Even those who have never bought or sold a home know that spring is when the market really heats up. After a long winter with little activity, homebuyers and sellers start to pop up like spring flowers once the sun comes out.
With so many sellers saturating the market, it can be a big task to make your home stand out above the rest. There are a few different things that you can do to sharpen your competitive edge and to get a solid offer during even the busiest real estate season.
From small DIY renovations, to choosing a great real estate agent, we’ll walk you through a few of the things that you can do to prepare your home for sale.
Many people overlook home staging, but it can be a very important investment, especially when the market is at its height. A professional home staging company should be called in before listing pictures are taken so that you can entice buyers with the interior design before they even come for a viewing.
Make sure to consider both the inside and outside of your home, as curb appeal is just as important as what potential buyers think of the interior décor. First impressions can make a significant difference. You wouldn’t want to mar a buyer’s feelings for your home by having a competing neighbor do nothing more than add a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
If you are unable to invest in a home staging service, some of the things that you can do on your own include:
- Remove and store clutter items, such as knick-knacks, toys, etc.
- Clean everything from top to bottom
- Purchase or rent a few statement pieces and rearrange furniture to show off rooms
- Weed flower beds, sweep walkways, and wash windows
Staging your home could potentially lead to a better offer, more interested buyers, and a faster sale, so don’t ignore the benefits that even a small investment could net you.
Having a Great Real Estate Agent
One of the key points in selling your home in a highly competitive and booming market is to have a tried and trusted real estate agent. Your agent is the one who will list your home, host showings, and negotiate offers on your behalf.
Real estate agents have contacts in the industry, and are constantly networking with other agents to find buyers and sellers the perfect homes. The difference between selling on your own during the high-season, and using a realtor could be quite noticeable.
When looking for a real estate agent to represent you and your home, you should make sure to choose someone:
- With experience in your geographical area, and in selling your type of home.
- Who has good references and a successful track record.
- Who you have confidence in, and who understands your goals.
- Someone who has the time and drive to dedicate to your listing.
Ultimately, who you choose to represent you and your home during a sale is completely up to you. You should choose someone who you can work with easily, and who understands your goals and motivations in selling so that you are both on the same page and have the same expectations.
You know what your home needs, and if you didn’t purchase it brand new, or haven’t kept up on maintenance, it could probably use a little bit of TLC before it goes on the market. Although some buyers are specifically looking for fixer-uppers, they often want them at reduced prices because of the work that they will have to put in.
In order to maximize your selling price, make a list of the biggest issues to the smallest and decide what you want to tackle. Some large renovations may be needed, but they may not up the price as much as you would like, while some small ones may offer significant value.
Common renovations and upgrades include:
- Painting walls, trim, and ceilings.
- Replacing windows, doors, and flooring.
- Renovating kitchens and bathrooms.
- Upgrading appliances.
Eccentric paint colors or dated décor should be replaced with more modern, neutral updates so that buyer’s don’t automatically think of the money they’ll have to spend to change them. What you choose to do to your home depends on how much you want to get for it, how much time and money you have to invest in the sale, and what needs to be done.
Consider getting a home inspection done to give you an idea of any major or recommended repairs and suggestions. This will save you from any hidden surprises when, after an offer is accepted, the buyer has one done.
Your asking price could make or break any chance you have at selling your home during the spring season. Ask too much and you could lose out on a lot of interest. Ask too little, and your home may sell quickly, but you could end up wishing you had asked for more.
With so many homes on the market, it’s important to a) listen to your realtor’s suggestions, and b) look at the prices of similar homes in the area.
Base your cost on your needs. If you need to sell quickly, consider selling slightly lower than other similar homes in your neighborhood. If you are prepared to sell whenever you find the right buyer with the right offer, you can ask for a little more.
For the most part, buyers are looking for a price that they can afford, and that suits the worth of the home, so be prepared to negotiate no matter what strategy you use.
Put Yourself in a Strategic Position
If you need your home to sell right away because of a new job or relocation, you may need to be prepared to list an asking price that reflects that. Alternatively, if you can afford to rent out your home or keep it on the market after you move, you may give yourself better footing.
If you have the luxury of waiting for your home to sell whenever you find the right buyer, it might be a good idea to wait until the market cools a little before jumping in. The market tends to slow down in September-October, so listing in the summer after the rush may help you to avoid the feeding frenzy of buyers and sellers and get you a better offer.
Your personal and financial position also has a big impact on your strategic position when selling a home, so put some time into figuring out where you stand and what you have to gain from selling in the spring.
It’s all in the Details
If you decide to sell during the busy season, remember to have your home listed on multiple websites, with appealing pictures. Entice buyers with well-written copy that points out the best parts of your home. Highlight features that make your home different, and leverage marketing strategies in your area.
Consider open houses, be available for viewings, and keep in line with your goals. If you take heed, and employ some of the tips in this list, you should get yourself in edge in an already edgy market.
Will you be selling or buying this spring? What tips do you have for sellers?