How to Sell a House in a Down Market

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You may have noticed that mortgage rates are on the rise, homes are slower to leave the market, and home prices have started to come down.  These trends may have you reconsidering selling your home for fear of losing money or worse being unable to sell your home.  But neither of these are certainties and there is still plenty of opportunity to sell your home for a great price even in a down market.  

  1. Find the best real estate agent

Sure you can try to sell your home on your own, but that means extra work, extra stress, more time on the market, and more than likely a lower sales price. Make your home selling process easier with a trusted real estate agent.  Top real estate agents make it their job to advocate for you throughout the entire selling process by taking care of all necessary documents, advising home repairs and preparations for sale, negotiating sales price and contingencies, and walking you through closing.  Real estate agents will also market your home in a variety of ways.  Beginning with social media platforms, email marketing, word of mouth, and agent to agent interaction, your real estate agent should be able to get the word out about your home.  With a real estate agent’s knowledge and connections your home’s time on the market will be much lower while your sales price will be higher.   

  1. Prepare your home to sell

No matter how good your marketing or how well written your listing description, a home that is in disarray will not sell quickly and it will not sell for its full worth.  Why?  Clutter and obvious dirt make your home appear unkempt and unattended.  Both of these make for a lower home value during appraisal, a lower sales price, and a more difficult time selling.  Before you list your home, prepare it for sale.  

Declutter 

Over 98% of top real estate agents recommend decluttering your home prior to selling.  Why?  Decluttering makes your home appear larger, well cared for, and more appealing to buyers.  To declutter remove excess furniture, knick-knacks, decor, and stacks of papers and bills that may have built up over the years.  Go through every storage area in every room and remove unnecessary and unwanted items.  Remember, these items don’t need to be thrown away or donated.  If you would like to keep them, simply pack them away in a box and store them until you can unpack them in your new home.  

Deep Clean

Just as decluttering removes excess, deep cleaning removes years of overlooked uncleaned areas of your home.  Spots such as the very back corners of cabinets, below the refrigerator vent, behind the toilet, and around the washer and dryer.  Begin your deep clean in the kitchen where there are sure to be left over sticky messes in far away spots.  Move to the bathroom, living room, master bedroom, and so on.  Wipe down everything that is visible and don’t forget areas such as the ceiling fan, lamps, and shelves.  Deep clean your floors when you are finished with everything else and pay special attention to carpets that may need to be steam cleaned if they are old, worn, or musty.  

Stage your home

Staging your home means removing excess and opening up your rooms so that potential buyers can envision themselves living in your home.  When your space is decluttered and deep cleaned, your real estate agent can help you bring in or utilize your existing furniture to create an inviting environment.  Make sure your furniture and decor presents a soothing environment that will make buyers linger longer and get the full picture of all your home has to offer.  

  1. Amp up the curb appeal

Nothing turns heads faster than a home with stunning curb appeal.  You can easily amp up your curb appeal with just a few easy outdoor tasks.  Most important, freshen up your lawn with a weed control product, turf builder, fresh cut and trim.  Next, power wash your home’s exterior as well as the walkways, front porch, driveways, and garage.  Move on to the landscaping where you can add brightly colored annuals, a few easy to care for bushes, and a fresh layer of mulch.  These projects alone will increase your home’s value by over $3,000.  Your final outdoor task should consist of painting the exterior of your home if needed, freshening up your front porch, adding outdoor solar lights, and painting your front door.  All of these projects are sure to turn heads and welcome buyers to your home.  

  1. Get your home inspected

Nothing slows a home sale more than a buyer inspection that turns up multiple safety or structural hazards in a home.  Avoid a slow down by having your home inspected prior to listing it for sale.  An inspection could turn up issues that need to be fixed in order to avoid your home appearing to be neglected.  These items include old HVAC systems, termite damage, decaying wood, crumbling foundation, frayed electrical wires, cracked driveways, leaky plumbing, damaged gutters, and missing roof shingles.  If any of these essential fixes show up on your inspection, take the time (and money) to correct them.  

  1. Price it right

Your listing price has a huge impact on how quickly your home will sell.  Price too high and it might go through multiple price reductions or be entirely missed in online searches.  Price too low and buyers might get the impression there is something wrong with it.  One way to price your home correctly is to find the market value by having a comparative market analysis done.  A comparative market analysis will compare your property against recently sold properties nearby to determine a beginning listing price for your home sale.  A comparative market analysis should consider the features of the comparable properties such as square footage, age of the home, location, upgrades, nearby amenities, and other data.  Listing your home at market value or at a price similar to what other comparable homes in the area have sold for will increase your chances of selling quickly.  

  1. Promote, promote, promote

Your real estate agent will handle the major of marketing your home, but that doesn’t mean you should just sit back, kick your feet up, and wait for a buyer.  You can help promote your home’s best qualities by keeping everything clean and decluttered for open houses.  Work with your agent and be prepared for a bit of inconvenience and unscheduled showings.  You can also share your home’s listing on multiple social media platforms as well as by word of mouth. 

Selling your home in a down market doesn’t need to be intimidating.  With help from a top real estate agent you can easily prepare, market, and sell your home in no time.