3 tips to get the most money when selling in a down market
Don’t Sell in a Down Market! Or can you? 3 tips to get the most money when selling in a down market
The news loves to be Debbie Downer and talk about the world is falling apart. Everything is crashing. Real estate prices are plummeting. Interest rates are going up faster than you can blink an eye. Negative Nancy all day long. I’m here to tell you, this is what I do. I sell houses, I list houses for sale and I sell them. And the last few sales of mine have actually sold over the list price for multiple offers. And when I say over the list price, we all kind of know that’s sort of a gimmicky thing to say because buyers typically expect to pay over the list price, even now with a shifting market. Not a crashing market, but a shifting market. So there are things you can do as a seller, someone who wants to get top dollar, regardless of what’s going on in the world economy. We are still seeing some good prices. We are seeing houses sit for longer and not get top prices when they don’t do these three things. So pay attention.
So number one, let’s do some cosmetic updates. Don’t think you can just get your house cleaned and, “Well Annie, we remodeled 15 years ago. We have granite in the kitchen.” That really isn’t going to fly for today’s buyers. Because interest rates are higher than they were, buyers are willing to still pay a good price for a good house in a good school district in a good location, but they don’t want to have to pay top dollar for all those things if the house still needs some updating. I’m not saying you have to get your house and completely make it brand new, but let’s do some cosmetic updating to make sure the buyers feel like wow, this feels like a fresh, clean, updated house.
Maybe I want to make some changes down the road, but for now this is great. We can unpack and make it our own and feel really good about it. So easy things like paint, and I’ve even actually seen recently is painting kitchen countertops. That’s for a whole other video, but little things like that just visually makes it feel fresh and new. It could help. You have to know your market. If you’re in a high end market, I wouldn’t do that, but if you’re in condos, smaller houses, it can work great. So let’s make sure the floors look good. The paint, lighting, that’s great. So make sure the house feels like a buyer can just move in and unpack.
Number two, make sure you get the inspections done, a home and pest inspection at a bare minimum, and let’s do a few of those repairs. I’m not saying you have to get your house tented if that’s what it’s requiring, but let’s say it says there’s some loose toilets or leaks under the kitchen sink or some doors don’t close properly. Let’s get some of those minor things repaired. Maybe on the outside, some wood is damaged, the eaves, so the pest inspector is calling that out, fungus, wood, and let’s just do some of those minor repairs. A handyman can fix those. I’m not talking about breaking the bank to do repairs, but let’s just do them. It’ll give a buyer peace of mind that hey, the house is really move in condition and I don’t have to do a lot of repair.
And number three, let’s price it right. And yes, I know, it’s a silly little game here, but in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, buyers still expect to pay over the list price. They do not pay over the list price if the house is priced on the high side, and right now, I have heard sellers comment to me, “Annie, since the market is shifting and buyers want to feel good about what they’re buying, maybe we should price it high so then they can write an offer under and feel like they negotiated and got a better price.” That doesn’t work still. Very rarely does that work. I’m really not seeing that. Buyers will still pay over the list price.
Like I said, I just got one in contract last week. Three offers over the list price. Maybe they’re not going hundreds of thousands of dollars over, unless you’re really priced super low, but it did go, what was it? I think $80,000. Yeah, $80,000 over the list price. So and like I said, three offers. Buyers were competing. That’s a strong offer. No contingencies, so my sellers were super happy. So we are seeing those kind of sales, but make sure you list a little bit under where all the comparable sales in your neighborhood and your real close-knit little area, where they have been selling. So where you really expect your house to sell for, be realistic, and then let’s price it just a touch under that.
So now buyers walk in the house like, “Oh wow, this fresh paint. It feels really clean.” Oh, that’s the other thing, get it professionally cleaned as part of your cosmetic updates. Professional cleaning with the window cleaning, ooh, makes a big difference. So it feels fresh, clean, fresh paint, the lighting feels good. Then buyers will get emotionally invested. Then they look at the inspection like, “Oh, they repaired some of these things. Wow, the house is in good shape too from the actual mechanics of the house.” And now that price looks really good to them.
I’m telling you, we’re still seeing quick sales within 10 days and over list price. Of course, I am seeing houses that are sitting three, four weeks on the market and then price drops. That is happening, I’m not going to lie, but not when you’ve done these three things right. I’m telling you, there’s still some great sales going on. Anyway, if you have some questions about what’s really going on in your immediate neighborhood, because really, one neighborhood in a good school district versus a neighborhood in a not so good school district, we are seeing a big difference in the sales data. So if you have any questions about your specific sales data, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I love running those numbers. I’m really data driven, so it’s fun for me and any other questions, never hesitate to reach out. I’m Annie. Hope to see you on my next video, and until then, have a great one.