Thinking of selling your home? Now may be the exact right time


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If you’ve been waiting on listing your home, here’s some motivation to get going: we’ve officially entered the prime period to sell. 

On a national level, this week brings the best mix of above-average buyer demand, fast-moving activity, and less competition from other sellers, according to’s Best Time to Sell report

Historically, this week garnered 16.4% more views per listing than the typical week, and homes actively for sale sold 18% faster than the average week. In addition, there are typically 9.3% fewer sellers on the market during this week compared to the average week throughout the year.

On the financial front, this could lead to prices that are 2% higher than the average week, and about 12% more than at the start of the year, based on seasonal trends. In dollars, this means that a typical for-sale home is likely to be priced $8,400 above the average week, and an impressive $48,000 more than the start of the year, which could mean for money for home sellers who list this week.

Plus, there’s even more good news for sellers: home equity is high. According to a survey from and HarrisX, 85% of sellers-to-be are happy with the amount of equity they have in their home. Specifically, 74% estimate that they have more than $100,000 in home equity, and 20% estimate they have upwards of $300,000. That’s a particularly good position for the 86% of sellers who are also planning to buy a new home in the next 12 months. 

Despite Some Challenges, Opportunities Abound this Spring

If you’re primed to sell but aren’t quite prepared to put up that “For Sale” sign, don’t panic. The entire spring season is a great time to get an optimal return on your housing investment. 

While mortgage rates are higher than in the past couple years, it remains a sellers’ market with a smaller number of homes spending less time on the market than was normal before the pandemic. Buyers who are looking at hefty monthly payments are more cautious than they’ve been over the past few years, but there’s still interest from would-be buyers who didn’t make a move during the frenzied bidding wars of the past few years.

The best time to sell also varies by market. So, while this week is the sweet spot based on national statistics, your specific area could bloom later. For instance, peak weeks for Orlando, Phoenix and Milwaukee come later this month. And the best time to sell for Birmingham, Indianapolis and Memphis arrives in May. 

The next few months remain an ideal time to list as many home seekers capitalize on warmer weather and the increased sunlight to conduct their hunt. Also, buyers with children are often eager to close and settle in before the school year begins. 

Must-Do Steps for Selling Success

Whether you list your home this week or need more time, there are some must-dos to set yourself up for success. Here are four essential steps.

Understand national and local trends. Across the country, buyers are taking more time and being more selective, so keep your expectations in check. Bids well over the asking price aren’t as common as during the first couple years of the pandemic when the market was white-hot. On a local level, it’s crucial to get a feel for specifics that pertain to your market, such as what home amenities are most valued. A seasoned real estate agent in your area can give you insights on everything from pricing to what features you should highlight in your listing. 

Optimize your listing: High-quality photos and 3D tours showcasing your home’s best aspects are essential. In addition, it’s important to have a well-written description with a strong headline that will capture the attention of would-be buyers. Also spread the word by sharing your listing on social media. 

Pay attention to curb appeal: The outside of your home provides the first impression for buyers and sets the stage for what will be inside. If you have a yard, trim the grass and pull any weeds. Replace old or rusted hardware, add flowers, shrubs or other greenery, and consider giving the front door a fresh coat of paint or stain. 

Spruce up your interiors: Channel your inner HGTV personality and ensure every room looks clean and inviting. Declutter, fix leaky faucets and use touch-up paint where needed. 

If your home is sparsely furnished or could use a little pop, consider “virtual staging,” which digitally adds furniture and accessories to your photos. If you go for this option, note on your listing that the pictures are virtually staged, so buyers know that is not what they’ll actually see when they tour your home in person. 

And to make an even more memorable in-person impression, consider hiring a professional to stage your home. Generally, the average cost for most stagers is $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation and $500 to $600 per month per staged room. But the investment could pay off. On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes.

For more tips, check out’s Complete Guide to Selling Your Home and the Best Time to Sell microsite, which provides tools to help you determine your home’s worth and additional information on maximizing your home’s value.

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A home stager’s 5 secrets for selling your home

A home stager’s 5 secrets for selling your home

It’ll likely sell a lot faster if you made some simple, but effective updates.

That doesn’t mean filling every available wall with framed art and every flat surface with knickknacks. It also doesn’t mean replacing your appliances and furniture with higher-end stuff. A few simple changes will give prospective buyers a chance to dream about their new lives.

“We want to create a product that the buyer can emotionally attach to,” said Andi Hurley, a home stager with Premier Home Staging in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

When it comes to home staging, less really is more, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. It can cost anywhere from $500 to $600 per room, per month to use a professional stager. But the median total amount spent on home staging is only $400, according to the 2019 Profile of Staging from the National Association of Realtors.

