What You Can Expect as a Seller in the 2021 Market
This is one of those markets that will go down in the history books as being one of the most robust, yet unpredictable. Of course, I am NOT an economist, statistician or any other self-proclaimed expert on housing stability. But I DO have 20+ years experience of watching the ebb and flow of the market. Clients ask me continuously if this is a good time to sell? My answer is simply this……”Your home is worth more now than it probably ever will be…….but…..”…So what are the “buts”? We’ll explore those and then you can finish that sentence yourself!
Marketability: One of the first questions I ask my sellers is why they want to leave their home. What do they like about it? What don’t they like about it? Invariably, there is something…..it’s not big enough, not enough storage, older kitchen, leaky basement, bad location, too much traffic, etc. I remind them that their objections will also become the buyer’s objections. How can we mitigate those objections? Perhaps a “purge” of excess possessions are called for, a rearrangement of the furniture, a fresh coat of paint on the walls or replacing a few light fixtures or faucets.
Repairs/Condition: You may think the leaky pipe under the kitchen sink, the lack of GFCI outlets, the wet basement or the bowed basement wall will not be an issue, but I assure you it will. Most buyers, those needing a mortgage or even the cash buyers, will want a general home inspector to check out the home. That person should certainly find and point out any problems. Also, the bank/lender will require an appraisal, and that person is looking at not only the value, but also will note any severe issues, deferred maintenance items or safety concerns. IF issues arise and you do not address them, the buyer may back out of the contract and you may be required to now disclose those problems. So, it’s much more advantageous to be proactive versus reactive. Have your agent take a hard, objective look at your home and make suggestions on what needs done before marketing. Just because it is a “seller’s market” due to lack of inventory does NOT mean that you should state up front that the house will sell “as is”. An “as is” price is generally a fraction of what you could realize with a qualified buyer with a mortgage. And certainly a few dollars for a few fixes may reap you thousands more in the sales price!
Price Range: Just because the house down the street sold for an enormous amount of money doesn’t mean yours will! Was it better maintained, updated, sitting on a more desirable lot? Let your real estate professional show you what has been happening within your market. And more importantly, look at your competition. Are the homes currently listed more desirable than yours? You and your agent should be able to come up with a good place to start the asking price and a marketing plan of how often to lower the price or how to address any objections. Could your house sell for more than asking price? Absolutely….but in the end, it must appraise for the purchase price when a lender is involved.
Where will you go?: That’s the NEXT big question…….Let’s assume you want to sell to either down-size, up-size, or just readjust your life goals. In THIS market it’s very difficult to sell “contingent upon seller finding home of choice”, which is what we use in this situation! Your “home of choice” may be very difficult to find, and you may look for months before you find it! BUT……as we stated before, your home is worth more now than it probably ever will be! Decide FIRST what you will do if your home sells immediately, which it might! Will you rent, move in with family, take a long trip in your RV? How soon will you need housing, what will you do until you find that housing, and more importantly, how much will you have to spend for that replacement housing? Remember, right now many listings are selling at or above asking price! You should be prepared to either be an aggressive buyer or miss out on many if you are not!
Don’t let this market scare you into NOT making a change, as long as you know what to expect, position yourself accordingly and most importantly, be flexible! A seasoned real estate professional should be able to guide you to a good outcome, one that fits your needs and plans! Happy Hunting and Good Luck!