It’s getting to be that time of year again when for-sale signs start cropping up on every corner. Conventional wisdom has long held that spring and summer are the best seasons for selling homes. But new analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions—which looked at 14.7 million home sales between 2011 and 2017—shows that homeowners who sell on June 28th realize the biggest premiums above estimated market value, on average 9.1% above market.
As you can probably guess, the best month to sell varies between markets, with warm-weather markets Miami and Phoenix bucking the national trend (January and November, respectively). Check out ATTOM Data Solutions’ interactive heat map to analyze your local markets.
But wait, there’s more!
The second best day to close is February 15, which you have TOTALLY missed. But do you want to know what days round out the top five?
What do all of these dates have in common?
THEY’RE ALL COMING UP SOON!
Imagine you’re sitting at the closing table, signing your name for what seems like the 10 millionth time (because it IS the 10 millionth time), and finally, you’re done.
You trade the keys to the home for a big fat check, and you are no longer the owner of that home.
But you didn’t wake up that morning, decide to sell your house, find a buyer, and arrange closing, all in one day. It takes time.
And with four of the top five days to close on your home coming up at the end of this month and next, you need to hop to it!
Where Do You Start?
First off, let’s look at what you’re trying to sell. If you’re trying to sell a primary residence, you’re going to have a lot more control. YOU decide when to accept showings, YOU control the condition of the home, YOU are in the driver’s seat. This is very similar to selling a vacant rental property.
If you’re selling an occupied rental property, you’re at the mercy of your tenants. Here’s where a little goodwill goes a very long way.
You want your property to show in the very best light. This means clean, fresh-smelling, and readily available.
Let’s tackle cleaning first. Your tenants will almost NEVER take as good care of your property as you will. Unless you’re renting to a neat freak with OCD, the place needs a good, deep cleaning.
Rather than demand your tenants clean it up for the showing, offer to pay for a cleaning crew to come in and make it shine. And yes, this is going to cost a bit, but it’s really a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the benefits you reap by having a property that isn’t disgusting.
Schedule Blocks of Showing Times
Your tenant is already inconvenienced enough by having their home for sale. (Yes, their lease runs with the property so make sure you reassure them their rent won’t go up during the lease period. Let them know they cannot be forced to move before the lease runs out.)
To make it easiest on all involved, schedule blocks of showing times, hopefully while they are already out of the property so it interferes with their schedule as little as possible. This information can and should be shared in the MLS so there are as few off-hours requests as possible.
Have a Plan for the Animals
Not everyone likes dogs. Some people are allergic, have had a bad experience, etc. Ditto cats.
Encourage your tenants with pets or service animals to have a plan for them to be out of the house during showings. If showings happen during work hours, consider working it out with a dog walker to come and take the animal out of the home during the showing.
You Need a GREAT Agent!
Unless you have all the time in the world and money doesn’t matter, you NEED to find a good agent. Selling a home with an agent nets you more money. It also takes a lot less time to complete the sale.
How do you find a good agent? Ask questions. Ask for recommendations from your friends and co-workers. Interview the agent and ask THEM questions.
Ask for references and call them! (I once asked a contractor for references, and when I called, I was told the contractor did a horrible job and they were in the middle of suing him because he wouldn’t come fix the problems.)
Don’t just call someone out of the phone book and go with them. Interview a bunch of different agents and go with the one you’re most comfortable with. (Need some questions to ask potential agents? How to Sell Your Home has a whole chapter devoted to interviewing real estate agents. PSST! It’s Chapter 12.)
You HAVE to Clean Up!
If you’re selling owner-occupied, you must have a clean house. (You need a clean house if you’re selling tenanted too, but you’re most likely selling to a landlord who has a different perspective.)
Selling as an owner-occupant means your target market is also the owner-occupiers. Just for fun, the OO (as we will refer to owner-occupants) have ZERO imagination. They cannot see past the dishes in the sink, the spot on the floor, or the smudges on the wall. Come to think of it, they also have a very hard time seeing past the outdated kitchen, aging bathroom, or weeds in the yard.
While in most cases it does not make sense to remodel the kitchen or bath, you can still make them look better by making them clean.
Ditto every single other thing in the entire house. An up-to-date house sells the fastest, but a clean house will always sell faster than a dirty one.
How to Sell Your Home
There’s a lot more to selling a home than planting a sign in the yard and waiting for the offers to roll in. In fact, there’s so many things you need to do, I filled an entire book!
And because we’re rapidly approaching the BEST time to sell a home, I’m going to give you 25% off the cost of the book! Use the code SELLING2018 to take 25% off your copy of How to Sell Your Home.
What out-of-the-box-tips do you have for selling your home?