In a seller’s market, some home sellers expect their home to sell itself and that they’ll reap the financial rewards. While it is easier to sell a home in a hot market, it still requires work and preparation to receive the best price at the terms that are in the seller’s interest. Read on to get a better understanding of our seller’s market.
Prepare Your Home for Sale
Even in a super hot seller’s market, prepping your home for sale as best you can is essential. These preparations may or may not involve home staging (more on staging below). At a minimum, your preparations should include major decluttering, a deep cleaning, and a boost to your curb appeal. While buyers will overlook small defects in a seller’s market because there are not enough homes on the market, you’ll still want to ensure your home looks its best when it is listed. Why? Most buyers will see your home for the first time online. First impressions matter!
Stage Your Home
We always recommend staging your home, even in blazing hot seller’s markets. Staging a home is the best way to generate multiple offers. It’s important to note that staging doesn’t always mean a complete overhaul of your home. It may just mean adding a few accent pieces and accessories or changing the arrangement of the furniture. Staging your home will help with that critical first impression. There is no better way to make someone fall in love with and remember your house than to stage it.
Set a Reasonable Sales Price
Just because you’re selling in a hot market doesn’t mean you can list your home at any price. You’ll still need to review comparable and recent sales with your Realtor and together, come up with the right list price. Note that listing your home for slightly below market value can be a way to drive up interest. At a lower price point, more buyers will be attracted to the home, increasing the possibility of multiple offers. But note, slightly below or even at market value in a hot market is where you want to list your home. Going too far below market value can be a risk. Beware of any Realtor who asks you to list your home too low.
Respond to Offers
If you’re fortunate enough to receive more than one offer on your home, you will need to carefully review all the terms of each offer but be prepared to respond within 24 hours. It’s important to remember that anyone can offer more money, but not everyone can deliver on that promise. The property may need to appraise if the offer includes a contingency. Look at all details of each offer, including down payment, closing date, and contingencies. Many factors will determine your best course of action. A lower offer with better terms may make more sense for you. Be sure to confer with your agent throughout the offer process.
Be Ready to Act Quickly
Not only do homes in hot markets sell quickly, but they also tend to have shorter contract deadlines (due to cash offers and/or eager-to-please buyers). So you’ll need to have all relevant documentation and information available to potential buyers right away. Buyers will feel more comfortable with a quick settlement when the seller is well prepared.
Expect Appraisal Issues
Lastly, in hot markets, the appraisal process often presents issues. The home’s appraisal value can come in lower than the agreed-upon sales price. The problem is that lenders will only make the loan based on the appraised value. If your buyer does not have the cash or another source of funding to make up the difference, the deal could fall through. Alternatively, you could agree to lower the price to make the deal work.
The Bottom Line
As always, our goal for our selling clients is to help them get the best price for their home in the shortest amount of time. That is why it is so important to understand our current seller’s market. Preparation, staging, flexibility, and being reasonable are the best ways to maximize the profits from your home sale. Selling a home in a seller’s market, while often easier, still requires some effort on your part. But the potential rewards are worth it!
Planning to take advantage of the seller’s market and list your home soon? Let’s start the conversation today!