Dec 7, 2023
Were you one of the many sellers sidelined in 2023, sitting out the entire housing market?
Maybe you felt “locked in” by the low mortgage rate you snagged a few years ago. Or perhaps even though you knew you could sell your current home for a pretty penny due to high median home prices, you also knew you’d then be shelling out more than you’d expected on a new home.
In a nutshell: The housing market was not a level playing field last year. But 2024? You just might want to jump into the real estate game.
With that in mind, we pored through the hundreds of articles we published last year to find the top advice on how to sell your home quickly—and land the best offer. So here’s to 2024, the year you get off the bench and score a touchdown in the real estate game!
The Massive Pricing Mistake Home Sellers Are Making Right Now: Is This You?
Every homeowner who has spent time, effort, and money buying and maintaining their home naturally wants the very best return on investment when they finally decide to sell. We get it! This is likely your biggest asset.
But what you think your home is worth might not be what the current housing market supports.
Take a moment to digest this and adjust accordingly: It might save you a ton of heartache on your home-selling journey. Homes don’t move as fast nor fetch as many bidding wars in most markets as they did a couple of years ago.
Getting stuck on what your neighbor’s home sold for two years ago won’t help you today.
Can’t-miss tip: Rely on your real estate professional to help set a listing price for your home. These pros have many years of experience, deeply understand the local market, and know what homes have recently sold for in your area.
If your home doesn’t sell quickly, don’t take it personally. Do, however, make price adjustments. Reacting to the reality of the market—rather than letting your listing grow stale—will ultimately get your home sold quickly and for the best price possible.
Should I Sell My House Now? 7 Great Reasons To List This Spring- and 3 Times You Might Want to Wait
We know it’s the depths of winter. But getting your home on the market takes a fair amount of preparation, and springtime equals selling time in the real estate game.
The season is historically hot because families are generally looking to buy a new home and settle in by summer so that the children will be ready for the first day of school. Yet in the current topsy-turvy housing market, you might be wondering if you should list at all—or wait for the market to level off.
But be aware that homes are still fetching high prices and inventory is at near drought levels. Translation: If your home is in good shape and priced to sell, you might get a nice offer in a short amount of time from buyers desperate for new listings.
Another reason to plant a “For Sale” sign out front? Your home equity—meaning the current market value of your home versus what you owe on your mortgage—is at a record high. And if you sell, you might even net enough money to bypass getting a mortgage on a new home and become an all-cash buyer.
Can’t-miss tip: If you don’t have much home equity or an urgent need to move for a job or family obligations, then an option might be staying put for a while as the market settles.
7 Things About Your House That Could Give Buyers ‘The Ick’
When it comes to selling your precious domain, it’s a bit like dating: You need to put your best foot forward to make a great first impression. So beware of “the ick.”
In dating, that term means something that can instantly turn off a potential partner. In real estate, the ick is an aspect that might make buyers stop in their tracks and not finish the open house tour. Potential buyers prefer seeing a clean, blank slate when considering buying your house.
So clear out your collections, minimize the footprint of your beloved pet, get rid of smoke smells, and rip out any carpetin the bathroom (a serious ick risk!) before listing your home.
Can’t-miss tip: Individuality and quirkiness give the world a much-needed spice of life. Yet, when you get ready to sell your home, you might want to keep what makes you a ghost pepper to yourself and instead lean into your bland side.
For example, if you have embraced Barbie pink, you might want to repaint your home in a basic neutral shade before any showings. You don’t want home shoppers to walk into your home and think it needs a ton of work right off the bat.
Seller, Beware! 6 Half-Truths That Can Destroy the Odds of Selling Your Home
White lies can help smooth life’s rough spots, but they can cause a major ripple when it comes time to sell a home. Truth is the best policy as a home seller.
You already know you have to disclose major facts about your home, such as how old the roof is or if your home’s ever suffered a flood. Yet other things to be honest Abe about might seem less obvious.
Half-truths can range from property detail fudges, as in claiming you have a walk-in closet when you actually have a roomy closet you cannot quite stand up in, or bigger issues like not revealing you added that beautiful deck without a proper permit.
Can’t-miss tip: Not telling the whole truth might seem like a minor issue in the massive scope of selling a home. Yet even a seemingly tiny lie can set the entire deal on fire. A buyer might be wondering what else you could be hiding—and run away.
Cheap Tricks: How To Prep Your House To Sell When You’re Broke
Seven seconds. That’s how long it takes a potential buyer to size up your home, according to Tiffany Szakal, a real estate agent and managing broker at The Local Element in Grand Rapids, MI.
That tiny time frame is why you hear the phrase “curb appeal” so often. But we get it when sellers think giving a home a face-lift takes too much time and money (lots of money).
But you don’t have to paint the entire house to give it that shiny new vibe; you just need to work on certain rooms (think bathrooms and kitchens). And you can swap shelling out dough for elbow grease, throw open the curtains to bring in light, swab your hardwood floors with a wood restorer, and organize, organize, organize to show off your fabulous closet and pantry space.
Can’t-miss tip: Paying a pro to stage your entire home is usually worth it for a quicker sale, but it’s pricey. The budget-friendly fix? Consult with a home stager by the hour. The pro can give you tips on how you can rearrange furniture yourself for a max wow factor.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Home Sellers Today
These days, it’s neither a buyer’s market nor a seller’s market. As a seller, you have to put in a bit more effort than other home sellers did a few years back. The good news? There are straightforward, doable strategies that are time-tested by decades of sellers.
One of the best ways to get your home sold quickly is to accommodate showings whenever possible—even if they are last-minute. To make a pop-up showing less painful, have a destination—like a favorite coffee shop—already in mind when you have to clear out for an hour or two.
That flexibility should extend to the offer and negotiating phase as well. You might not get the exact offer you want, but your real estate agent can help you make it up in other ways, perhaps by helping you figure out what you have to fix—or not—after the home inspection.
Can’t-miss tip: The real estate pro who will help you with negotiations? Choose this pro with care based on recommendations from family and friends, and interview at least three before picking one. A great agent can help you through every step of the home-selling process.