Sellers ready to sell a house are without a doubt, in a great position to sell today. Housing inventory is incredibly low, driving up buyer competition. This gives sellers incredible leverage to sell for the best terms possible. This has fueled a steady rise in home prices. In such a hot market, houses are selling quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes typically sit on the market for only 18 short days. Despite the speed and opportunity for sellers, there are still steps you can take to prep a house to shine so you get the greatest possible return.
1. Make Buyers Feel at Home
One of the ways to make this happen is to take time to declutter. Pack away any personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. The more neutral and tidy the space, the easier it is for a buyer to picture themselves living there. According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging by NAR:
“82% of buyers' agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”
Not only will your house potentially attract the attention of more buyers and likely sell quickly, but the same report also notes:
“Eighteen percent of sellers' agents said home staging increased the dollar value of a residence between 6% and 10%.”
As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavior Insights for NAR, says:
“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property…It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”
2. Keep It Clean
On top of making an effort to declutter, it’s important to keep your house neat and clean. Ensure the home smells fresh and clean as well. Buyers will remember the smell of your house, and according to the same report from NAR, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house to focus on if you want to attract more buyers.
3. Give Buyers Access
Buyers are less likely to make an offer on a house if they aren’t able to easily schedule a time to check it out. If the home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunities for multiple buyers to go from curious to eager. It also allows buyers on tight schedules to still get in to see your house.
Additionally, in a market as hot as the current market, sellers don't want to miss out on a potential buyer who is desperate to find a home. Another listing could easily become more appealing as buyer's fear of loss is forcing quick decisions and rapid offers on the homes they do see, lest they miss an opportunity to buy.
4. Price It Right
Even in a sellers’ market, it’s crucial to set a house at the right price to maximize selling potential. Pricing a house too high is actually a detriment to the sale. The goal is to drive high attention from competing buyers and let bidding wars push the final sales price up. It can be tempting to begin high for fear of losing potential profits on the home, but in a market where inventory is low, a reasonable listing price can spark a bidding war that drives seller's towards or even beyond your desired sales price.
Be sure to work with a trusted real estate professional who knows the market well to determine the best list price for a house. Having an expert on your side in this process is truly essential.
Bottom Line If you want to sell on your terms, in the least amount of time, and for the best price, today’s market sets the stage to make that happen. For investors and real estate entrepreneurs alike, homes that sell quickly and wind up in bidding wars often mean everyone is happy when the project concludes.