It’s a seller’s paradise in the Twin Cities right now. Houses are being snatched up in a matter of days—if not hours. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do as a seller to maximize the value of your home and strategically navigate the market. Julie and Daniel give sellers the following advice when getting ready to list their home in order to get the very best offer possible.
5 Tips for Being a Savvy Seller in a Seller’s Market
- Find the right realtor. A great realtor is your best ally in the selling process. They can make the difference between an acceptable offer and a truly profitable offer. You want to work with a realtor who will give you good advice about how to maximize the marketability of your home. If your realtor tells you to go ahead and list your house as-is, they’re not helping you be the savviest seller you can be. There are a number of ways you can spruce up your house in order to make it even more appealing to buyers, and your realtor should be able to advise you on which updates will earn you the greatest return on investment.
- Make sure your house is market-ready. Depending on the age and condition of your home, this might entail some large or small-scale updates such as replacing carpeting, refinishing hardwood floors, updating appliances, or installing a sprinkler system. Once you’ve finished making any updates (major or minor), you want to make sure you’re showing your house off to its best advantage. The Desrochers are firm believers in the value of staging. It’s amazing the wonders that can be worked by a fresh coat of paint, de-cluttering by sending some nonessential household items and furniture pieces to temporary storage, and re-organizing furniture to maximize the space.
- Draw buyers’ attention to the home’s selling points. Be exhaustively thorough in your online description of your home’s assets, highlighting all updates and special features. Everything from your brand new smart thermostat system to the surround sound speakers you installed in your TV room are selling points that differentiate your house from others on the market. Inside the home, label these key features with what Julie and Daniel call “Points of Interest Cards.” These are notes taped around your home to draw the buyer’s attention to key features. You want to make sure buyers aren’t overlooking anything that could distinguish your home.
- Don’t always accept the first offer. In this market, sellers will sometimes receive their first offer as soon as the next day after they list their home. It can be tempting to accept that first offer just to get the house off your hands, but the first offer isn’t necessarily the best offer. Give buyers some time to see your house. Many families have commitments such as work and children with evening activities that prevent them from seeing houses during the week. Leave your house on the market for at least one weekend before you accept an offer. If you accept the first offer you receive on Wednesday, you risk missing out on a higher offer from someone who couldn’t see the house until Saturday.
- Be thorough in assessing each offer. Before you toast to receiving a great offer, take the time to look over it carefully, paying close attention to the details outlined in the offer. Check to see if the buyer is using financing, and if they are, follow up with the lender to make sure they have received all the necessary info from your potential buyer. Verify that the lender has performed preliminary underwriting and run a credit check on the buyer. Before you accept any offer, you want to make sure you’ve done your due diligence to make sure the details are all in order to prevent any unwelcome surprises that could cause it to fall through.