When homeowners are considering selling their home, there are nearly an endless list of questions. Questions that a real estate professional should be happy to and well-qualified to answer. While there are so many and usually relate to specifics about the specific property and market, here are a few very common questions that homeowners ask before actually listing their home on the market.
When is the best time to sell my home?
This is a very individual question because so many aspects come into play to determine "best". You have the personal side of the home sale process and the market side of things including buyer and conditions timing. When it comes to the personal side of selling your home, it includes timing situations that may include job transitions, a school year calendar, personal preference of holiday interruptions, personal celebrations, and sometimes any long-term situations a family may be encountering. Those need to be considered so that the personal lives of any family members can best be synced up with the transition. On the market side of things, this can depend on where the real estate is located. For example, a home or property being sold in a vacation area may have peak market times that differ from an area more concentrated with full-time residents. Another aspect is the property type. Some property types (single family home, condo, farm, etc.) may have seasonal trends to them that may affect the best time to sell. The fact is that homes sell all year round and more traditional urban/suburb areas have a more stable trend through the year that people would think. There is often a rise in activity during mid/late spring, but it's really something that is answered after some analysis of the property type and area it's located in.
What are the market conditions like?
With how much information society has pushed in front of them today, many homeowners have a preliminary feel for the real estate market is like before asking this question. The more refined question is "How do the current market conditions affect me?" which is very logical question and varies with each property. For example, a real estate market may be hot, but it may include a transition where buyers are moving outward from urban cores and to the suburbs. In this case, the market is performing well, but if a seller owns a property in the urban core, the answer to them may be different than the answer to a seller in the suburbs. So, much like the timing of a sale, market conditions can be relative to the property type and its location. In general terms though, sellers are looking to know if the market is strong and that can be answered by studying statistics like absorption rates, progressions of list and sales prices, days on market, and percentage of list price that sellers are receiving. Those can be indicators of the overall market conditions for a specific area.
How should I prepare my home to sell?
Just as every home is unique, so is the preparation for market. What needs to be done, will there be a positive return on the investment, and a sellers willingness to perform those tasks are all things to consider when preparing a home to sell. In an ultra hot market when homes regularly receive multiple offers, it's often though that no or little prep is needed, however, the principles of economics still hold true. Demand will help drive price levels, and what helps create demand is perceived value by buyers. In the home selling process that is often done by having a home in great condition with top presentation to buyers. This includes having a high level of curb appeal through proper care of the lawn, landscaping, and concrete/hardscaped areas. First impressions may determine if the buyer even comes inside for the showing. The interior of the home should be ultra clean and decluttered. The condition of the interior should be at a high level that often includes a level of repair that has been deferred over the years along with some freshening of finishes such as paint and carpet. Perceived value will also rise to another level if home components are all functioning without the need of repair, and are of a relatively young age. Every case is different. Some homes go on the market when they're only a year or two old and if taken care of they may need very little effort. Other homes that are older or that may have had less care may need a higher level of investment of time and cost to appeal to buyers at a price level sought by the seller. A real estate professional and sometimes their team of resources can analyze each home and project the optimum level of attention for each home in order for the seller to not only get the highest price, but also to net the most in their pocket.