Five best practices to improve your odds
In this time of economic uncertainty, it can be a difficult to know if it’s the right time to put your house on the market. When the new year began, many of my clients came to me with questions about how the new political landscape, policy shifts, and increasing mortgage rates would impact their ability to sell.
However, with uncertainty comes increasing resolve, as we move into the busiest season of the real estate cycle. According to the Beaufort County Association of Realtor’s March Market Data Report, new listings were up 8.2% and prices moved higher with the median sales price increased 16%. Although the average days on the market increased by 11.6%, the month’s supply of inventory was down 3.5%, which tells us that demand has increased relative to supply.
This is all good news for those who are making the decision to list their home. The data shows that the market is ready. But are you?
If you decide to list your home, let’s talk about the things you need to do to get it sold. Here are five best practices you must consider as you prepare to show.
1. Don’t rely on a second chance to make a first Impression – Cliché I know, but that old adage couldn’t be more truthful when it comes to showing your home. Curb appeal is key! I’ve had prospective buyers take one look at the entrance to a home and decline to take it further. Make sure the front yard and entry way are clean and welcoming.
2. Let there be light! – Even the finest decorated homes will catch a bad rap if rooms are dark and gloomy. Be sure to utilize natural light where possible, and turn on lamps or specific lighting in areas that need accenting.
3. Take the home out of the house – Although it’s tempting to keep that Disneyland vacation memorabilia displayed, or leave those new cat toys on the floor, it’s distracting to a potential buyer. While it’s ok to display a few personal touches, remember that the focus needs to be on your house vs. your personal belongings. Consider hiring a professional stager to help.
4. Take care of the quick fixes first – More often than not, homeowners are tempted to make big changes or upgrades to their homes before putting it on the market. In most cases, that is not necessary! Focus on taking care of the quick fixes. Replace broken fixtures, …paint dingy areas that look worn, …clean up the lawn. Those efforts will gain you a lot more traction than spending money on an upgrade that your new potential buyer may not see of value.
5. Always be ready to show – When you make the decision to place your home on the market, it’s a 24/7 decision. Although you can establish designated show times with your realtor, don’t get caught off guard having to clean up a mess before a showing. Make a plan with your family to agree on the do’s and don’ts while in the house during this time.
As we celebrate the upward trend in the housing market, sellers should make a checklist of items that will maximize their chances to stand out. Little things go a long way to bring your house to life for the buyer!