In the midst of a challenging real estate market in 2023, with persistently high interest rates and ever-evolving local market conditions, selling your home can feel like a daunting task. The constant stream of advice from friends, family, and neighbors can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of the right approach. To provide you with clear guidance and instill confidence in these uncertain times, we have gathered valuable insights from top real estate agents across the country.
Connect with a Top Agent
One of the most effective steps you can take as a seller is to connect with a top-performing real estate agent. This professional can enhance every aspect of the selling process, offering invaluable advice, experience, and hard work. From making essential upgrades to listing your property, conducting showings, and evaluating offers, a top agent guides you every step of the way.
In a market where inventory is dwindling in many regions, leading to a situation where demand significantly surpasses supply, it’s essential to have an experienced agent by your side. Buyers, affected by higher mortgage rates, are becoming increasingly selective in their purchasing decisions, making expert guidance even more critical.
Leslie Eason, a prominent real estate agent in Boone, North Carolina, highlights the complexity of the current market, stating, “This is a seller’s market in that demand far exceeds supply, but with strong buyer’s market characteristics. ‘Sweet spot’ homes go quickly with multiple offers, while homes requiring updates or having any issues stay on the market longer.”
Moreover, working with an agent can potentially increase your home’s selling price, effectively countering the notion that you can save money by selling on your own. According to the National Association of Realtors, FSBO (For Sale By Owner) homes typically sell for $105,000 less on average than agent-assisted sales. Whether your goal is a quick sale or maximizing your profit, a top agent possesses the necessary resources and skills to help you succeed.
They take charge of marketing, showings, and open houses, and when offers start rolling in, they assist you in evaluating each one and choosing the best offer. Besides the price, you also need to consider contingencies and be prepared for negotiations, which can be especially challenging given the ever-changing real estate landscape.
Clean, Repair, and Upgrade
Before listing your home, ensuring it meets buyer expectations is crucial, and the specific requirements may vary based on your local market conditions.
In seller’s markets with limited inventory, buyers may be more forgiving of minor repairs and updates. However, in markets with higher inventory levels, buyers will likely expect a home in top condition.
Stacy Stanley, a respected real estate agent in Grass Valley, California, underscores the importance of staging, new paint, and decluttering. These actions don’t just increase the selling price but also influence how desirable the home is to potential buyers, the number of offers received, and the speed of the sale.
Regardless of the market conditions, a clean home is a must. Ensure your home is spotless before taking any listing photos or putting it on the market. If you’re not confident in your cleaning abilities, consider hiring a professional cleaner for a thorough move-out deep clean.
In a market with a healthy inventory, buyers are likely to expect basic necessities, such as a leak-free roof and an up-to-date, smoothly operating HVAC system. Your agent can guide you in determining which repairs are necessary for a successful sale.
Your agent may also recommend minor upgrades that can boost your home’s appeal, such as a fresh coat of paint, both inside and outside, or replacing tired, old carpeting. These relatively simple projects often yield a good return on investment when it comes to the final sale. However, major remodeling projects, such as renovating a bathroom or kitchen, may not provide the same level of return. In seller’s markets, buyers are generally more concerned with cleanliness and overall up-to-dateness than expecting every room to be perfect.
Boost Curb Appeal
First impressions matter, and this holds true in real estate. To make a favorable first impression on potential buyers, enhance your home’s curb appeal.
Steve Bacardi, a top real estate agent in Naples, Florida, emphasizes the significance of curb appeal. He notes that poor landscaping and an unkempt exterior can set a negative tone for potential buyers. To rectify this, consider repainting the exterior, and if needed, hire professionals for power washing. Additionally, ensure that your landscaping is well-maintained. Pruning overgrown plants and refreshing flower beds with mulch can give your home a fresh, inviting look.
If you have a patio or deck, clean it and stage it with appropriate outdoor furniture. If you lack such features, you can place furniture in the yard and even set up a pergola to create an outdoor living space without committing to extensive construction.
Prepare for Marketing
With your home cleaned, upgraded, and its exterior enhanced, you’re now ready to prepare for the marketing phase.
Remove personal items like family photos, trophies, or memorabilia to allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.
Professional listing photos are a must. Many top agents, like myself, have a dedicated media department and professional photographers at their disposal to ensure your property is showcased in the best light.
Sell at the Right Time
The timing of your sale can significantly impact its outcome. While certain life events may necessitate a quick sale, it’s essential to consider the season and local climate for the best results. For regions with harsh winter weather, warmer months are typically more suitable for selling, whereas warmer areas may find the fall season ideal. Families often prefer to move during the summer when school is out.
Pricing your home correctly is a complex yet crucial step. A professional real estate agent can guide you through this process using a comparative market analysis (CMA). This analysis involves finding recently sold homes in your area that are similar to yours and using their sale prices to determine the optimal selling price for your property.
In a seller’s market with limited inventory, you can often set a higher price, while in a buyer’s market with abundant inventory, a competitive price is essential. Pricing right can minimize the time your home spends on the market, as homes that linger may deter potential buyers.
For a detailed estimate of your home’s value and a comprehensive analysis, visit my website at JasonSellsTN.com.
Selling your home in challenging market conditions can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, guidance from a top agent, and attention to these crucial details, you can navigate the 2023 real estate market with confidence.