Selling a home takes time, energy, and money out of you and your family. This is almost a unified experience everywhere in the world. There are things out of your control and there are things you can do to help yourself get the best deal.
Before you do anything, consult with an expert and check the conditions of the housing market. If you are buying another house in a different location, compare the housing markets of those two places, to determine if it is the right time for you to move.
This article briefly explains the price-determining factors, which are the things that are out of your control, and then offers some tips on what you can do to get the best offer in whichever market.
There are major, macroeconomic factors that cause price fluctuation, and all you can do about them is, well, be informed. Comparing the factors of the markets you move from to the one you are moving into can sometimes help you save money. For instance, if you were to sell your Orange County house and move to a new home in Riverside County, you could save around $300.000.
Housing Market – Supply and Demand
We are living in a seller’s market right now. This means that there is a high demand and a very low supply of homes throughout the States. If there is a small number of properties for sale in your area, you can get an offer well above the asking price, and your house is more likely to sell faster.
This factor refers to the desirability level of the house’s location. For example, Sun Belt states have a higher demand in general, but that doesn’t mean that people are not looking for better neighborhoods, school districts, roads, and general infrastructure.
Buyers also need to live near lively places, so homes far away from urban areas have a lower value on the market. The urban areas, however, have a higher crime rate, so the home value is higher where the crime index is lower.
Age and Size of the House
The age of the house matters for practical reasons – there is a logic that the younger the house, the less maintenance there is. It is considered a desirable quality not having to worry about old plumbing pipes breaking or leaks on the roof.
The size of the house matter more in terms of usable space, than in the number of square feet. Buyers want to see livable space, especially bedrooms and bathrooms. You can have a giant garage and a small bedroom, and the same square footage as a home with two bedrooms and a small garage.
However, instead of worrying about the things, you cannot change, here are some things you can take action on and feel like you are in control of your house’s destiny.
1. Pick a Good Real Estate Agent
When you are in the process of selling your house, you need any help that you can get. Picking a good realtor takes the pressure off of your family and it helps you get the best possible offer. You might wonder, after you have seen dozens of realtors online, what are you looking for.
A good sales history and professional designation are the qualities that make a great realtor. He or she must know the market very well, so pick someone local. Work with someone who will make your house more appealing to buyers online, as there is a growing trend of house-buying without ever going to an open house.
There is an option of selling a home without a realtor, but you do it at your own expense. What you save up on realtor provision, you pay in time and stress, not to mention that you could sell your house for much more if you work with a professional.
2. Depersonalize Your Home
When you are putting your house on the market, you want potential buyers to imagine themselves living in it. This could be hard if all your personal belongings and memorabilia stand in their way.
The first thing you need to do is declutter and depersonalize your house. It can be hard and emotional, but opening up space is a win-win situation. It will be easier to pack once you have to move, and the buyers can create a vision of what it would be like living in that house. Painting your walls may seem excessive, but it helps achieve a clean and universal look.
It is recommended you do the repaint, especially if the color of your walls is very bright and risque. Opening the windows, letting air and sunlight come into the house is a small step, but one many people overlook. Depersonalization means deep cleaning your house, too. Buyers need to feel like the house is waiting for them and only them, so they might buy it.
Some realtors recommend hiring a professional stager, who will take care of cleaning, redecorating, even renting new furniture for the open house. You should not splurge on a stager if you live in a hot housing market and selling a middle-range property. On the other hand, a stager is a must when selling luxury real estate.
3. Create Good Visuals for Online Buyers
Since the start of the pandemic home sale has been done over the internet. Many people are moving states, but traveling back and forth just isn’t safe, so they opt for online house tours and Zoom meetings with local realtors.
This is why the online presence of your house should be impeccable. Hire a professional photographer and work on a universal aesthetic, something white and beige, so the buyers can imagine their colors and patterns. Your house should appear wider, bigger, and brighter and a photographer can help you with that.
4. Looks Matter – Fix the House’s Exterior
Maybe we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we do, and the same goes for the house. No matter how you stage the interior, if the front is rugged, there is a chance most people won’t like the charm.
The best thing you can do is paint the exterior, do all the easy fixes you were putting off for months or even years, mow the lawn, and clean everything. If you want to add that extra step, plant flowers or add nice lights.
A nice exterior does not only look good, but it sends a message that the house is well taken care of. A clean and tidy house front and back, sends a message of a house with fewer, if any, malfunctions.
5. Set a Realistic Price, Add Benefits
Overpricing a house is never a good option. Even if it eventually sells, it will take much more time and effort, and all that has its costs. Rather than evaluating the worth of the house yourself, do a comparative market analysis with your local realtor, and decide on selling tactics.
Instead of overpricing a house, you can set a higher price that is still appealing to the buyer but leaves room for negotiation. After the negotiation, the buyer will get a good deal on the asking price, and you will still get enough money for the home’s value.
Another tactic that works in a seller’s market, with high demand and low supply, is underpricing a home. This seems counterintuitive, but a smaller price will attract more offers and the ensuing bidding war can net you a price even higher than its real value.
After you have set your asking price, create a deal for the buyers. You could pay for closing costs, offer a transferable warranty or do an inspection before putting the house on a market. A buyer will do an inspection themselves, but it is transparent and helpful to know if there are any issues beforehand.
The Seller and the Buyer – Communication is the Key
Transparency and fairness can get you a long way. Communicate the issues and answer any questions the potential buyer might have. Accommodate them at any given time, and try not to perceive it as a nuisance. Instead, picture it as an investment. Remember, as stressful as it is for you to sell, it is maybe even more stressful to buy a new home.
Some sellers have a problem with getting too emotional in the process. If you get into this situation, it can be helpful to get to know the buyers and decide who will best take care of ‘’your’’ home.