Like any major life change, selling your home is a big project. It requires a good deal of planning and research. Some important questions need to be asked:
- When is the best time to sell?
- How is the housing market now?
- What is my competition?
- How do I make my home stand out from the competition?
During the spring season, many buyers are looking for homes in our communities because of our good school systems. Ideally, buyers like to close at the beginning of the summer so their kids can get acquainted with others in the neighborhood and be registered for the coming school year in September. In fact, real estate attorneys will tell you that June 30 is the busiest day of the year for house closings! If your home is a spacious 4 bedroom home, it’s probably best to list your home for sale when these buyers start looking—in the winter. Buyers who begin house hunting in January or February usually find a home they want to purchase by March or April, and close in late spring.
However, if your home is a ranch style or townhouse, you will probably attract buyers who are not tied to a school year calendar. First time buyers or people who are downsizing, for example, are out looking all year long.
Our current housing market continues to be robust. Despite forecasts that mortgage interest rates would steadily climb this year, the increases have been gradual and minimal. This fact, combined with consistent buyer interest in our area due to good schools, reasonable taxes, and proximity to major employers, have yielded a steady stream of buyers.
It’s important to note, however, that buyers have been very cautious this year. Most buyers are not rushing into a purchase. In fact, many are waiting to see if more homes come on the market before deciding to make an offer. The days of buyers writing up offers at open houses seem to be a thing of the past, particularly for higher end properties. Thanks to the Internet, buyers are doing their homework before purchasing a home! They are checking school district performance, crime statistics, mass transit schedules, and property tax trends.
As a seller, this type of information can be an asset in selling your home. In fact, its one great way to make your home stand out from the competition! Doing your homework, and getting professional advice from a licensed Realtor, will help you differentiate your home, your neighborhood, your community.
Again, thanks to the Internet, you can study the competition. How many homes are for sale in your neighborhood? What do they look like inside? Start your research by touring these homes online, through digital photography and virtual tours. Ask yourself how does my home compare to these?
Next step is to find out how long these homes have been on the market and why. This is where a licensed Realtor can help you sort through the market data. Some of these properties may have been under contract but the deal fell through. Realtors can advise you on what happened and more importantly, how you can avoid that pitfall.
When comparing your home to the competition, it’s always a good idea to get an objective opinion. The improvements you have made to your home may have brought you a great deal of enjoyment, but the upgrades may not be what buyers are looking for today. Consult with a professional. A realtor knows what buyers are looking for, and more importantly, what improvements they are willing to pay more for.
Real estate is very competitive. When you select a Realtor to market your property, you are relying on that agent to make your home stand out from the competition. Of course the obvious method is pricing. You want to price your home relative to your competition. Equally important is ensuring that buyers are informed of some benefits that may not be so obvious:
- Recent upgrades
- Energy efficient features
- Your home products’ and systems’ warranties
- Property attributes—lot size, no easements or encroachments, etc
For more information contact me at 908-872-5473. Good luck with the sale!
© 2018 Diane Belcuore
Posted on August 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm by Diane Belcuore