If you’re thinking of selling your home, you need to be smart about it. Recent data from Zillow indicates that while the housing market has favored sellers over the past two years, there are early signs that the market may be shifting. Zillow says it's too soon to call it a buyer's market, but an increased share of listings are experiencing price cuts. Kalena Masching, senior agent at Redfin says there are four things homeowners should do to get the best offers when selling their home.
Timing is everything
When you decide to list your home is very important. Not only should you take into account the day of the week, but also the season. According to Redfin data, listing on a Wednesday or a Thursday will get you the best price and sell your home the fastest. Masching says on those days, most buyers are prepping their weekend plans around open house schedules. Make your home one of the first listings buyers decide to see. If you list on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, your home’s online listing will be further down on the first search page or on the second page; which buyers may not flip to.
Masching says you should also discuss with your agent the best time of year to sell in your area. She notes that every market has a different hot season where demand is higher based on moving patterns and other factors. The best time to sell may even vary within a metro area.
Price your home right
Listing your home at the right price is also critical. Masching says if you price your home too high, a prospective buyer may write off your property and not circle back to it. Once you have to start dropping the price or the home sits on the market for a long time, buyers will think that something’s wrong with it.
“The longer something sits on the market, the less likely it will sell at the price you want,” she says. “You want to come in with the correct price the first time to get the buyer’s attention because you only get one shot to make a first impression.”
When pricing your home, Masching says you need to look at what similar homes have sold for in the neighborhood. Buyers will be looking for what they can get in the same price range.
Even in a sellers’ market, Masching says staging is essential. Big or small: the size of your home doesn’t matter. She says the average buyer may not be able to walk through a house and picture what to do with the space or figure out how furniture will fit in the room. If you only plan a partial stage, Masching says the living room and master bedroom should be at the top of your list. The National Association of Realtors reports that 77 percent of buyers’ agents say staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home.
“Show a buyer how to imagine themselves in your home,” she says. “If you have a home where they feel that the space works, they can even come in and sit on the furniture and picture themselves living there. That’s a huge, huge advantage.”
When preparing your home for sale, don’t neglect the outside. Mashing says curb appeal is important as well.
Invest in professional photography
Most buyers see a listing online before deciding if they want to go to see it. Masching says it’s important to capture the home in the best light and the best angles. Give the buyer an idea of the floor plan and what the home feels like, even before they set foot in the house. She notes that professional pictures will get sellers a lot more traffic than taking pictures with their camera phone. Adding a 3-D walk through is even better, as buyers can view and “walkthrough” the house in the comfort of their home. From deciding when to sell your home to investing in staging, Masching says working with a local professional can help you gauge what you need for your situation.
“There are going to be markets where you need to do a little bit more or a little bit less,” she says. “Working with a local expert in your area who’s going to make you a partner in the process, is going to be the best bet for getting the most for your home.”
Linda Bell joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in 2014 as an assignment editor. She is an award-winning writer of business and financial content. You can follow her on Twitter @lindanbell.