Written by Gretchen Rosenberg, President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate
If you’re ready to make a move to a new home, you’re in a great position to sell this Spring. Housing inventory remains low which has been driving up buyer competition. This gives homeowners better leverage to sell for the best possible terms, and it’s been fueling a steady rise in home prices throughout Colorado.
In a hot market like the Front Range real estate market for homes, properties are selling quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are typically on the market for just 18 days nationally. The Denver metro average Days on Market (DOM) in April was just 13 days and in Fort Collins average DOM for single-family homes in April was 47.
Despite the speed and opportunity for sellers, there are still steps you can take to prep your house to shine so you get the greatest possible return. Not every home is selling in hours for the above list, so it’s a great idea to calibrate your expectations. Resolve to be content if you have an offer within the range of average DOM for at, or close to, list price. Call it a happy by-product of a crazy market if you’re one of the lucky ones with a property that is bid up.
1. Give your house that homey feel
Use your time to declutter. Pack the bulk of your personal items like photographs, awards, and sentimental belongings. The more neutral and tidy the space, the easier it is for buyers to picture themselves living in the home. According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging by NAR:
“82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”
Not only will your house potentially attract the attention of more buyers and likely sell quickly, but the same report also notes:
“Eighteen percent of sellers’ agents said home staging increased the dollar value of a residence between 6% and 10%.”
As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavior Insights for NAR, says:
“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property…It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”
2. Keep It Clean
Another important habit while showing your home is to keep it neat and clean every day that it’s on the market. Before a buyer stops by, pick up toys, make the beds, and wash the dishes. This will reduce the number of distractions that can lessen the appeal of your home.
Ensure your home smells fresh and clean, but don’t use grocery store plug-ins to do it. Buyers will remember the smell of your house, and according to the same report from NAR, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house to focus on if you want to attract more buyers. Open windows for fresh air, bake cookies, or light a vanilla candle for an hour before the showing.
3. Give Buyers Access
Buyers are less likely to make an offer on your house if they aren’t able to easily schedule a time to check it out. If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunities for multiple buyers to go from curious to eager. It also allows buyers on tight schedules to still get in to see your house.
While health continues to be a concern, it’s important to work with your agent to find the best safety measures and digital practices for your listing. This will drive visibility and create access options that also keep everyone in the process healthy. Real estate agents in Colorado have become very adept at following guidelines and protocol and as the regulations loosen, your broker will be able to keep you apprised of methods to satisfy everyone wherever they are on the spectrum of safety.
4. Price It Right
Even in a sellers’ market, it’s crucial to set your house at the right price to maximize selling potential. Pricing your house too high is actually a detriment to the sale. The goal is to drive high attention from competing buyers and possibly even let bidding wars push the final sales price up. If you receive full price or close to it, that’s a good thing!
5. Set Reasonable Expectations
Average prices are up year-over-year, but more inventory is slowly coming. If you price your home right the first time, it will sell faster and for more money. Half the listings are now going under contract within the first 4 days, but many sellers are finding themselves still on the market one or two weeks out.
Heading into June, buyer fatigue is setting in. We’re finding that by the third weekend on the market, homes are selling for 98.8% of the original list price. You only have about 7 days to make a great impression for both condition and price. Then buyers will begin to suspect there’s something wrong. Calibrate your expectations and be content if you receive list price.
If you want to sell your home on your terms, in the least amount of time, and for the highest price, today’s market sets the stage to make that happen. Give yourself the best chance by hiring a Kentwood Real Estate broker to help you sell or buy and get the job done with the best possible outcome. Find Colorado Front Range homes on www.kentwood.com.