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Want to list your house? Read this first

The national median listing price for active listings was $380,000 in May, up 15.2 percent compared to last year, according to Realtor.com.

INDIANAPOLIS — It is no secret home values are up. The national median listing price for active listings was $380,000 in May, up 15.2 percent compared to last year, according to Realtor.com.

With the potential to profit comes the temptation to sell. But before you stick the "for sale" sign in the lawn, there are a few things to consider.

Your "why"

Jason Engle with CENTURY 21 Scheetz said before you list, know your "why." Engle cautions against making purely money motivated moves.

For Robin Wilson of Fishers, it is the desire to downsize.

"We want to set ourselves up for that home that will meet our needs for the rest of our lives," Wilson said.

Credit: Robin Wilson
Robin Wilson and her husband are looking at selling their home and downsizing.

However, finding a one-level place that meets her and her husband's needs and price point is taking a lot longer than expected.

"We were happy to sit tight," Wilson said. "We weren't necessarily unhappy with our home."

But after seeing what neighbors are getting for their houses, Robin and her husband decided to act now.

"It was really eye opening to us how fast they would go from listed to contingent," Wilson said.

Where will you live?

Once their house is sold, Wilson and her husband plan to rent until prices settle down.

"I think it was the right timing for us to make this decision," Wilson said.

Wilson and her husband found a rental prior to listing, that way they are prepared if the house sells quickly.

If you plan to rent, research what places are available and know what they cost. For example, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom space in the Greenwood area is between $1,500 and $1,900 right now.

Need storage? A one-bedroom sized unit, 10x10, is around $175 a month.

And don't forget the movers, you'll need them twice.

If you plan to buy, compare your costs to your potential profit. Inspection findings may alter this forecast.

Credit: WTHR
Robin Wilson and her husband are preparing to sell their home and downsize.

Ask your real estate agent if their office offers a net sheet calculator, a tool or formula sheet to better understand what those numbers may look like.

Aside from costs, understand how much you will need to fork over to be competitive in the buying process. A survey by the National Association of Realtors found 25 percent of residential sales were in cash.

"We had a listing in this office earlier this spring, that triggered some 50 plus offers. Not showings, but offers in the opening weekend," Engle said.

While Engle admits more than 50 offers is an outlier, homes are moving quickly.

Contract additions

Engle said if your home goes quickly, ask for a lease back. This language will buy you more time to move out or find a new home.

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