Five Ways to Help Sell Your House for More Money
Are you preparing to sell your home? If so, you likely don’t want to let it go to someone else for a song. After all, this is the place where you’ve made your memories, spent your days and invested your income to make it look and feel as comfortable as possible. As such, you’re expecting that interested buyers will be willing to pay top dollar in return.
However, it’s not uncommon for great homes to sit for months or even years on the market with no traffic, primarily because the asking price is not congruent with the condition of the home. That said, there are myriad ways you can maximize your home’s profitability. It only takes a small investment of your time and money, but by performing these steps, you can help improve your property’s value and catch the eye of on-the-fence prospects. Let’s review a few of the top strategies.
1. Make sure the asking price is realistic.
It’s easy to become emotional when selling a home, especially if you’ve lived in it for a significant amount of time. In return, sellers will often amp up the asking price to match what they think the house is worth. Yet, this can result in a long sell period during which you may have to lower the price multiple times, prompting suspicion from your community on the state of the property itself.
To avoid this, it’s important to get the price right up-front. A current tax appraisal can be a great start, but don’t stop there. Work with a real estate agent to determine the “comps” for your property. In other words, you’ll need to figure out what homes around yours are selling for to ensure that you don’t price yours too high or too low.
Above all, be realistic about the condition of your home and the amount of money you’ve poured into it. While it might be ideal to receive 100% of the costs of renovations that you performed, keep in mind that you’ve been able to enjoy them for a while yourself and they might not be worth a dollar-for-dollar match today.
2. Sell in the right season.
Want to sell your home for the most money? Try to time the process to take place during the springtime. Buyers are more likely to seek a new home during this time so they can take care of the move-in process during the slow summer months, where sunlight is more ample and days are longer.
Keep in mind that the spring season in one part of the country might not match the season in another. For instance, it begins warming up in the southwestern states before the flowers begin to bloom in New England. Though you can certainly pursue a sale in the autumn or winter months, the process might just take a little longer, as people are juggling back-to-school responsibilities and the stress that the holidays can bring.
3. Approach the sale strategically.
If you’re a first-time seller who has no idea how the process works or even where to begin, you’ll benefit from partnering with a qualified and experienced real estate agent who can walk you through the entire journey, step by step. While this can be a great way to get the ball rolling and help you negotiate the best price for your property, it’s not the only way to go.
You can also sell your home on your own, a process known as For Sale By Owner. This will require more responsibility on your part, but going this route can help you avoid paying hefty agent commission fees. The downside is that you can let your home go for less than it’s worth if you don’t tap into the marketing and negotiation power of an agent.
A third alternative is to employ the services of a direct buyer. In these cases, you’ll normally pay a flat, up-front fee to allow the buyer to take care of the sale process without any stress or months of waiting on your part.
The benefit of this option is that you’re in control of the timeline and can set your own move date, as you aren’t waiting for negotiations to take place or wondering if your property will sell. You can read more here on the direct sale process if that’s an option you’d like to pursue.
4. Make necessary upgrades and renovations.
When you’re looking to make more money on your home, you might be tempted to tackle a bunch of home improvement projects before it goes on the market. Yet, it’s important to be selective with this process, or you could end up sinking money into a property that you will never recoup.
There are some renovations that researchers reveal are worth more than others. Adding fiberglass insulation in your attic, for instance, can often bring in 93.4% of the value that you apply toward it. On the other hand, repainting a room or adding crown moulding at the last minute might result in time wasted and money unreturned. Focus your efforts on the parts of the home that need it the most and seek to find cost-effective methods for performing the work.
5. Stage and depersonalize.
It goes without saying that a home littered with toys, knick-knacks, laundry and other debris isn’t as attractive or appealing to a buyer as one that has been freshly cleaned. To this end, go through each room and make three piles. First, look for things to throw away. Then, make a pile of things to donate or give away to someone else. Finally, store away the things you decide to keep in a neat and orderly fashion.
The best place to start is your closet. The clothes you choose to keep should all be on hangers facing the same way, with as minimal clutter as possible. You can also choose to give good-quality clothes away, or toss those with major stains, tears or missing buttons.
While you’re at it, go ahead and take down a majority of the items that are personal to your family, namely large portraits. Remember, sellers need to be able to visualize themselves in your home and if your wedding picture is hanging over the mantle, it might be difficult to do so. Of course, you don’t have to make your home a showplace devoid of any character or semblance of living, but it should be generic enough that interested prospects can walk through it and see a life of their own there.
Selling Your Home with Confidence and Success
When you’re ready to sell your home, you don’t have to waste time wondering whether or not you’re getting a great price on it. By taking the time to perform the steps above, you can ensure that the number you walk away with is a realistic one and a great opportunity. While it can be tempting to rush the process and take the first offer that comes along, remember patience is a virtue.
So, take the time to get your home as ready as possible, consider the timeline of the sell and do your due diligence to make sure your asking price is fair. Then, you can complete the process with confidence, pleasing both your family and the new one that calls your place home.