For many military families, the possibility of having to orchestrate a move during their enlistment period is a given. When relocation orders actually arrive, however, families that own their current home have to decide on the best time to put their home on the market - while they are still in it or after they have moved to their next duty station.
Homeowners who have just received their PCS orders and are now trying to determine the best time to sell their home can use the following information to help them make the right decision.
What to know about selling a vacant house
For families already busy with the process of packing and locating their next home, it can be very appealing to consider waiting to list their current home until it is vacant. In addition to the convenience that plan can offer, the perks of selling a vacant home can include:
- allowing agents to show the home freely with no worries about appointment times clashing with family needs
- minimal cleaning needs to keep the home ready for viewing
- allowing prospective buyers to see the home as a blank slate
But selling a vacant home can also mean that families are supporting two households after they move. Mortgage and utility payments, as well as property taxes, insurance, and the costs of maintenance and upkeep can be financially draining on military families who are also renting or purchasing their next home in the new location.
What to know about selling before you move
Families who feel that there are more positive benefits available to them by selling their home before they move can avoid the financial burden of owning two homes, but they must be willing to face some additional challenges, including:
- a potentially short amount of time for the listing and selling process
- the stress of keeping the home in show-ready condition while the home is occupied
- juggling the processes of packing and locating the next home while also managing the sale of the current house
The condition of the current real estate market can be the deciding factor for military families who must decide whether to sell their home while still occupied or wait till after they have already relocated.
To get the most current market information for the area, including the days on market (DOM) and average selling prices, military homeowners should meet with a reputable military relocation realtor in their area as soon as possible.