Looking to sell your home in today’s hot housing market? With many US housing markets currently in a “seller’s market” – meaning there is increased demand for a limited number of available homes – now is the perfect time to sell your home. This seller’s market has been created by two factors. The first was the record-setting low-interest rates that the US Treasury introduced as a way to keep the economy going through the onset of economic recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second factor is the sharp increase in first-time homebuyers, up 14% in 2020 from 2019. These factors have contributed to homes selling faster than ever before and often for full asking price, or more.
Here’s how to get more from your sale in this heating-up housing market.
Get Your Home in Selling Condition
The first step in getting your home ready to sell on the market is a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. You will also want to consider repairing any cosmetic damage like replacing or removing torn, or stained carpeting. While most buyers will overlook some minor cosmetic details, it’s best if your home is looking as good as the day you first moved in. Hiring a professional cleaning service is a good idea if you don’t have the time needed to fully clean your home or if you want that professionally clean touch that can be hard to replicate on your own.
Freshening up your interior and exterior paint can also go a long way towards selling your home at full asking price or more. If you need a hand with your paint job, give Pro Edge a shout. We’d love to help you get your home ready for showing and cross one more item off your punch list.
Another part of the staging process is to remove all personal effects. This includes your family pictures. Prospective home buyers want to envision a clean slate in the home they are considering buying. Personal effects like family photos can make this a challenge. This may seem sad as your home has likely seen a lot of love and a lot of life over the years, but these memories belong to you and your family, not your potential buyers. If you want to sell your home fast and for your full asking price, then it’s best to tuck away your personal effects and give your home that fresh and new feeling that you experienced when you toured the house that became your home.
Be Intentional with Your Listing
Once your house has been staged and is ready to list, make sure you are intentional about this next step of the process. Listing your home at the right time can significantly increase the number of responses you receive. It’s often considered best to post your listing on Thursday night so that it’s fresh and up top on Friday morning. This is when many prospective home buyers are mapping out the homes they will see on Friday and through the weekend.
Even in a seller’s market, it is important to give your listing every opportunity to be seen. While there may be a shortage of homes on the market, there can still be a lot of homes listed. Taking the time to understand your city’s housing market can help you post your listing at the time when it is most likely to be seen by potential buyers.
Limit Your Showings
When it comes to listing the times that your home will be available for showing, keep it specific. Limiting showing times gives your home a sense of exclusivity and buyers love what they feel they can’t have. Specific showing times also create competitive situations by having different buyers viewing your home at the same time. This can lead to quicker and higher offers.
When you are choosing your showing times, make sure you pick a time that is accessible and convenient for prospective buyers. This is usually during the weekend when most people are not working, but Friday can work as well as many prospective buyers take a Friday off when they are looking to buy a home. You can also consider a showing time for the early evening during the week that would allow prospective buyers to see your home after work.
Respond to Offers Immediately
No one likes to be kept waiting, especially when there are hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. Review and respond to offers as soon as possible. Keeping buyers waiting can mean losing out on their offer as many buyers don’t like to be involved in multiple offers. You don’t want to lose out on any potential offers, even in a seller’s market. While not every offer that you receive will be up to your standards, and sellers usually receive more offers in the hot housing market, it is still important to review every offer that you receive and to respond. You can issue a counteroffer or an all-out rejection, but make sure you respond as quickly as possible.
You also want to vet all non-cash offers for validity. If a prospective buyer is financing their future home, then their lending institution will appraise your home at a certain price. This is the price their lending institution will pay for your home, no matter what the offer says. This can sometimes be overlooked by first-time home buyers. They may submit a great offer without realizing that they will be responsible for paying anything over the appraisal price provided by their lender. If they cannot cover the additional amount, then their offer is essentially invalid and will not work out.
Remember that if you are selling your home in this heating up housing market, then the market is in your favor. Take full advantage of this seller’s market by considering extra wins at closing times. This could include not paying the buyer’s costs that the seller usually covers, or requesting a waiver of the buyer’s inspection and contingencies.