10 Ways to Make Your Home More Sellable
There's little doubt that the real estate marketplace is now in transition. Sales volume has begun to weaken and in many markets, the days of quick sales and multiple offers have disappeared. The cooling from overheated sales conditions in recent months is helping to bring inventory levels up to the point where buyers have more choices than they've seen in the last five years. Annual price appreciation has been running at double-digit rates, but the cause of those sharp increases is going away. As the market readjusts, price appreciation should return to more normal rates of growth this year and into 2024.
- Homes are not selling as quickly as before—that's good news for buyers.
- Sharp increases in value are moderating—that's also good news for buyers.
- Values have not fallen quickly—that's great news for sellers.
The catch is that a softer marketplace means sellers have to fight harder to get top prices and quick sales. Here are 10 ways to get more out of the local marketplace.
- Go for the junk and get rid of it. A house with less stuff looks bigger and roomier. If what you want to throw out can have value to others, you can help by donating goods to local charities.
- Price within reason. Trying to sell a home for $700,000 when similar homes go for $525,000 is not a good idea. The days of "testing" the market with huge price increases are finished in many areas. Overprice and you won't be competitive.
- Use the best local broker/agent you can find. Experience, connections, and reputation can be a real edge when marketing a property.
- Tailored marketing plan. Require your agent to have a marketing plan that makes sense for you and your property. The technique that sells one property may not be appropriate for another, so find the approach that's right for you.
- Have a market action pan. If the home doesn't sell within a reasonable time period, think about changing the deal rather than lowering the price. Instead of cutting the price from $500,000 to $480,000, keep the $500,000 price and offer a 2 percent "seller contribution" to help a buyer pay for closing costs. This approach is cheaper ($10,000 in closing cost help rather than a $20,000 price reduction) and gets to the real need of many buyers, closing assistance.
- Have a home equity line of credit in place. Even if you don't expect to sell for quite some time. This way, you can have funds available to buy a replacement home while the current property is being sold. Just be aware of the risk. If your current home does not sell in a reasonable period you could face additional mortgage payments.
- Make sure everything works and nothing leaks. Expect buyers to ask for a home inspection and be prepared to make reasonable repairs if requested. Remember that it may be better to upgrade an electrical service box than to look for a new buyer.
- Get buyer feedback. Find out what buyers thought after a showing or open house. Don't take negative comments personally. Look for ideas that can help you make a better impression on the next prospect.
- Beware of buyers who want you to take back financing. At a time when loans with little or nothing down are available from every lender, don't go into the banking business and take back a loan when there is less risk to you with an outright sale. In other words, don't go offer or entertain seller financing.
- Don't get upset with small inconveniences. If a prospect wants to see a home with little notice or at an odd hour, don't worry about it. It's better to show the property than to have a home that is both undisturbed and unsold.
Learn more about selling your home here.
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