How to Sell Stocks

If you need cash, aren't happy with your investment returns or want to diversify your investments, you may have to liquidate some stocks. Here's what you need to know about the procedures associated with selling your shares of stock.

When to Sell Your Stock

Before you start the selling process, make sure it's an appropriate time to sell your stock. If you need to use the proceeds from the sale for other expenses, you may not have the option to delay the sale. However, if you're just looking to change your investments, it is important to take time to evaluate your decision.

Avoid selling your stock as a reaction to temporary fluctuations in the price. For example, the stock market may have a rough day and cause the price of your shares to plummet. Resist the temptation to sell your shares simply because you're concerned the price will drop even farther. Instead, look at the stock's long-term performance when deciding whether it's a winner or a loser.

Decide What Price You're Willing to Accept for the Stock

Figure out if there's a minimum price that you want for the stock. Remember, the price of a share of stock fluctuates from day to day and even hour to hour. When you put in the order to sell the stock, it's possible to attach price conditions to the sale.

For example, let's say that you don't want to sell the stock until the price is above $30 a share. You can use a limit order, which states that you won't accept a price that's under a predetermined amount, as stated by Nerd Wallet.

Selling Stock on Your Own

It's possible to sell your shares of stock on your own. Log onto the website or app for your investment company, locate the stock that you want to sell and click on a button that says "sell." Once you get to the trading screen, you can specify how many of the shares of stock you want to sell. Set any stipulations or requirements that you have regarding the share price, then submit the sale form.

Selling Stock With the Assistance of a Broker

If a stock broker assisted with the purchase of the stock, you can contact them to help you sell it. Your broker will typically execute the sale within 24 hours of receiving your request, according to The Balance. If you have complex price conditions attached to the sale of your stock, the expertise of a broker can ensure your sale request adheres to these stipulations.

Pay Attention to the Time

If you put in for a sale outside of normal stock market hours, know that the transaction will not occur until the next day the market is open. This can influence that price that your stock sells for, as the sale will occur at the opening trading price unless you add price stipulations.