We spend a lot of time on here with posts directed toward helping home buyers to do their research and make smart decisions, but the housing market is made up of buyers and sellers, so let’s turn our attention toward home sellers.
Just a few short years ago, the home-selling process went something like this:
- Put your home on the market in any condition.
- Receive multiple offers within a month for 10-20% over asking price.
Sadly for you (the home seller), it’s not quite that easy any more. Average days on market for sold homes has gone from the mid-30s at the height of the bubble to the upper 80s today. Meanwhile, thousands of homes continue to sit on the market month after month, as the average time on market for unsold homes has climbed to nearly four months.
If your home is one of those that are sitting on the market unsold, or if you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, don’t just sit on your hands and hope that buyers will want to buy your home. The housing market is a competition, and you need to be proactive to grab the attention of a buyer pool that is much smaller than it was during the bubble.
In order of priority, here are the things you need to focus on and get right when you put your house on the market:
The first three are critical, and make up the absolute minimum requirements for what any home seller should do if they really want to sell their home for a fair market price. Unfortunately, many sellers only tackle #2 (i.e. – list it on the MLS), and then wonder why their home isn’t selling.
We will go into each of these points in detail with dedicated posts in the coming weeks, giving sellers the tools they need to appropriately price, market, and clean their homes to attract a buyer.
For today, I’d like to hear from anyone who has recently been successful at selling a home. What tips do you have for sellers that are watching their home sit on the market for months? What should a potential seller do before they list their home?
How-To: Sell Your Home in a Down Market
- Introduction: How-To: Sell Your Home in a Down Market
- Deep Clean to Make Your House Shine
- Pricing Your House
- Marketing Your House
- Extras to Sell Your House