In the past two years, homes have been selling at record prices and in record time. But with rising inflation and mortgage rates continuing to go up, the housing market is not quite as hot as it was before.
Though it may still be a seller’s market, buyers are still willing to negotiate, offer lower than the asking price, and require contingencies during the buying process. Even in a seller’s market, your home selling strategy needs to be up to par. These are some of the most important home-selling tips to sell your home quickly and at a competitive price in 2024.
Work with a Top Agent
The single most beneficial thing a seller can do to improve their chances of selling quickly and at a great price is to hire a top real estate agent. Not only will an agent walk you through every step of the selling process, they will make selling much easier and less time-consuming. You may be tempted to list it as “For Sale by Owner” in order to avoid paying an agent commission. However, houses that are sold as FSBO typically sell for 16% less than agent-assisted sales.
Not only do real estate agents garner higher sales prices, they also remove the stress of selling a home. Agents handle marketing, showings, and open houses. They also help you analyze each offer so you know which is the best offer for you. Finally, agents work to negotiate for their clients. This means they can help you sell your house for more money, with fewer contingencies, in less time.
Deep Clean, Repair, and Upgrade
You might think that large upgrades are the best way to increase your home’s chance of selling, however, the opposite is true. Small projects like deep cleaning and decluttering are the most cost-effective projects. Deep cleaning your home will increase your overall sales price by $1,728. Considering that the average cost to deep clean is less than $200, a full deep clean of your home can have a return on investment of 935%.
A deep clean is much different than your basic weekly tidying. A whole house deep clean will reach the far-away corners of your home and the overlooked spots like that little vent on the bottom of your refrigerator. Deep cleaning should begin in the kitchen with a full wipe down of the back of your refrigerator, cupboards, and pantry followed by your dishwasher, stove, oven, and microwave.
Finish cleaning the kitchen by scrubbing the sink, floors, and countertops. Your deep clean should continue in the bathroom where you will scrub the bathtub, sink, and cabinets. Wipe down the toilet and finally scrub the floor, especially in the corners and behind the toilet where dust lingers. When these rooms are done, move on to scrubbing the walls, shelves, lights, ceiling fans, and floors. Vacuum the floors, wipe the windows, and wipe down any remaining countertop areas.
Additional repairs that are deemed necessary before selling should be discussed with your real estate agent. In general, if your inspection shows that you have a leaky roof or a faulty HVAC system you will need to make these repairs before listing as these are considered necessities by buyers.
Other repairs that are found during the inspection should be fixed if you want to sell your home for full price. However, if the repair is too large or too expensive and you would rather disclose it to the buyer than fix it, you will need to consult your real estate agent. He or she will guide you in how to proceed, what repairs are necessary, and whether leftover repairs will hurt your chances of selling your home.
We aren’t talking about extensive upgrades like adding square footage or remodeling a bathroom. Simple upgrades that are beneficial in selling your home are also small and easily completed. In general easy to complete upgrades with a high return on investment are repainting walls, upgrading to Energy Star certified kitchen appliances, and upgrading kitchen and bathroom hardware.
Boost Your Curb Appeal
Yes, the inside of your home needs to be cleaned, decluttered, and staged to perfection, but so does the outside. Taking time to clean up the exterior of your home will increase your final sales price. Easy curb appeal projects include power washing the exterior of your home, removing debris from the yard and landscaped areas, mowing the grass, and upgrading landscaping.
If your yard needs additional work such as reseeding bare spots or fertilizing you should complete these before showing your home. A home that has a well-kept yard with basic weed control, fertilized grass, and freshly cut grass can add over $2,000 to your final sales price. You can add even more value by upgrading your landscaped areas with bright flowers, low-maintenance bushes, and a fresh layer of mulch. In addition, ensure that your front porch and front door are decluttered and cleaned so that they are inviting to potential home buyers.
Prepare to Market Your Home
No matter when or where you are selling your home, you want to make it appear as inviting and open as possible. You also want to make it a space where home buyers can envision themselves living. In order to do this you need to take down any personal items. Family photos, trophies, and/or memorabilia need to go.
Stage for Success
Now that you have cleaned, decluttered, and made the necessary repairs to your home, it’s time to stage it. Staging, unlike decorating, is meant to create an inviting atmosphere where the buyer can imagine themselves living. This means you are not staging according to your style, but rather the style that is proven to sell homes like yours.
Staging that focuses on the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom is the most successful. Staging should also reflect a feeling of comfort while at the same time complimenting the key features of the room. Your real estate agent will help you implement staging techniques based on your home.
Photos taken on your smartphone or digital camera will not suffice when it comes to marketing your home. Professional photographs are the best way to make your home’s listing stand out. A professional photographer who is experienced with taking real estate photos will be able to capture the best features of your home. Your real estate agent should have a photographer they have previously used.
Market Like a Pro
Hopefully, you have hired a real estate agent who is well versed in marketing homes. While it may still be a seller’s market your home needs to be broadcast widely both online and offline. Your real estate agent should use a combination of social media, MLS listing, word of mouth, print, and inside contacts to market your home. Remember the wider audience the more bids and the greater chance for getting full asking price for your home.
Your real estate agent should have a business account on multiple social media sites that he or she is well versed in using. Instagram is a great social media platform to display your home’s professional photographs and tell a complete story about your home. Instagram Live allows your real estate agent to bring potential buyers further into your home and really display its best qualities.
Facebook, just like Instagram thrives off of pictures and videos. Additionally, 82% of people aged 18-29 are on Facebook while individuals aged 30-49 are on the social media site. Facebook Live works much like Instagram Live, displaying a real time look at your home. Your agent can also market on LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media site that will bring attention to your home.
Offline Line Marketing
Yes, over 90% of home buyers search online at some point during their home buying process, but that is not the only way to connect with them. Your real estate agent should have a network of agents and past clients that they can contact through email, telephone, or face-to-face during your home selling process. They should also have local business contacts who can assist in posting flyers and announcements.
Once your home has been listed you will need to be patient. This is one of the most difficult parts of selling your home. While you wait, stay in contact with your real estate agent and keep your home maintained.
In today’s market, you shouldn’t have to wait long for your home to sell which means you should have already found a new home to move into. If you haven’t, consider searching for a new home and preparing your finances so you can purchase quickly.