In a seller’s market, prices are up and conditions are ripe for fetching a good price for your home; that is, if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few tips for making the most of a high-demand housing market.
Photo credit: HomeBay Listing – Camarillo, CA
Quality products sell fast:
“Seller’s market” does not necessarily mean that houses in undesirable locations or in poor condition sell quickly for a profit. Following the tried and true rules for improving curb appeal and prepping a home for sale will help you get a better return on your investment. Conversely a bad appraisal or first impression can spoil you profit potential.
Start by getting a professional home inspection so that you’re aware of the potential problems up front. Then follow the advice laid out by This Old House and get rid of that stained carpet, refinish scratched wood floors, refresh interior paint, and fix peeling exterior paint or damaged siding to make a great impression on buyers. A little elbow grease goes a long way in a competitive seller’s market, and usually translates to bigger returns.
‘The Price is Right:’
Don’t fall into the trap of over-pricing. Just because homes are selling fast doesn’t mean you can price as high as you want. “Inexpensive homes sell fastest,” says Trulia Housing Economist Ralph McLaughlin. According to McLaughlin, high prices may deter buyers before they even consider bidding or setting foot in the door.
Listing price can be a strategic marketing tool, so do a comparative market analysis of comparable homes in your area and pinpoint a price that buyers can’t resist. By pricing to sell, you can ideally attract multiple offers from qualified buyers and create a bidding war or make room to negotiate your own sale terms.
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Timing is everything:
When the average turnaround on home sales is 60 days or less, you want to do everything you can to sell in that time frame. Make sure everything is primed for the sale in advance so that you can move quickly. Also, consider looking only at offers from people that have mortgage pre-approval to avoid going through contractual steps with unqualified buyers and delaying your sale.
Don’t be a holdout:
When confronted with a reasonable offer from a strong buyer, resist the urge to hold out for that imaginary “better offer.” Real estate markets can be fickle and your dream offer may never come, so if the price and timing are right, be prepared to take a good offer and run with it.
Keep in mind that just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean your home will sell itself. Remember that buyers in any real estate market still care about buying reasonably-priced, quality homes, and with a little preparation and thoughtful presentation you can position your home to sell quickly and make money.
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