6 things to know if you're selling a house right now


Classic house model on salePhoto by(Shutterstock/Billion Photos)

Selling a house can be a complicated process. From listing your property to vetting buyers, there are several time-consuming steps involved. But it doesn’t have to be challenging.

Whether you’re a first-time seller or a veteran house-flipper, here are some things you should know to make the process easier.

1. Having an agent helps

It’s tempting to think ditching the real estate agent will save you hefty commission fees. Selling your house on your own will require a lot of hard work and creativity, but working with a qualified agent can bring you more volume and quality of buyers. It also puts a solid process in place so you don’t have to do everything yourself. This is particularly helpful if you’re too busy to find potential buyers and give them a house tour.

Working with an agent can also help you negotiate better rates, especially if you’re a new seller with little market knowledge. The agent can step in to solve any paperwork issues so you don’t have to run to the administration office every few days.

If you want to go one step further, you can also work with agencies that give you access to a full team of professionals. You get a real estate agent, an attorney and even marketing teams to help you reach potential buyers online.

2. Pricing is an art of data analysis

Listing your house at the highest possible price isn’t always the best strategy if you want to sell quickly. A 2019 survey by HomeLight found 70% of agents say overpricing is one of the biggest mistakes sellers make.

If you want to avoid this, consider the current market rates and patterns of supply and demand in the region before narrowing down on a number. If you’re not a fan of math and data analysis, you can hire someone to do the work for you.

"The market has changed. Market demand has pulled back so pricing it correctly to meet buyer expectations is more important than ever,” said Chad Klamen, Cash Buyer of Property / Real Estate Advisor at KLAMEN Real Estate Group. “Because buyers have more options when house hunting, it is important to provide the pricing and condition that stands above other homes on the market."

Woman changing light bulb hanging lampPhoto by(Shutterstock/Pixel-Shot)

3. Lights can drive the value of your house up

Who would have thought a humble light bulb would put more money in your pocket? Turns out, it does drive up the value of your house. The good news? You don’t even have to get too fancy. Something as simple as LED lighting can boost the price up to 3%. If you do want to get fancy, you can choose to invest in high-quality light fixtures that will make your house glow up.

Hands holding professional camera on tripodPhoto by(Shutterstock/CapturePB)

4. Professional shots of the house can catch buyer attention

Leave your smartphone camera at home if you want your listing to stand out. Hire a professional photographer and get high-quality, well-lit pictures you can upload online or use in print ads. This may help your house look more valuable among the sea of competitors. Especially if you’ve invested in updates to outdoor areas or the interior, you want to make sure the pictures accurately reflect those improvements. Buyers also tend to care a lot about the kitchen, so make sure they can envision everything they may have on their kitchen essentials list in the home.

Research by VHT, a real estate photography company, found that homes listed with professional photographs sell 32% faster than other listings. Another study found that nearly half of homebuyers were willing to invest in a house without any in-person visits, just looking at the pictures. This just goes to show how far a good picture can go.

5. Timing can make or break a good deal

Don’t rush to sell your house, but don’t be too passive, either. Instead, try to find the right time to put your house on sale. Various factors like the season, current events and developing market trends can affect whether or not you sell your house quickly.

For example, people are typically less inclined to buy houses during the holiday season. Businesses are closed, people are spending time with their friends and family and more money is spent on decor and gifts, leaving little demand for houses.

On the other hand, the summer months can be quite productive, letting you grab a price 10% or more above market value.

6. Hiding the problems doesn’t really work

If you have leaky pipes, falling ceilings or faulty equipment, hiding the issue from potential buyers doesn’t work. Most agents and buyers will perform a detailed inspection where the home’s issues will come out. If found out later, your credibility diminishes and can come with legal consequences, which could lose buyers. Yet sellers continue to do it. In a recent survey, nearly three quarters of sellers admitted to selling a house after hiding a problem. This could land you in deep legal trouble, though.

A better option would be to fix the issue beforehand or lower the price of the house so customers can pay for the repairs themselves.

Summing up

Selling a house can be tricky, but with a little thought and effort, it can also be quite profitable. If you take the proper steps, it can be an exciting process. Just remember you don’t have to do everything by yourself as a new seller. Work with professionals to get help where you need, and soon you’ll know plenty to start doing this by yourself.

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