Even in a seller’s market, homes aren’t guaranteed to sell. When preparing to sell your home, following a few best practices can keep the property from sitting on the market — or even worse, not selling at all.
Price it just right.
Overpricing a listing is a kiss of death on the market. Research homes in the area that have sold recently, and make sure they are actually comparable (i.e., don’t compare a fixer-upper to a newly remodeled house). Check how long local listings are typically on the market for, and adjust your expectations accordingly. Keep your eye on what else is on the market at the same time as your listing — if there is another home that is seen as a better deal, your listing will look less desirable.
Even though a seller will always want the highest price possible, it may prove strategic to list for a lower price and let buyers bid the price up in competition. Listing at a lower price is common practice in very competitive real estate markets when the market is hot. This approach often ends up getting more exposure on the listing since it will show up on more homebuyers’ online feeds.
Take beautiful professional photographs.
Some buyers love a project, but most are hoping to have to do as little work as possible (and keep their budget as low as possible). Keeping the home clean and uncluttered and presenting clear photos will present the home at its best.
The majority of buyers are starting their home search online nowadays, and can form an attachment to a house before even seeing it in person. Bad photos, or no photos at all, can completely eliminate interest.
There are inexpensive ways to spruce up your house to make it look more appealing, and pointing out all the positive aspects of the home in the listing (such as the features, upgrades and location) is also vital.
Be open to negotiations.
I can’t stress enough that keeping an open mind is key when selling your home. A buyer may come in with a low price or not-so-great terms on an offer, but it’s best not to write them off completely. If the buyer wants the house, they are likely open to negotiating. If the offer is rejected in a rude way, the buyers may feel like they do not want to work with the seller/their agent in the future at all and may not revisit an offer even after the home has been sitting on the market. Emotions run high on both the buyer and seller side of buying a home, and while it’s important for buyers to not write ridiculously low offers, it’s also key for the sellers to keep from being offended, and try to see if there is some reasoning.
In competitive real estate markets, offers are most likely to come in within the first two weeks of the listing becoming active. Serious buyers are already searching and seeing new listings as they come up for sale. Be sure the home is available and presentable right away for showings. In addition to listing the home in the MLS, it’s essential that the listing be spread to as many potential buyers and local agents as possible. If you want to sell, spread the word.