6 Strategies You Need for Listing Your Home
1. What’s the best time to list – Spring or Winter??
If you have flexibility with timing, talk with me about the best time of year to list. In the past, spring was the hottest real estate season – a time when many buyers began their searches and many homes hit the market. I analyzed home sales from the National Association of Realtors from 2011 to 2015 and found that homes listed in winter and early spring sold faster and for slightly more money than homes listed at other times — this held true in both cold and temperate climates.
Because there’s typically less inventory on the market during the winter, your home is competing with fewer properties and thus will have a better chance of selling. Additionally, there are buyers relocating, job promotions, major family changes occurring throughout the year which brings motivated buyers to the table during this time.
Regardless of the season, I always advise sellers to list on a Thursday or Friday, so your home is fresh in buyers’ minds when they’re making plans to see homes on the weekend. Many reports have found that homes listed on Thursday or Friday tend to sell closer to their original list price and have the best chance of selling.
So what is the slowest period in my experience? Surprisingly, the weeks prior to the start of school tend to be the time of lowest activity in the market.
2. Get your home ready
Check your curb appeal. A beautiful front door can turn on a buyer in 10-15 seconds. Fix any little things like loose handles, leaky faucets prior to listing. If buyers see small stuff not fixed they will leap to assume there are also big things wrong. De-clutter and remove all personal and family photos and “collections” from around the house. Remove some furniture and nick knacks especially along the floor and on tops of tables. More sight line along the floor makes your space seem bigger. Space on the tops of tables, shelves and dressers gives your eye a place to rest.
3. Clean, clean, clean
Windows– Clean them inside and out. It is amazing to see how much more light comes through when the windows are clean. It makes the entire room feel cleaner too.
Door and knobs – wash down all doors and door knobs
Closets and cupboards – declutter and organize. Make it look like there is plenty of storage rather than spilling out when the door is opened.
Fridge – put away all of the magnets and wipe down your appliances
Countertops – empty, clean, and spacious is what you are going for here
Floors and carpets – clean all the nooks and crannies, if you have pets consider having carpets professionally cleaned to reduce odors
4. Make yourself scarce
Be prepared for a lot of foot traffic the first week and be as accommodating as possible with showing times. A request from a buyer to view your home is an indication of a serious buyer. Don’t be anywhere around when buyers come to tour. This makes potential buyers uneasy and inhibits them from feeling “comfortable’ in your home.
Safeguard valuables and if you have pets, make arrangements for them (and their food/watering bowls) to be out of the home during tours.
5. Understanding Offers
Multiple offers If you receive multiple offers, I’ll expertly help you navigate the waters. You’ll want to give all buyers who have either looked at your home or have an upcoming appointment, a chance to make an offer on your home without losing the offer you have in front of you – especially if it is acceptable to you. This can be delicate. Consider setting an offer deadline, giving buyers notice that you will accept and review all offers on a specific date. This strategy allows you to make sure that you know all of your options before accepting the first offer that comes your way. I will advise whether this strategy makes sense for your situation.
A quick offer Occasionally an offer will come in quickly and the seller begins to think that even more offers will come in at even higher prices. If the offer received would have been acceptable to you when you set your list price (when you were looking at the comparables of recent solds and established your price), then it should be acceptable now. Don’t fall into this trap and think you can wait on an even better offer.
Low offers Although this is not what you expected, do not panic. Keep a level head and determine if the buyer is a qualified buyer – if so, you should counter. I will help you with this strategy and see if they will come up to an acceptable price. Market conditions in parts of the country experienced a big downturn in 2007-2009 and national news sometimes made it sound like the sky was falling. Thus there are buyers out there that still insist on starting very low. Trust me to work through the process, communicate with the buyer’s agent and sell the home – if not, move on.
6. What if it’s not selling
While the overall market is robust, some price points are not as robust. I will provide you the absorption rate for your price range and location. The absorption rate indicates how many homes in your price point are on the market and extrapolates based on recent sales the amount of time it will take you to sell. If the number of days on the market is longer for your price point – be patient. It only takes one buyer for your home. Knowing the absorption rate for your home helps you know the speed of the market at your price point to make sure you have realistic expectations. A fairly priced luxury property will sell, but may be on the market longer given a smaller buying pool.
If your home isn’t getting buyers’ attention, be open to a price change. Listen to feedback from visiting agents and potential buyers. If there are negative comments make every effort to remedy the problems. If the feedback is consistent, consider making an update to the home, offering a seller concession at closing or lowering your asking price.
At the end of the day, selling a home is a financial transaction — albeit a deeply personal one. Rely on my advice to guide you through the process. Selling your home can be stressful, but it can be incredibly rewarding if you take the time to prepare, think through a winning strategy, keep a level head and separate your emotions from the process.
For more information contact Marceta Claypool at 712-541-5118 or email Mclaypool@c21prolink.com.