This summer is a great time to sell a home. Here are some essential things you must do to ensure your home sells quickly and for the most money!
Let’s look at some reasons why selling your house right now is a good idea before we get into the how to tips!
Home Buyer Demand is Strong!
Home buyer demand is very strong according to the latest NAR Realtors Confidence Index. Check out this chart showing how strong home buyer demand is in most of the country:
You would be crazy to not take advantage of the high demand in today’s real estate market!
Low Number of Homes for Sale
There is a very low number of homes for sale in many areas and price ranges. You may remember that I posted that the supply of exiting homes for sale has fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months!
The combination of strong demand and limited supply means it is a seller’s market!
Homes Are Selling Quickly
Because of the high demand and limited supply, homes are selling quickly across the country. The same report from NAR showing how strong home buyer demand is also showed that the median days on market was only 26 days!
Today’s buyers must be ready to make an offer in a fast paced real estate market. This means the serious buyers have already been pre-approved for a mortgage!
Being pre-approved means home buyers know exactly what they can spend. This means fewer buyers are making offers on homes that they cannot get financing for!
In case you missed it, the most recent Ellie Mae Mortgage Origination Insights revealed that the time to close a mortgage was only 41 days in May 2018! Ellie also reported that 75% of all purchase mortgages closed in May 2018.
You can see there are some very compelling reasons to list your home NOW!
But let’s look at what YOU can do to ensure your home selling success!
Hot Home Selling Tip Number 1: NO FSBO
Do not let the fact that it is a hot home selling market fool you into thinking you should sell without using a Realtor! Let’s look at why you must say NO FSBO!
Realtors will be knowledgeable and skilled on how to negotiate. The same cannot be said about most home sellers.
Often, sellers cannot remain unemotional during the negotiation process. Home sellers need to understand that their negotiating skill will determine if they get the best price and terms.
The advantage of using a Realtor isn’t limited to just the negotiations. Realtors know how to deal with all the people that are involved in the sale of a home.
People such as:
- Buyer’s Agents who solely represent the best interests of the buyer
- The closing attorney
- And many more!
There is a very good reason that more people are using a Realtor now than 20 years ago! Selling a home has become more complicated and understanding the changes can save you thousands!
The percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years. One reason for this is because home selling paperwork and regulations have increased dramatically since the housing market crashed!
Before the crash, banks were giving mortgages to almost anyone. Even people that should have NEVER been able to get a mortgage.
Today, the government is trying to stop the banks from wrecking the economy and housing market again. Which has lead to more paperwork and regulations for both buyers and sellers.
If you want the most money when you sell a home, using a Realtor is the best way to go! I know many think they are “saving the commission” but this is not true for several reasons!
The majority of buyers that look for FSBOs are looking to “save the commission as well! Or they are looking to find a seller they can take advantage of!
Not listing with a Realtor could actually cost you more according to a recent study by Collateral Analytics. They found that FSBOs may not save anything, and could cost themselves more, by using with a Realtor:
FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.
Why would selling FSBO actually cost your more? 2 of the reasons that stick out are:
There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.
Sound familiar? This is exactly what I just warned you about!
The next reason to say NO FSBO is:
Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.
Again, exposing your home to the maximum number of buyers is essential when selling a home! Not only is an effective internet strategy important, but so is having your home on the MLS.
Listing your home with one of the “flat rate / I got my money and don’t care if your home sells” companies is NOT the way to go! Your home must be entered correctly and with all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed to ensure every buyer and their agent sees your home!
One final word on selling your home without the advantages of using a real estate professional.
But these are not my words but the words of financial guru Dave Ramsey:
Research has shown that, between mistakes, lack of negotiating skills, pricing errors and general exposure on the market, you’ll cost yourself more than the real estate commission…You’ll come out slightly better and with a lot less hassle if you use a top-shelf agent.
I could not have said it better myself. Wait, I did just say something almost identical to Dave Ramsey…
Hot Home Selling tip Number 2: More Exposure
Getting your home exposed to the maximum number of potential buyers is very important. Just because the number of homes for sale is low does NOT mean your agent can skimp on marketing your home!
