By: Mark Stowers
How To Sell Your Home For The Most Money
Home inventory is at an all time low. So are interest rates. Buyers are making offers on upwards of 10 listings before getting one accepted. This creates an interesting opportunity for home sellers to jump in and cash out maximum equity on their properties. At Jim Shaffer and Associates, listing agent Drew Mahar and buyers’ agent Andrew Larsen share some tips on how to sell your home for the most money.
Larsen explains “low interest rates allows potential buyers to afford more home. You actually have more money for your pre-approval and it doesn’t affect your monthly payment. On average, one percent of interest will affect your pre-approval by $30,000. For instance, if you borrow money at four percent and your pre-approval is $200,000. At three percent, you’d be able to afford $230,000 – and for the same monthly payment. But lower interest rates also provides more value for the inventory of properties. In essence, a higher price for the homeowner.”
With the added layer of COVID-19 restrictions in showing homes, shoppers are much more reliant and restricted to just using the Internet to shop. 3D home walk throughs have become all the rage. But even with these hurdles, now is still a great time to list a home or property. Low inventory numbers can vary from day to day, so it helps to find ways to make sure your listing towers over others. Most of all, use the resources that your real estate agent offers.
“We can make sure your listing stands out like a real Hot Fudge Sundae with a cherry on top and not just a scoop of vanilla,” Mahar said.
With 95 percent of buyers seeing homes online first and shopping from the comfort of their own living room, creating a listing that stands out is key. The professionals at Jim Shaffer and Associates send a professional photographer out to capture your home’s essence and value. They even provide a descriptively written walk-through tour with each photo.
But even the best photo story can’t overcome an overpriced property out of the gate. With research from the area surrounding your home, Mahar understands just how to price properties accordingly. Low inventory home sellers have other things to consider too.
“If you’re getting a lot of showings but don’t have an offer in three weeks, it’s a reflection of the price,” Mahar said. “It’s better to start with a lower, more accurate price and let the low inventory market supply and demand increase the price naturally.”
Just because you think your home is worth more, doesn’t always ring true. Listen to your listing agent. In a low inventory market, if you’re trying to sell your home for the most money you may be able to get your price by creating a bidding war by starting with a price point that more buyers are apt to bite on.
“I do a three price-point strategy – a fire sale price, a market rate price and a stretch price with every listing. I don’t choose the price and I let them know I’m here to advise and not to dictate,” Mahar said. “Let’s get ready for your homes close -up on the Internet.”
First do a deep clean and declutter, then make another round of decluttering. But don’t take away the personalization. If it’s a family home, let potential buyers see the home as one a family can fit in and see themselves living in comfortably. Mahar notes that “sellers can be jaded as how they see their own home and notice all of the imperfections.” But don’t sink a lot of money into unneeded repairs. More than 80 percent of those needed fixes aren’t seen by potential buyers.
“Buyers and sellers need to know there is not a perfect home – even new construction,” he said. “But all homes do need to have an inspection. A home built ‘up to code’ simply means it was built at the least minimum standard.”
Larsen noted the that initial viewing of the listing by a potential buyer is key. And just a bit of yardwork can create a first impression worth thousands of dollars. Cleaning up brush, maintaining the current landscape and even a fresh mowing welcomes a buyer into your home whether in person or on the Internet.
Mahar notes that fresh paint doesn’t add monetary value but does add aesthetic value in a buyer’s mind who understands they don’t have to touch a room and it truly is a turnkey, move-in ready property. But key rooms to focus on include the kitchen, bathroom and primary bedroom. Fresh paint in the kitchen or a new backsplash and even new cabinet hardware gives a kitchen an inexpensive update and make it pop like a $5,000 update for literally only hundreds.
And even though a low inventory and low interest rate market favors the seller, don’t try to go it alone as a “for sale by owner.” You risk leaving money on the table without a wide net of potential buyers finding your listing to create a hot market.
“It is expensive to sell your house but at the end of the day we can cast a wider net and get you more money for your house. If you have an eye injury, you go to the eye doctor. You don’t carry your own mail. You need a realtor to help you sell and not take on the headaches that can come in that process.”
Low inventory creates a natural demand for your home. Low interest rates gives buyers more money to spend. And a savvy seller looking to sell their home for the most money can combine the two for the best price in today’s market.