Selling a home is a hyper-competitive endeavor in many markets across the country. Even here in the Bay Area where many neighborhoods are doing well, we’ve got pockets of buyers’ markets that are posing challenges for home sellers.
Does this mean it’s a terrible time to sell? Not necessarily. But it does mean that sellers need to be ready to compete when putting their homes on the market. What can a typical homeowner do to make their home more appealing in a market where buyers may be looking at dozens of other similar homes in the same neighborhood?
Here are the top 4 things sellers can do to up the ante and ensure their home is in the right condition to get the best offer:
- Get a bird’s eye view on how your home compares. Take a sweep through a few open houses next Sunday to see what’s on the market in your area that’s comparable to your home. Take good notes on what you notice is common in all these houses. Do they all have new carpet? New hardwood floors? A fresh coat of paint? New windows? You may not be ready to invest in a large project for your home before selling, but often something like painting or installing new carpet can pay for itself in the end – especially if all the other comparable homes for sale have these things.
- Remove all your clutter and store it away while your home is on the market. There’s no bigger turn-off to buyers than a house that is filled to the brim with objects and furniture. Buyers need to be able to look at your home and envision their lives in it, which includes all their own furniture and belongings. That’s much harder to do the more stuff you have in your home. This is by far one of the best things you can do to help the sale of your home.
- Consider staging. Staging basically means removing all your clutter as outlined above and having someone – either your real estate agent or a staging specialist – look at your home and make recommendations for how to set up the furniture and décor. Often, a stager will even remove some of your furniture and bring in other furniture to best accentuate the space of your rooms.
- Research your market and price accordingly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but in all my years of the real estate business, the one tactic that agents say over and over again makes the biggest difference in selling a home is how it is priced from day one. This means you need to do a lot of upfront research with the help of your agent. Look at as many comparables as possible and decide on your listing price based on what has recently sold and what is currently for sale. This is how your buyers will be calculating their offers to you so it’s best to be realistic and not try to play price games.
There are dozens of other things that sellers can do to help their homes sell quickly and at the best price. Ask your Intero Real Estate agent for pre-list tips.