Why staging your home can cost you

Why is this? Some homeowners hire a stager just to do a report on what needs to be done, rather than have the stager rent them furniture and accessories. This service typically costs between $300 to $600. Basic staging tactics are also fairly simple and can often be done using what the homeowners already have, plus a little sweat equity.

Here are a couple of examples.

When Hurley first started working as a stager in 2012, almost all her work came from realtor referrals. But now, she hears from quite a few homeowners, some of whom call her before they even think about listing their houses. The popularity of TV shows like “Staged to Perfection” and “Property Brothers” have made people realize how a few changes to your home can result in faster and more profitable sales, Hurley said.

But the staging process doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be summed up in five “D”s …

Deposit Photos

It’s tough to look at our own homes objectively. We no longer notice little drywall divots, dated kitchen cabinets or the faint odors our pets have left in the carpet. We may love overstuffed, brightly colored furniture and bold paint choices – but not everyone does.

“We’re staging for the unknown buyer,” Hurley said. “We want to open the market, not narrow it down.”

If you hire a home stager to do a report, do not take the suggestions personally. The home will sell faster if you make it visually accessible to the broadest possible market.

If you’re planning on doing the inspection yourself? Have a couple of friends come over and walk through the place and point out small imperfections (like those drywall divots) or larger issues (like those teal ceilings).

After you have your report, fix them. After all, potential buyers can better imagine their own stuff in your minimalist space – but they can’t unsee that family room with its crimson walls and trio of sofas.

Two tips for neutralizing the space:

  • Paint. A couple of coats can do wonders toward making rooms feel larger and cleaner (as well as less jarring).

  • Judicious use of color. A too-bare place can look sterile, so focus on what Hurley calls “movable color” – art, accessories, accent pillows that provide a little pop of color without overwhelming the eye.

Here are the paint colors that can help you sell your house.

Remove family photos, trophies, framed diplomas and other personal items. The goal is to let a potential buyer imagine themselves in their new home, rather than to feel like a guest in yours.

Hurley also suggests packing away religious or political items. A political sign in front of your home or a religious shrine inside it can feel off-putting to some buyers, she said.

Here’s the best time to sell your home.

Rawpixel / istockphoto

You’re moving, so you need to pack anyway. Get started now. Personal items can get boxed up along with collectibles, knickknacks and hobby items.

Unless you’re a minimalist, it’s likely that some of your furniture also needs to be packed away. Rearrange what’s left so that there’s as much room as possible to move around a space. This lets potential buyers think about where they could put their own stuff.

If at all possible, don’t store your furniture in the garage. Potential buyers need to get an idea of how they’d use that space, too, which they can’t do if it’s full of chairs and boxes. You’ll also need to declutter your pantry, cabinets and all closets. Aim to take out at least one-third of your dishes, cookware, linens and clothing.

“Storage is very important to buyers,” Hurley said. “If it’s wall-to-wall clothes and shoes, it looks like there’s no space.”

Tips for decluttering a space:

  • Use this as your chance to finally deal with all the junk you’ve accumulated. Get ruthless about donating or tossing. Here are some tips on tidying up your space.

  • Invite friends over to claim things you don’t want to take with you. One man’s trash…

  • Rent a storage space until it’s time to move.

trekandshoot / istockphoto

Selling a house and packing to move are very stressful. It’s tempting to skimp on (or skip out on) cleaning and minor repairs. But don’t do this — the more items you move out of the space, the more issues could come to light.

“Buyers only know what they see,” Hurley said. Someone who walks into a house with noticeable carpet stains might turn right around and walk back out.

Your home likely needs a seriously deep cleaning, not just a vacuuming and dusting. Pay special attention to appliances, because buyers sometimes open refrigerator and oven doors.

Aim to make the place look brand-new. If you can’t do that level of cleaning, hire a service. Your real estate agent can likely recommend one.

The outside of your home might need some help, too. Power-wash the deck or pavers, weed the flowerbeds and prune the shrubs.

fizkes / istockphoto

Attention to certain details can turn a dated look into a more modern one. Replace those light fixtures. Paint the cabinetry.

“Little things make a difference,” Hurley said.

While a clean, minimalist look has broad appeal, choose a few careful accent pieces. A staged house doesn’t necessarily mean everything off the walls and all surfaces. But the place shouldn’t look like a furniture store, either.

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money. We want you to invest your dollars where they’ll do the most good,” Hurley said.

Want more tips? Here’s a guide to selling your home.

This article originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by

KatarzynaBialasiewicz / istockphoto

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