The real estate market is starting to show signs of balancing. This means that the sizzling hot seller's market will be softening up a bit. It won't turn into a buyer's market right away. In fact, home values are still rising. They just aren't expected to continue rising at the high rates they have been rising over the past two years. In order to maximize sales prices, sellers should follow a few strategies.
Price Your Home More Strategically
Buyers have been pricing their homes higher and higher over the past two years. Home values have risen at rates in the double digits in almost every market in the country, year-over-year, over the past two years. Beginning now, sellers should consider listing their homes at prices closer to the sold "comparables" in their areas. If sellers do this, they will have a better chance getting multiple offers and a better bet their homes will appraise at the sale price.
Prepare Your Home to List
Sellers may have to do more to prepare their homes for sale. Over the past couple years sellers didn't have to do as much. Homes were selling without a lot of preparation. If your home needs painting, it may not be a bad idea to get it done before listing it. The same goes for flooring. If your home has old or worn carpeting, tile or other flooring, you'll receive a higher sales price if you replace it. If your appliances are old, update them.
Consider updating other rooms in your home as well. Kitchens and bathrooms are the first places buyers will look to have updated. Pay closer attention to your curb appeal. Be sure your lawn and landscaping beds are manicured and free of weeds. Trim trees and bushes. Add some flowering perennials or annuals to add color and beauty to your home's exterior look. If big-ticket items such as roofs, windows and heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) systems need replacing, buyers are going to scrutinize these more in the near future.
Stage Your Home
Homes have also been selling without much staging over the past two years. You may consider staging your home better to help maximize the sales price. A professional home stager or your real estate agent can give you staging ideas. Declutter your rooms and start packing. Rooms appear larger with less in them. Rearrange furniture to maximize your space and improve the flow as well. Consider storing some extra furniture pieces in your garage or a storage unit so the rooms have more space. Set your table and add a vase of flowers. Add blankets and throw pillows to your chairs and sofas to add the look of warmth and comfort. Most of all, clean, clean, clean.
Negotiation Strategy Expectations
Discuss negotiation strategy expectations with your real estate agent. He or she knows the local market better than anyone. Be prepared ahead of time if your agent thinks you will have to negotiate price or other terms that favor buyers more. Don't be shocked if you don't get multiple offers and considerably above list price offers. Don't expect to have buyers offer to purchase your home "as is," waive inspections, use an appraisal gap rider, or meet your preferred closing date.
Sellers shouldn't despair, however. In an article written in July 2022 by Natalie Campisi for forbes.com, Will The Housing Market Crash? Experts Give 5-Year Predictions, it says, "The number of potential homebuyers is plentiful, with Americans who are either Millennial-aged or younger making up half of the U.S. population, or 166 million as of July 2019. This is significant because first-time homebuyers represent the largest share (31%) of people purchasing homes, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR)." Also, in a few years, Gen Z will be turning 30. They may even be more financially ready to purchase homes than the Millennials.
The market isn't expected to crash and there isn't a threat of a housing bubble. You should just be aware of the market starting to soften a bit soon. Strategize to maximize your home's sales price.