If you happen to be in the market to sell your home this year, you’re in luck: a favorable forecast for the Connecticut housing market seems to be taking shape.
Recently lowered mortgage rates are likely to trigger activity in markets that saw single-family median home prices achieve an 11-year high in 2018. Hartford and Tolland counties saw the most growth in average home sale prices. It’s true that the winter months saw a slump in sales. But the addition of inventory sets the stage for renewed interest and buyers tend to re-engage in the market when summer arrives.
So you’ve made the decision to sell your home. What do you need to do to succeed?
One of the most important things as a seller is to create an environment that helps the buyer visualize living in your home. Having a clean, organized and decluttered space is paramount to achieving this. Go through every room in the house as if you were ready to move out.
“Pre-packing shows buyers you are serious about moving,” says Seabury-Hill realtor Jennifer D’Amato.
Get rid of items that need to go in the trash, and store away seasonal clothes, accessories, knickknacks, appliances, and anything else that doesn’t get used regularly. Edit items from rooms to depersonalize all the spaces.
Clean light fixtures, ovens, chandeliers, baseboards, fireplaces, windows, and any rooms that may not be cleaned often. Shampoo carpets – or remove them and have hardwood flooring installed. Put kitchen appliances away and keep countertops as bare and spotless as possible.
D’Amato says keeping your home ready to show at all times makes it accessible to buyers and can help promote a quick sale. “The most activity is during the first couple of weeks, so the more available and show-ready the home, the faster it will sell.”
Hiring a professional stager can be very useful too. “Many homeowners who stage their homes prior to selling see an increase of up to 10% on their sale price compared to similar, un-staged homes,” she says.
Curb appeal is also very important. A buyer should see a well-groomed front lawn. There should be fresh mulch, flower beds and well-maintained plants. Trees and bushes should be trimmed. Adding pretty flowers in planters by the front door is also helpful.
“Be sure to power wash or paint the exterior. A pop of color on the front door can make the house stand out and look more inviting,” D’Amato advises.
Hiring an experienced realtor is a key piece of the puzzle. A realtor’s ability to navigate unexpected situations could determine whether you lose or keep a buyer. Sometimes, “deal breaking” events can occur between a buyer and seller, but a real estate professional who has been in the business for a long time can help both parties reach agreement for a successful sale.
When you interview agents, inquire about their marketing plans. Roughly 90 percentf of buyers begin their searches online, and having an agent well-versed in social media channels can help your home reach a larger audience.
Work with your realtor to come up with a realistic price for your home. Strategically priced homes sell faster. Look at homes that have recently sold in your area and your competition. You don’t want to deter buyers by overpricing your home. If your house is on the market for a long time, it will sell for less.
Whether you’re listing a Tudor, Ranch, Victorian, Dutch Colonial or some other style of home, remember that selling your house is a process. Showcase all of the qualities that make it special to you, and you’re likely to find the right buyer.