When looking to sell your home on the housing market it can be intimidating and make you unsure of how much to ask for your home. There are six main factors that contribute to home prices. Fortunately, you control three out of the six, which gives you, the seller, some power.
First, here’s what you control when it comes to the price of your home on the open market.
It’s that simple, you make the decision on how much you want to sell your home for. But, a list price of your home that is set much higher than homes of comparable size and types in your market will make it very difficult to get people to even see your home never the less make an offer. Your real estate agent will review the price history of homes similar to yours and in your neighborhood, so they will be able to help you make the right determination on your home’s price. Remember, that most buyers are also getting financing and the lender will order an appraisal. This appraisal, if it comes in lower than the contract sales price will require that you reduce the price in order to sell.
Buyers will have requirements for the house they want to buy, just like sellers do. It’s up to you to say how far you’re willing to negotiate and which terms are acceptable. How flexible you are can have a great impact on what you are willing to give up, or do in order to sell your home. Price and terms are generally negotiated at the same time, when the buyer makes an offer on the house.
Finally, the condition of your home will also impact the price and length of time it takes you to sell your home. The pool of buyers in your area who might be interested in your home will be that much smaller if you haven’t taken good care of your home over the years. These types of repairs are more than just fresh paint in the living rooms – you’ll want to make sure that all parts of your house are up to code, look nice, and have been well-maintained during the time you lived there.
These three factors can have a large impact on the price you’re able to get for your home. Controlling these factors and learning how to be flexible can really help or hinder the sale of your property. However, there are three other factors out of your control that are ultimately up to the market.
As the last few years have demonstrated, even if you think there’s a housing boom, it can change overnight and suddenly the house you thought you could get $500,000 for, the best offers you’re seeing is $350,000. Timing the market isn’t easy, but keeping track of economic conditions and seasons can help make it easier for you to determine when the best time it is for you to make a positive impact on the price of your home. The selling season in Atlanta is between April & August. To get a head of the season, you should put your home on the market as soon as you can in January. Even December can net great activity as the buyers looking in December typically have to move and are very serious.
The amount of available inventory on the market will drastically affect the price you’re able to get for your home. It is the basic law of supply & demand. Currently in Atlanta, we are at the lowest level of homes for sale in a very long time. This means that sellers are seeing price increases and in some cases bidding wars for their homes that are priced aggressively. One home we evaluated for one of our buyers had 22 competing offers.
Unfortunately, this is up to your real estate agent. Research all the agents that you can and find those people who have a good reputation and determine who will work hard to sell your home. Some questions you should ask your agent is: How many homes did they sell last year? What is their marketing strategy & plan? Do they have a good on-line presence? A good agent typically works full time as an agent. Part time agents just can’t keep up with the inventory changes, aren’t available when you (and other’s) need them, and don’t have the volume experience to provide you with the best support and information. We also recommend a team so that there are multiple people to promote and assist in the sale of the home.
No one factor will make or break the sale of your home. It’s up to you to do everything you can to stay prepared for feedback from prospective buyers for your home and changes in market conditions. Be willing to negotiate every offer – even the lowball ones. Buyers still expect a great deal in today’s market, but few expect you to actually give it away. We have found that the clients that listen and don’t get emotional are able to get the most money for the least amount of time on market – ultimately providing them with a great outcome to selling their home.