Is 2019 the most profitable time to sell your home?
If you have thought about selling your home and asked if now is the time then you may be right. Why? Recent research shows 20% of fiscal economists say we are due for a recession. (The economic cycle proves we can expect a recession once every 10 years)
While some claim the recession may come at the end of 2019, many believe it will happen at the beginning of 2020…. Which means this year may be prime real estate selling season and the final push to get top dollar for your home before a possible market shift. A market shift does not mean selling your home will be impossible…. it just means we will shift toward a balanced or buyer’s market. In a buyer’s market, commanding top dollar for your home is much more difficult.
But have no fear! If you have been thinking about putting your home on the market this year, but you are not sure where to start, here’s a 10-step plan to help you get top dollar for your home in 2019.
Step 1 – Delve into your financial goals
Understanding your long-term financial goals and buying real estate are crucial items to consider before you think about listing your home. Where do you want to be five, ten even 15 years from now? And how can you set yourself up for financial success today. For example, if you believe you want to live in a specific neighborhood because of the school district, what are the additional costs associated with being in that neighborhood (like HOA’s or Mello Roos)? Are you saving enough for your children’s college? Would you rather pay less for a mortgage so you can travel? Do you have enough income for your retirement OR do you need to downgrade because it will be the only way you will have enough stocked away for retirement?…
This is the first step and the most exciting step. You can start by spending just 15 minutes with your significant other or a key decision-maker. Make sure it’s someone you trust to review your financial decisions. When you have a deep understanding of your financial goals, you will know if you are considering paying too much for a home and if your current home no longer meets your desired lifestyle.
Step 2 – Always go to an expert real estate agent in your area
An expert agent in your area is the second step to help you navigate the rest of your ten step plan to sell your home for top dollar.
If you are considering handling one of the biggest financial sales of your life by yourself, I’d strongly recommend you consider the pitfalls! It’s smart to have an expert real estate agent in your corner to help you navigate the comprehensive process. An expert real estate agent in your local area with years of experience understands the market better than the average agent. They care about the success of your transaction and your financial health.
Once you have selected the agent you’d like to work with, make sure to talk with your agent about your financial goals for the future. A professional real estate agent desires to make sure you are not only happy with your home sale and your future home purchase, but that the steps you have taken align with where you want to be in the future.
Step 3 – Get an in-depth report on what your home will sell for today
You are missing the most up-to-date information if you have only taken a look at Zillow to determine your home’s value. Once you have reviewed your financial goals with your agent and showed your agent your property, your agent should deliver a comprehensive report explaining what your home can sell for as-is in today’s market. This goes deeper than just a comparative market analysis or an estimate off of Zillow. Why? Because an agent who is an expert in your area will understand one thing you will not find by googling online…. The home buyer’s psychology in your local market.
It’s not just about the numbers when selling a home…it is also about the agent’s network. Studies show a vast number of home buyers still use a real estate agent to help them with their home purchase. A top agent who excels in your local market will regularly show buyers properties in your area AND have created a network of agents they can call at a moments notice to sell them on taking their buyer’s to see your property.
Step 4 – Discover critical repairs to get top dollar
I understand you might not want to make any repairs to your home, but it comes back to two important factors…. your financial goals and the return on investment. If you desire to create a certain amount of cash out of the sale of your home, then your agent may suggest making any necessary repairs to help you reach that goal. Again, they will know your local market better than anyone else. But make sure to double check with your agent that you are making the most cost-effective repairs that will increase your return from the sale.
Step 5 – Have a smart pricing strategy
It’s not enough to slap a number on your home and pray it will sell. A good agent is going to help you strategize your price point so that it attracts the most amount of buyers. A few points to consider are your personal timeline, how many other similar listings will you be competing with, and how does the condition of your home measure up with the other available properties. If fair market value for your home is approximately $605,000, it could make more sense to list at $600,000 so that you dont miss all the buyers that are only looking up to $600,000. That’s not all you should consider… also think about the third party sites like Zillow and how the property’s positioned for a local buyer. Here’s what I mean…when Buyers search for a property online and look at the estimate on websites like Zillow, if you have strategized with your pricing they will see your home as deal which can increase desire for your home
Step 6 – Develop a trouble-free exit plan
A trouble free exit plan is another discussion you will have with your local agent. We know there may be a market shift on the horizon, although it’s difficult to predict when or how drastic. That means it makes sense to have more than one exit strategy in place if staying in your property creates a financial burden. if you know regardless you have to move or you need to make an adjustment in your finances and selling your home is crucial then you may need to have more than one exit strategy.
A top local real estate agent will help you price your home to sell. But, if you find yourself in a predicament where your home is not selling as rapidly as you would like, lots of homeowners choose to rent their property as their exit strategy. But, maybe having a long-term rental is not the best option for you. Maybe doing a rent to own is your best option or turning your home into an Airbnb. No matter what you decide, there are additional laws associated with these exit strategies so you must make sure you’re not setting yourself up for financial trouble or a large tax bill at the end of the year. It all comes back to your financial goals. Noticing a pattern here?
Step 7 – Create interest by adding energy efficient upgrades
Many new homeowners desire smart technology in their home. Smart technology is on the rise and we’re even starting to see smart technology in apartments now! As utility costs continue to rise, homeowners and buyers are looking for more ways to save money. However, spending thousands of dollars on certain upgrades may not return an equal increase in sales price. Work with local professionals to determine what upgrades would give the best return when prepping for an upcoming sale.
Step 8 – Outshine the competition by staging Your Property to Sell
You may have made the upgrades and priced your property to sell, but now it’s time to allure home buyers by staging your home. Staging your home is still a vital component to helping homeowners like you get top dollar. No matter how beautiful your home is many buyers just do not have the capability to picture what it will be like living in the home. That is why staging is so important. Ask your agent for a referral for a good staging company with a proven track record of creating a high yield for the sale. Or if you want to be economical, ask your agent for staging tips using your current furniture.
Step 9 – Allure home buyers through eye-catching property photos and listing descriptions
You may not realize it, but when you have beautiful images paired with persuasive property descriptions your listing is lethal. We’ve all seen the property with dark photos and a description that says “porch and backyard’…those properties in no way entice anyone to want to hop in the car and go see the property immediately!
Your listing should paint a picture of what it’s like living in the home..and you accomplish this with eye-catching photos and captivating words that make the home buyer imagine what it would be like to live there.
For example consider:
Property has a Porch and backyard
After a hard day at work, you can Soak up the sunset while relaxing on your cherry wood porch.
I think you I think you get the picture!
Step 10 – Make a straightforward move into your next home
Whether this step is higher up on your list depends on your financial goals and the state of the market. The agent you’re working with will help make it a smooth transition from home sale to your next purchase. The process may include helping you hire movers, meet with a preferred mortgage lender Etc. No matter what you decide, your agent will help you know the ins-and-outs of your local market to help you make the best decision.
Selling your home can be complicated if you don’t have a plan to guide you through the process. So if you found this information helpful, bookmark this post so you can refer to it often.
And if you know you would like help navigating this process please feel free to contact us by sending an email. We would love to help you any way we can.