current home?
The first thing to consider when trying to decide whether to find a tenant or a buyer for an existing home being left behind is the equity position you hold in it. If you are in a good positive equity position, selling could be the better choice because you will be able to use the proceeds towards a down payment on another home in your new location. However, if you are upside down on the home or in a relatively neutral equity position, renting it out may be the better choice to help offset the monthly mortgage payments and costs of upkeep as you get situated in your new area.
Can you be an effective landlord from your new location?
The next consideration is the distance between your current home and your new one. If your new home is within a short distance and you will have the time to devote to maintaining a rental property, collecting the monthly rent payments, and responding to tenant calls, keeping the home as a rental can work well.
If, however, you will be too busy with your new job to be a responsive landlord or you will be relocating to an area that is too far away to be an effective one, selling the current home will be a better choice.
Is the current real estate market a good one for selling or renting?
Another consideration for relocating homeowners to use when making a decision to rent or sell an existing home is the condition of the real estate market in the area where the home is located. If comparable homes are selling well, it can be best to list the home immediately, price it competitively, and work toward selling it as quickly as possible after you move away.
If however, homes comparable to yours are lingering too long on the market or expiring unsold, it can be better to find a good tenant who will help you generate income until the market improves. To get more information and determine your best options, based on your specific location, make an appointment to set down with an experienced, successful real estate broker in your area. Their market expertise can help you explore both renting and selling scenarios and decide which path will be most beneficial to your current situation.