By Hannah Tan
What’s the number one thing buying and selling a house has in common? Getting the best price possible. Buying a home is one of the most significant financial investments you’ll make, so there’s no surprise why so much time is spent tracking mortgage rates, researching how much house you can afford, the best location, and even the types of homes that can make good investments. But, when it’s time to sell your home, too often, sellers list their home on the market and hope for the best offer.
Before you sell your home, it’s essential to set the right strategy to stay ahead of the competition, especially in today’s housing market. And putting in the work beforehand can make all the difference in setting you ahead of the selling curve and make your listing more desirable. Here are some tips to help you sell your home for more money and get the best possible offer.
Make sure you can afford to sell
It only makes sense to sell your house if you’re going to make money, so it’s important to figure out the cost of selling a house in your area before putting your home on the market. However, figuring out how much you’ll make from selling your home isn’t as easy as subtracting your outstanding mortgage from the price you hope to get. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay several fees when selling your home, including agent commissions, excise tax, title insurance, and other closing costs, which vary by region. Using an online sale calculator that estimates these variables is a good place to start. However, working with an agent will give you a better understanding of how much you can hope to get in proceeds since they’ll know the current market conditions and the amount your home can sell for.
Work with a local real estate agent
The housing market can be difficult to predict, and unless you’re an investor or real estate expert, you’ll benefit from having professional help and guidance from a real estate agent. A local real estate agent has the know-how to help you get the most money out of your home sale and can be an asset when navigating the ins and outs of the selling process. Your real estate agent can also be an asset when it comes to staging, marketing, negotiating, and staying on top of the local market conditions and laws.
Set a competitive asking price
Nothing deters homebuyers more than an overpriced listing. A good place to start is finding out what your home is worth and researching real estate comps in your area to figure out how to price your home for the market. That way, you’ll have a general idea of what homes are selling for in your area. Once you’ve done your research, this is where having a real estate agent on your team can help sell your home for more money. Ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis (CMA), which will help you determine a reasonable price based on sales of similar homes in your area. Your agent can also work with you to determine the best price to motivate buyers to schedule a tour to view your listing and generate the necessary exposure for your listing.
Also, be sure not to overprice your home. Homes get 64% more views the day they first hit the market compared to the day after a price reduction. The goal is to set a good price the first time, so you don’t have to drop the price later. Your home may not get the same attention the longer it sits on the market and can even cause some buyers to be skeptical of the discounted price. Plus, if you play your cards right and price it competitively from the get-go, you may even incite a bidding war to encourage buyers to bid higher.
Time it right
Listing your home for sale at the right time can help maximize the sale price, so it’s important to consider which month may be the best time to list your home. Spring is widely considered to be the best time to sell a house, and for a good reason. According to Redfin data, homes listed in March and April not only sell the fastest, but they also sell for the most money. The average home listed in April will sell 14 days faster and for $2,750 more than if the same home were listed in November. However, if your timing is flexible, March and May are excellent options to help you sell your home for more money.
You’ll also want to consider which day of the week you list your home as well. The best day to list your home is on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday since homes listed for sale midweek sell for an average of $1,700 more than homes listed on the weekend.
Spruce up your home to help you sell for more
It’s no surprise that kitchens and bathrooms are the main hotspots buyers look at when touring a listing. So, if you’re considering which repairs to make before selling, a kitchen or bathroom remodel is some of the smartest investments you can make to increase the value of your home. However, there are many other budget-friendly projects you can do to make a great first impression, including replacing your front door, installing dual-pane windows, adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior, and maintaining the yard.
Don’t forget that a deep clean inside and outside your home can go a long way in refreshing its appearance. Washing the windows, steam cleaning the carpets, pressure washing the deck, and scrubbing down your appliances will help your home look well-maintained to eagle-eyed buyers. A clean and orderly house has a higher perceived value than one that needs attention and can help your home sell for more money.
Enhance your listing with staging and professional photography
Staging is commonly used when selling a home and should be a key component of your strategy, especially if you want to sell your house for the most money. A professional stager can help neutralize the space to help buyers visualize themselves in a move-in-ready home. Plus, stagers have the knowledge needed to highlight your home’s best features and make it feel warm and welcoming.
Once your home is looking its best, hire a professional photographer to take the listing photos as homes with professional photos are known to sell faster and for more money. Most people start their home search online, so photos are crucial to getting their attention. Eye-catching listing photos are integral in showing off your home’s features and can include some home trends buyers are looking for, making all the difference in swaying buyers into viewing your listing or passing on it completely.
Carefully consider offers, and be prepared to negotiate
An experienced listing agent will know a good offer when they see it. They’ll also guide you through the offer process and advise you on when to negotiate prices and terms. While the highest bid will grab your attention, especially if it’s close to or above your asking price, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best offer. Your agent will know what’s “normal” when it comes to offers and know when someone is trying to get a bargain. You should consider all the terms of the offer, not just the price, to make sure you get the best deal. If a buyer has included contingencies, you’ll want to be sure to review those carefully as they’re the deciding factor in when you get paid. With the right planning and real estate agent on your side, you can begin your home selling journey with the confidence you’ll get the best offer.
Originally published by Redfin