According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95% of home buyers in 2017 looked online for a home. Having a strong online presence, including multiple websites and social media marketing is very important today!
Combine that with the 15% of buyers that look at print ads such as the newspaper and the local real estate books. While the expense of print ads is ridiculous, it still must be done to ensure your home is exposed to the maximum number of buyers.
That being said, 49% of buyers found the home they purchased on the internet. Having an effective internet marketing strategy is a must today!
The combination of an effective internet strategy, print ads and correctly entering your home into the MLS is a MUST when selling a home!
Hot Home Selling Tip Number 3: Correct Pricing
These home selling tips are not in order of importance. So do not underestimate the importance of your home having the correct price from day 1!
Getting the price right is probably the MOST important thing you can do when selling a home. Consider this snippet from Do You want to List Your Home or Sell Your Home:
When you list your home, you need to understand how important having the correct price is. You list your home to sell it not so it sits on the market for months or never sells at all!
This article is a must read for a anyone looking to sell a home. It covers many of the most common mistakes that home sellers make when putting their home on the market.
Hot Home Selling Tip Number 4: Preparation
Failing to plan is planning to fail. And a BIG part of selling your home takes place BEFORE it hits the market.
You must ensure that part of the planning includes getting your home ready for the market. Here are a few curb appeal tips:
Having great curb appeal is just step one. It gets potential buyers “in the mood” before they get out of their car!
Now let’s look at what you can do to make the buyers fell like they have found the one:
These home selling tips are just the tip of the iceberg! I strongly suggest you read all of my Home Selling articles!
You may need to do some renovations or improvements before putting your home on the market. Here are the top 4 home renovations with a max return on investment according to HGTV:
I must warn you that HGTV’s suggestions are slightly different than the data in Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost Vs Value report. Plus, your local experienced Realtor will be able to make suggestions for cost effective improvements that need to be completed before your home hits the market.
Hot Home Selling Tip Number 4: Access
It is almost impossible to sell a home that cannot be shown! If it is difficult to schedule a showing, even for just an agent preview, you are shooting yourself in the foot!
There are several thing that must be perfect to ensure home selling success: Price, condition, marketing, financing and availability.
When I say availability, I am talking about how hard or easy it is for buyers to view the property. There are different levels of availability for a home for sale. Let’s look at them quickly:
Electronic Lockbox: This is the best way to allow buyer’s agent and their clients to see your home while maintaining security. Only licensed real estate agents will be able to open these electronic boxes!
A Key in the Listing Office: This is the 2nd best method for making your home available for showings. However, it is NOT acceptable!
ANYTHING that causes either the buyer’s agent or the buyer inconvenience will move your home to the bottom of their list. Or they will just skip seeing your home completely!
By Appointment Only: I understand that getting a phone call that an agent wants to show your home in a few minutes is a pain. Every time you do not show your home, it is a showing that can never be made up.
By appointment only is often the only way to show a home that is rented. While it is better than nothing, it still makes selling a home VERY VERY difficult!
Limited Showing Times: Some sellers want or must limit when their home can be shown. Maybe they work nights or have very young children.
I completely understand that some circumstances require that a home can only be shown at certain times or on certain days. However, this is NOT going to work in your favor when selling a home!
Remember that ANYTHING that causes difficulty in showing your home will dramatically hurt the number of showings your home gets. Fewer showings means a much lower chance of selling your home!
Availability can make getting the price you want harder. And it often means it will take longer to sell a home, which also will decrease how much a home sells for.
Accompanied Showings: This is when showings can only happen when you or your agent is present. Buyers hate this and will hurry to make the showing as short as possible.
This is probably the worst way to make your home available for showings. Buyers will feel uncomfortable if anyone except their agent is present.
There is one best way to make your home accessible to buyers: an electronic lockbox!
The Take Away
This is a great time to sell a home. But as you just read, there are some essential things you must do to ensure your home sells quickly and for the most money!