People are Lining Up to Buy Your Home!
Home sellers definitely have the upper hand in today’s housing market. Inventory is low, home prices are rising and buyers’ appetites are ravenous. Many home sellers think they only need to place a for-sale sign in their lawn and wait for the offers to pour in.
Although the road is smoother than in a balanced or buyer’s market, there are some steps sellers can take to maximize their returns while also avoiding risky buyers whose offers might evaporate. Real estate experts warn against sellers becoming too complacent, which can show up in several ways—from choosing the wrong buyer to ignoring potentially deal-breaking contract terms.
KEEP THE DOOR OPEN TO GET THE BEST PRICE
It’s not at all unusual for today’s home sellers to receive offers, days or even hours after putting their home on the market. This is an enviable problem for sellers who are left with the job of sifting through offers. It might be tempting to go with the highest bidder right away, especially if they’re willing to go substantially above your asking price.
We advise our sellers that this can be a big mistake. We recommend allowing the home to stay on the market for at least one week, which will give a larger number of buyers a chance to see the house. The more buyers you can choose from, the better your odds are of not ending up with a high-risk buyer.
A high risk buyer is someone who…
Doesn’t have enough cash to cover the difference between the mortgage amount and the home price if the appraisal falls short.
- Doesn’t have enough cash to cover the difference between the mortgage amount and the home price if the appraisal falls short.
- Needs to sell their home before they can buy.
- Makes offers on multiple properties.
- Isn’t emotionally committed to the home and might back out of the transaction if the slightest thing doesn’t go their way.
Since our area is experiencing a housing shortage, sellers likely won’t be in jeopardy of missing out on a great offer by keeping their options open for a week or so.
We advise our sellers that although selling a home in one day or one weekend sounds exciting, it often induces risks and less money to the seller than allowing a few more days of marketing. In today’s hot real estate market, sellers may lose out when buyers make high offers but build in contingencies to get out of the transaction later.
BUYERS ARE KEEPING MULTIPLE LINES IN THE WATER
Not only are sellers receiving multiple offers, but buyers are submitting offers on multiple properties. They are making offers on multiple properties to up their odds of getting a home in this super-competitive landscape. This can be a problem if another seller also chooses the buyer you choose.
An experienced real estate agent can help you identify the best offers while guiding you through the terms and conditions that work in your favor.
There are many ways the buyer and their agent can write the offer to be more in their favor and include more “back-out provisions,” so you need to be protected from terms like these.
DON'T CUT CORNERS PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR THE MARKET
Even desperate buyers are prone to walk away if the house doesn’t live up to the price tag, or at least get close to it. With all of the real estate shows there are on TV these days, the public hears real estate agents say it’s essential for sellers to present their home in the best light so that people can visualize themselves in it. We think it’s so important that we provide complimentary staging to all of our sellers, using a professional designer to evaluate and stage their homes.
According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey of real estate agents, 7 out of 10 agents said photos, videos and virtual tours were far more important since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Additionally, about half of buyers’ and sellers’ agents surveyed said that staged homes fetched between 1% and 10% more in dollar value than similar homes that did not get a makeover.
Although it may be tempting in this “seller’s market” to make little or no investment in preparing your home to sell, it does affect your bottom line. Buyers will pay a premium for homes they perceive as being “model perfect” or “move-in ready” over homes that look like they need work. And often, buyers see a home that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned, decluttered and staged as needing work.
This doesn’t mean you need sink money into major renovations. For sellers who want to maximize their profits, a fresh coat of paint, organizing, minimizing clutter and doing a deep cleaning go a long way, especially when staging is also in the mix.
PRICE YOUR HOME STRATEGICALLY
It’s natural for sellers to want to take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunity that today’s hot housing market has to offer. Nobody wants to leave money on the table when buyers are lining up to pay above the asking price. But sellers need to keep a level head when it comes to pricing their home. Rather than list the house at the above-market price you’re hoping for, work with your agent to come up with a strong opening price and let the market factors (low inventory, high demand) do the rest.
Sellers are being seduced by a general market message that everything will sell, sell quickly and for top dollar but they need to understand that not every home or listing will sell at the top price. Having a good plan and preparing your home, staging, cleaning and professional photography is still the strategy to achieve the top dollar.
Even in a hot market, you need a real estate team who knows their way around your local market. We'll help you prepare your home for the market and price it strategically so you get the best possible price in the shortest possible amount of time.
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Call Edie at 714-623-3543
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