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 Realtor.com’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 Realtor.com 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 Realtor.com’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
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