Selling vs. Leasing

Christina Gibbons


Struggling with the 'Sell or Lease?' conundrum and finding it tough to decide? CGG is here to offer guidance. ⁠Deciding whether to sell or lease your home is a significant financial choice that requires careful consideration of various factors. Both options come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks, and understanding them can help you make an informed decision based on your current circumstances and future goals.

Pros of Selling Your Home:

  1. Immediate Cash Inflow: Selling your home provides a lump sum of cash, which can be advantageous for making other investments, paying off debts, or funding a new property purchase.
  2. Simplified Finances: Once the sale is complete, you won't have to worry about ongoing mortgage payments, property taxes, or maintenance costs associated with homeownership.
  3. Market Conditions: Timing the market can be crucial. Selling when the real estate market offers favorable conditions (i.e., low inventory, high buyer demand) can maximize your property's value and ensure a quicker sale.
  4. Capital Gains Tax Exemptions: In many cases, homeowners can benefit from capital gains tax exemptions when selling their primary residence, allowing them to keep more of the profit

Cons of Selling Your Home

  1. Loss of Asset: Once sold, the property is no longer yours, and you lose the potential for future appreciation and rental income.
  2. Market Volatility: The real estate market can be unpredictable. Selling during a downturn may result in a lower sale price than expected.
  3. Transaction Costs: Selling involves transaction costs such as real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and potential home repairs that may be necessary to attract buyers.


Pros of Leasing:

  1. Steady Income Stream: Leasing your property generates a regular income stream through monthly rent payments, providing financial stability and potentially covering mortgage expenses.
  2. Property Appreciation: While leasing, your property may continue to appreciate in value. This could result in a higher resale value if you decide to sell in the future.
  3. Flexibility: Leasing allows you the flexibility to move back into your property if needed or to explore different living arrangements in the future.

Cons of Leasing

  1. Property Responsibilities: Many prospective Landlords overlook the fact that leasing your property comes with a wealth of responsibilities that cam be both time-consuming and costly. If. you don't hire a property manager, you will be dealing with property maintenance, repairs, and ensuring compliance with legal requirements (of which there are many) all on your own. This can be both time consuming and costly, impacting your overall convenience and financial resources. 
  2. Tenant Risks: Dealing with tenants comes with its own set of challenges, including property damage, late payments, and the potential for difficult tenants.
  3. Market Conditions: If the rental market is slow or if property values decrease, your rental income may not cover expenses, putting financial strain on you as a landlord.
  4. Limited Access to Equity: Leasing ties up your property, limiting your access to the equity that could be used for other investments or purchases.


The Middle Path

If you are still deciding whether to put your home up for sale or for rent, consulting with a real estate specialist is best. One option we suggest to homeowners considering leasing is to do a "market response test" by listing their home for sale and rent at the same time (**Yes, you can do that!**). This approach expands your reach, giving you more choices and a means to assess market interest. If leasing generates significant interest, it could indicate a promising long-term investment. On the other hand, a surge in attention from committed buyers with offers meeting or exceeding the asking price might gently steer your attention toward selling.

The housing market in New Jersey is experiencing historically low inventory, leading to faster and higher-priced home sales. Given this scenario, real estate agents are often taken aback when homeowners opt for the rental path instead of capitalizing on the favorable selling conditions. Ultimately, the decision to sell or rent should be based on your financial goals, lifestyle, and the current real estate landscape. A thorough evaluation of the pros and cons of each option will help you make an informed decision that's tailored to your unique circumstances.


We offer the highest level of expertise and service with integrity. Christina Gibbons Group, based in Ridgewood, NJ and serving the greater Bergen County area just outside of New York City, provides exclusive residential real estate services to home sellers, first-time home buyers, families looking to upgrade or downsize, investors and builders.

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