A Home Seller’s Guide to What Home Buyers Expect
We’re well into the summer of 2015, and that means we are in the thick of the real estate season!
2015 has been a great year for real estate; the housing market has been steady, and interest rates have remained low – all good things for buyers and sellers!
Mortgage credit is also becoming more available, which is leading to the rise in younger, first-time home buyers, so it looks like 2015 is trending as a big year for Millennial home buyers.
What do the average buyers of 2015 expect to see? What can you do to make your home more attractive (and sell more quickly!) to these buyers? How can you sell your home faster in today’s market?
Let’s take a look at the things you can do right now to make your home sell faster:
1. There is More to Your Home Than the Inside
According to Time.com, great curb appeal can increase your home’s selling price by up to 17%! No matter what the season, buyers will be looking at the outside of your home first – back AND front!
If you can’t do a thorough clean-up yourself, hire someone to clean and spruce up your outdoor areas. Plants and flowers are always welcoming, so, even if it’s just a pot of flowers by the door, make sure to add some color and greenery.
2. Get Ahead of the Game with a Home Inspection
In the past, a home inspection didn’t happen until an offer was made, and the buyer had a chance to hire a qualified inspector to identify any problems that needed attention. The more recent trend is for sellers to get that inspection done before you even list your home for sale.
There are advantages to spending the money and having a home inspection done first. You, as the homeowner, will be able to fix any identified problems on your own time, without the pressure of a closing date or contract.
Once an offer is made, you can be sure that there won’t be any hidden problems lurking in your home that will hold up the transaction.
It’s not absolutely necessary to have an inspection done before you list, but as more sellers are joining the trend, today’s buyer may be expecting it, and will be more willing to look at a house that has had a thorough inspection by a professional.
3. Beyond Cleaning Up – The Benefits of Home Staging
Read any real estate article about getting your home ready to sell, and the first thing on the list is to clear out clutter and get your home sparkling clean. This is always true, and can even make your house look bigger, but there are some new things that buyers are expecting now that you may not anticipate.
Several years ago, home staging was reserved for high-end homes with big ticket prices. Not so anymore. Even hard-to-sell homes can benefit from staging. Buyers expect to be able to envision themselves inside your home, and that is why you need to “stage” it to make it easier for them to do that.
Staging your home does not necessarily mean hiring a professional who will bring in new furniture and rearrange your whole house. It does mean you should clear out as much as possible, especially personal items, and thoughtfully make your home look as appealing as possible!
Fresh paint, fluffy towels, new pillows on the couch; all of these things will give your home a facelift and make it show better. Fix leaks, tackle small home improvement projects you’ve been meaning to get to. Most homebuyers are not excited to face a huge “to-do” list when they are considering a house, so check some of those items off for them!
4. The Price Must Be Right
“After the boom, the bust, and the recovery bounce, we are transitioning to a calmer market driven by fundamentals,” – Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Trulia http://time.com/money/3603508/home-buyers-sellers-2015/
Because the housing market is in a relatively calm place right now, buyers have more time to look around and make sure they are getting a great house for the price.
Therefore, it is essential that you make sure you are asking the right price for your home.
A house that is not priced accurately can end up sitting on the market longer than usual and that is not your goal as a seller!
In order to figure out an accurate price for your home, you need to look at home sales in your area, including active, pending, and recently sold homes. A Realtor should be able to gather enough comparable listings that you can decide on an accurate price together.
It’s best to avoid overpricing your home and then having to do a price reduction down the road.
5. Be Ready to Market Your Home Online
All buyers, and especially millennials, are going to be doing a lot (or all) of their home buying research online. That means that the more information you can give them on their computer screen, the more likely they are to come see your house in person.
Don’t skimp on the visuals! Professional photos, a video tour, even floor plans can all offer a great comprehensive look at your house.
If you’re using a Realtor to sell your home, make sure they will not just be listing your house, but also sharing and marketing it on social media, through email marketing, and via an active, well-designed website.
People are used to being able to find information at the click of a mouse, so make sure they don’t have to hunt to find all of the amenities your home has to offer.
Are You Ready for Your Home to Sell Faster in 2015? Still Have Questions?
Do you have any questions on how to best sell your home this year? As a Vermont Realtor for over 14 years, I can answer any questions you may have, and help you with all of your real estate needs. Give me a call 802-488-3455, I would love to chat with you!
Thanks for stopping by,