Relatively low "for sale" inventory in our area this spring means that there's a fierce competition amongst homebuyers to realize accepted offers on a home that's perfect for them. If you're selling your home this spring, the strategy should primarily be about understanding the ins and outs of the local market so as not to make missteps during the process. Remember, time is money, and in order to capitalize on the springtime busyness of real estate, there's some steps that should be taken in order to get a contract on your home and close quickly.
Optimizing the price of your home is the most important thing in getting your house sold. Making the error of listing your home well above market price, to a tier where buyers aren't seeing the value for their dollar, will turn off buyers and may find you potentially not selling the home at all. A home that sits on the market, week after week and month after month will turn off buyers, who will begin to suspect that something is wrong with it and the showing requests will dry up all together. Strategically pricing homes based on their unique features and neighborhood are the homes that are often able to receive the best prices and sell quickly.
Take advantage of the spring selling season, with its frenzy of activity, to list your home. Where Buyers would be looking for less competition on a home, where their offer may be the only one seen in the "off season", Sellers benefit from the demand of buyers looking for homes in the springtime. Nicer weather leads to a larger portion of the would-be buyers looking, leading to potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings. (If it's priced right in the first place, of course!). Think of it like you would a funnel. The more buyers come through the funnel, the more potential qualified buyers would come out the other end. If a showing request comes through--accept it. Make it easy for your house to be shown. If a buyer can't see your house at a time that works for them, very often they will go look at, and make an offer on, something else.
Curb appeal is key. A buyer will decide within 10 seconds whether or not they want to buy your home once they pull up into the driveway. Aside from making sure that your real estate agent puts a sign in your yard (signs generate 20% of buyers of homes), spruce up the yard, touch up paint or power wash siding, clean windows, sweep the steps, fix the mailbox. When they are interested in what the outside looks like, they will be encouraged to walk through the front door with confidence that this might be the house for them. If they don't like what they see on the outside, it will be that much more difficult to convince them that they'll like what’s on the inside.
Offer incentives. While this may initially sound counterintuitive based on the description of the spring market we just gave, there may be something to it. Many homebuyers in this market are first-time homebuyers. Getting a loan is one thing, coming up with a large amount of cash for closing costs, on top of a down payment, is a whole different story. Making it easier for the buyer to close may result in a full asking price as well as a faster sale, and ultimately a larger, profit.
Time is money, and the busy spring selling season, with all of its activity, will be finished before we know it. In order to capitalize on the season and the potential buyers and offers that are out there, it’s important that you understand your local market, price the house right, spruce up and make any necessary repairs, and incentivize the buyer pool. Doing so will make it more likely that you have a new mailing address this fall.
Melissa Rolland is a licensed Connecticut realtor. She lives in Tolland, along with her husband Todd, a licensed broker. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group at Keller Williams Realty. You can connect with them at www.RollandRealtyGroup.com.