Just because sellers dominate now, don’t think “red-hot market = super high list price.” A smarter strategy is to list appropriately and let the market do its magic. In fact, the list price simply indicates an approximate price, and its purpose is to drive interest in the property. The greater the interest, the more likely the price will climb as eager buyers bid on it. You’re more likely to get interest with an appropriate asking price.
As soon as the house is listed, it’s vital to allow as many qualified buyers view it as possible, to help build demand! In today’s market a seller has a fairly short time window to do this effectively. If the house sits on the market too long, buyers may assume something is wrong with it. Especially the first weekend you are Active on the market, plan to be out of the home as much as possible. You could even plan to stay with friends or a hotel to allow the maximum availability for showings.
With houses selling so fast, you may think you needn’t bother with staging. However, if you want to fetch that dream price that you’ve heard is within reach, it could pay to present your home perfectly, with some professional home-staging help. This does not have to be at a huge cost, sometimes just re-arranging some of your own furniture or thinning out what you currently have is enough to help the house show at its best!
A big payoff is tantalizing, but money isn’t everything when accepting an offer.
A smart seller considers a variety of factors to make an educated decision. For example, the bidders with the highest offer may need to sell their home first. That could mean a slow or snag-filled deal. You might be better off taking a slightly lower offer, to assure a smooth transaction.
Guess what: Buyers know it’s a seller’s market too, so some may make larger bids to beat out the competition—offers that can fall apart in financing or upon appraisal or inspection. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is! Work with your real estate agent to understand who is bidding and how serious they are, to avoid having your deal unravel.
Today’s sellers may be tempted to try selling their house “For Sale By Owner” to save the agent’s commission, but doing so severely limits exposure since FSBO homes can’t be listed on the Multiple Listing Service, where most buyers shop for homes. This exposure is crucial if you want to reach a large audience and fetch the best price. Also, in this era of bidding wars, having an agent at your side is a huge help in navigating a flurry of “highest and best offer” bids which is tough for someone who doesn’t know exactly what to be looking for in the best offer!
So you’re all set to sell your house—great! Now, what’s your next move? Avoid winding up with an anxious buyer on one hand and no place to go on the other. It can be hard to find the right new home now, so start searching immediately once your property comes to the market! Then be sure to negotiate an extended closing or rentback, or even make the sale contingent upon purchasing another home. There are multiple options your agent can negotiate for you. If all else fails, line up a rental.
Sellers may turn down a worthy offer or even forestall listing their home, hoping prices will continue to go up. While it may take a while for the seller’s market to top out, interest rates are expected to creep up this year, which could reduce the pool of hungry buyers.