The real estate industry is known for its roller coaster effect when it comes to cyclical housing markets. The best cycle for someone ready to put their house up for sale is a seller’s market. When it comes to learning how to shine in a seller’s market, there are two main considerations: 1. Are there signs that the neighborhood is indeed in a seller’s market? 2. What are top things to do to take advantage of a seller’s market?
Recognizing the Signs of a Seller’s Market
To learn how to shine in a seller’s market, step one is to ensure that all the signs point to that real estate cycle being present in your neighborhood or city.
Four primary signs that a seller’s market exists in your community include:
Low interest rates
When mortgage rates sag, it can be instrumental in attracting buyers to the real estate market. A low interest rate may allow a buyer the purchase of a larger or more expensive home than what they would have been able to afford when mortgage rates were higher. This could translate to a seller making more money on their house due to lower interest rates.
A relatively low number of homes currently on the market
This can be a wonderful advantage for those selling a home because there will be less homes for potential buyers to choose from, which may increase the odds of a property selling. It is worth noting that this sentiment applies primarily to neighborhoods that have smaller numbers of homes on the market simply because they are selling so quickly.
Buyers are active in the neighborhood
Multiple bids on the few homes on the market within a neighborhood is typically a tell-tale sign of a seller’s market. A house selling for the asking price is great, but a house topping out above and beyond the asking price due to a bidding war is usually fantastic for the seller.
Fast turnaround times for home sales
In a seller’s market, home buyers are often forced to expedite the bidding process to ensure they snag a property before anyone else. If homes inside a community are selling almost as fast as the for-sale signs are going up, chances are it is thanks to the current seller’s market.
It is also possible in some cases for a change within a city or neighborhood to foreshadow a seller’s market due to positive advancements and improvements such as:
- Improved or newly established public transportation
- Entertainment destinations such as major retailer outlets
- Business relocations that will yield employee transfers
How to Take Advantage of a Seller’s Market
Homeowners who have evaluated the housing market in their community and have discovered it to be a seller’s market should move quickly and efficiently. Depending on the circumstances that have created the market, this real estate cycle could end sooner rather than later, so it is important to take advantage of it in the here and now.
Tips for making the most of a seller’s market can include:
Creating curb appeal
Most realtors say that a potential buyer’s estimation of a home’s curb appeal is perhaps the most critical part of getting the buyer in the door for a better look. Sellers wishing to create a more attractive sense of curb appeal may want to have the windows washed, lawn well-kept, landscaping manicured, colorful flowers in the beds or in a pot on the porch, a pristine walkway, and a welcoming front door and porch area. All these things can come together to make a home shine.
Declutter the home
The less personalized and cluttered a home is, the easier it becomes for a buyer to picture themselves and their belongings inside. For most sellers this means taking down personal pictures and eclectic décor as well as relocating some pieces of furniture to storage to project the feeling of a more spacious living space.
It is said that a first impression can have an enormous impact on the sale of a house. Once the outside is in order and emanates curb appeal, it is time for sellers to stage the inside of the home. Staging a home for a visit by potential buyers may include window dressings that allow natural light into the home, soft and welcoming fragrances, a completely set dining table with special touches, lights on, and maybe even a plate of cookies on the counter. It is often the little touches that can make a home shine from the inside out.
Be selective about what day you list
While it is true that sellers must move fast in a seller’s market, immediately throwing a house on the market may not yield the best results. Many realtors believe that some days are better than others when it comes to listing a home. In general, Thursday is considered to be one of the best days to go live with a listing because with a weekend right around the corner, it can be conducive to getting a great deal of foot traffic.
Make your listing work for you
In some cases, a listing is what a potential buyer will see before they ever lay eyes on the house itself. For this reason, it is imperative that listings are well done with professional pictures that highlight the home’s beauty and spaciousness. Some realtors even utilize digital videos or interactive tours to help buyers better visualize a home.
Expect things to move fast
Particularly in a seller’s market, buyers can be anxious to move in quickly, such as within a month’s time. When putting your home up for sale in a seller’s market, be sure to plan ahead so you have a place to relocate in the event that your home sells before you have a new one lined up.
By being able to identify the signs of a seller’s market and knowing how to work that real estate cycle to your advantage, you are learning how to shine in a seller’s market and hopefully close the deal fast.