Many experts say you should never sell your property if you can avoid it – but sometimes, offloading your home or investment property is the best solution.
Ask any real estate enthusiast who has read a property investing book or magazine, or who has been to a property investing seminar or workshop, and they’ll tell you that success in the property game all comes down to “time in the market”.
The aim of the game is to hold on to your real estate assets long enough for them to appreciate in value. 
The average person purchases “about seven homes during the course of their lifetime,” says Terry Sprouse from
“If, when someone is ready to move on to another house, they always held onto their old house as a rental, they would build up a good stream of income along the way from rental income.”
Seven properties would certainly generate quite the handsome return, but it’s not always possible to juggle the mortgages and maintenance responsibilities on a growing portfolio of properties.
If you’re thinking of selling and you’re in two minds about what you should do, consider the following when weighing up your options. You may want to sell your property if…
… You’ve bought a lemon.
Melbourne based financial planner Jane was “beyond excited” to settle her first investment property in 2006: the two-bedroom unit, located in a regional suburb of Victoria, was a steal at only $165,000, and it was neutrally geared from the get go. But four years later, it hadn’t grown in value – and the maintenance and repair bills were coming thick and fast.
“It wasn’t attracting the best tenants either, so last year I made the decision to get rid of it,” Jane says. “I ended up selling for $152,000, so it was a loss, but it was definitely the right move. It seemed like every other week, I was getting hit up for yet another repair! I’ve now reinvested with my brother in a great apartment in Melbourne, and it’s already grown in value by $25,000, so I feel like I’m back on the right track.”
… You’ve ended a relationship.
If you’ve recently split with your partner, then you may be in a situation where you’re forced to sell your property. It’s not the ideal position to be in, but at least you can look forward to starting fresh with a new home once the property has sold.
According to the AMP/NATSEM report on the financial impact of divorce, marriage breakdown costs Australia up to $6 billion a year. Nowhere is this felt more sharply than in real estate, where the need for a quick sale can force vendors to slash prices. If you find yourself in this situation, try not to divulge your reason for selling to potential buyers and estate agents: simply stating that you’re moving elsewhere is all they need to know.
… You can no longer afford to keep it.
Despite our best intentions, sometimes our financial situation changes and forces us to re-evaluate our goals.
It may be a new addition to the family – and the accompanying loss of one income, at least temporarily – that prompts you to rethink your property situation. Or perhaps a new job comes with a slightly lower paycheck, or requires you to relocate to a new suburb or city? Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to book in with a qualified financial planner or mortgage broker to discuss all of your options before you decide to sell.