These days, knowing how to sell a house isn’t as simple as sticking a “For Sale” sign on your lawn. Times have changed—and the good news is the market is largely tilting in your favor.
“It’s undeniably a seller’s market,” says Linda Sanderfoot, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Neenah, WI. In other words, buyers are demanding homes, but there isn’t much inventory on the market nationally. Plus, half of home buyers are worried about rising interest rates and looking to lock into a home soon. As a result, “there is pressure on buyers to submit offers quickly, and to offer full or even above list price,” says Peggy Yee, supervising broker at Frankly Realtors in Vienna, VA.
All of this puts sellers squarely in the driver’s seat—which can be a lot of pressure if your GPS is broken and you don’t know how to navigate this new world. Consider this your crash course in getting up to speed.
Rule No. 1: Price it right from the outset
While conventional wisdom might suggest listing your house a bit above market value so you can make a mint (or get haggled down by buyers to something reasonable), don’t do it. The reason: In today’s fast-paced environment, this also puts you at risk of your home sitting on the market, which can make it more difficult to sell.
“If your house is still for sale after a month, buyers are going to assume something’s wrong with it,” says Seth Lejeune, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway in Collegeville, PA.
Moreover, “today’s buyers are savvy,” Yee adds. “They know if a house is overpriced.”
So list it right at market price, which your agent will help you determine. If anything, listing it a bit below market price could also work in your favor by sparking a bidding war which could drive the price up higher than you’d ever hoped.
Rule No. 2: Amp up your marketing
While professional photographs are a must, many sellers are going a step further these days. For example, you might consider doing a video tour, which entails hiring a videographer to walk through your home, camera in tow. The footage is then edited, background music is added, and the video is posted online.
“It gives buyers the sense that they’re walking through the house without even stepping foot inside,” says Lejeune. It may even enable you to sell your home “sight unseen“—which is actually how one in five buyers does it these days!
Social media is another smart component to leverage. Spread the word that your home is for sale by posting your listing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Create a post saying: “We’re excited to put our house on the market. Please get in touch if you’d like to schedule a showing. Pass along!” Be sure to include a link to the listing so that buyers can see more. And, of course, make sure your real estate agent is spreading the word on social media as well.