The key to any success is the strategy behind it, and home selling is no exception; but planning your sale in a constantly fluctuating housing market can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time navigating the waters. A successful home sale is dependent on many factors, so as a seller, it helps to boil down buyer intent to a series of common motivations immune from market ebb and flow—things like transparency, fair pricing, and transaction simplicity. Chances are, if you can negate the things that make home buying a headache, your buyers will be more receptive.
Here are a few tips to help you simplify and win the selling process:
Buyers want to see every square-inch of a home before purchasing it, and with the advancement of social media and video conferencing apps, the expectation is that your property’s information and images can be obtained online—on-demand. From 360° VR videos to drone photography, house listings are more multimedia-based than ever.
This is even more useful if your home features amenities that would otherwise be concealed by conventional, “straight-on” listing photos, like skylights or a metal roof. Regardless of how you photograph your home, make sure to be thorough—even when it comes to the less glamorous aspects of your property, like its siding or gutter system. You never know what your buyer’s priorities will be, especially if you live in an extreme climatic area.
Whether your home endures the desert heat of Phoenix or the cold, windy weather of Pittsburgh, replacement windows, doors, roofs and other exterior remodels are crucial when it comes to optimizing a property’s energy efficiency, which means potential buyers are going to want to see these features first. Using these digital tools will give buyers that instant access while demonstrating your commitment to property transparency.
Give Your Home a Fair, Accurate Price
Many sellers have the idea to start at a higher price, then lower it during negotiation to give buyers the sense of saving while the seller preserves their net-plus transaction. However, a higher price tag often shrinks your buyer pool. If your home is overpriced, it may stay on the market longer; and the longer it stays, the more leverage buyers will gain. This could force you to lower your asking price below your property’s actual value just to facilitate a sale.
Know Your Local Market Going In
Housing data shouldn’t be seen as scripture, but it is important to be generally aware of the state of your local housing market so you can be aware of the ever-shifting nuances that affect buyer decision-making. For example, after years of buyers being empowered by low mortgage rates and high property availability following the mortgage crisis, many economists project that the national buyer pool will start to shrink. There are a few reasons for this, like growing mortgage insurance premiums for first-time homeowners, but the important trend to recognize is that the national housing market is poised to shift towards a buyer’s market for the first time in years. Find out if your local market will follow suit because, in a buyer’s market, buyers could be less willing to cover closing costs since there’s less competition.
Don’t Get Too Attached to Your Home
Even if you’re not madly in love with your property, consider the positive perception you’re more likely to have of any place where you’ve lived a significant portion of your life. It’s important to recognize and resist emotional bias since it could lead to property overpricing and all the trappings that come with it. It’s not always emotional, though; many homeowners sell their homes because of pressing financial obligations, so they overvalue out of necessity.
Be Involved—Just Enough
Home selling is defined by trial and error, especially when gauging how much you should be present for buyers. On one end, you want to be available to answer every question; on the other, you don’t want to pressure your potential buyers by hovering over the process. This may make them more apprehensive about raising uncomfortable questions about the home’s condition or price.
Be prepared to hold open houses and walkthroughs often, and during all points in the day, but set aside time for buyers to privately consult their realtor or the home inspector to discuss any concerns they have. This will give them a sense of autonomy and encourage them to pursue your home further.
Determining which attributes make a property more appealing than the one next door is far from a formal science, but keeping these strategies in mind will help you maintain a relevant and appealing listing.