It's Selling Season
TV commercials and magazines have been running 'back to school' articles for a month already, getting us ready for the transition to fall.
Fall is a great time to live in Lewes. No matter your age or if you have children at home, it seems like all of us tend to ‘fall back’ into the school calendar - treating September like the beginning of a “new year.” While spring is often considered ‘the’ season for selling a house (and it is a great time), fall is catching up for home sales in recent years.
The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group and our other local real estate colleagues are coming out of an exceptionally busy summer. This tide is still rising, and especially with even more brand new construction communities underway, we expect this fall to be quite busy.
The resale market in newer communities, like those on Gills Neck Road, and on the bay on Lewes Beach are especially in demand at the moment.
If you are considering selling – either to downsize, upsize, or just relocate – here are a few insights and considerations for home sellers:
The first consideration is the ultimate “first impression.” Buyers these days do a ton of online research themselves and already know market pricing. Make sure your house is priced competitively if you want to sell quickly. Does this mean under-valuing your home? Absolutely not. You can, however, save yourself time and grief by pricing your home realistically from the outset. Your REALTOR® can assist you by looking at comparable properties for sale and most importantly, closed transactions as a guide.
A word about Zillow’s “Zestimate”:
Most home buyers (and sellers) are familiar these days with Zillow, Trulia (now owned by Zillow) and other home-selling websites. They display homes for sale from local Multiple Listing Services and attempt to provide estimated home values based on a computer algorithm. While they’re enormously convenient for buyers, they don’t take local nuances into account. Even Zillow execs agree that the best way to determine your home’s value is to consult a local REALTOR® – one that knows, for example, that access to the trail to Rehoboth is a perk or that living on “the east side of Route 1” is a big bump in value.
SETTING THE STAGE:
The ‘decluttering’ trend is popular for a reason. It’s a breath of fresh air to walk into a home without clutter – both in terms of paper and excess furniture. To create a clean first impression, eliminate clutter, personal knick-knacks, and paperwork. Or, ask your REALTOR® to make recommendations based on her or his first impression or to connect you with a professional stager. This tip may seem obvious – and it may seem that buyers should be able to envision everything clean – but it’s a lot easier to envision when it actually IS clean!
Sometimes little updates make a big impact.
- Freshen paint, wipe down ceiling fans, walls, handrails, baseboards, and light switches (even swap out dated light switches for more modern ones with dimmers).
- Inspect all of your sinks, faucets, and toilets for drips and leaks.
- Focus on scents, too. Is your house musty, smoky, or has it been closed up? Change A/C filters and clean carpets.
- Don’t neglect the outside. Clean out gutters and check your basement for any water leakage or mildew. Clip your flowers and gardens, and put down fresh mulch, to keep them looking great, too.
TIME (and FRUSTRATION)-SAVING INSIDER TIP:
Consider ordering a professional home inspection now, before the often-hectic contract timeframe, so you don’t encounter surprises. We have seen contracts in jeopardy after buyer home inspections reveal issues with crawlspaces, roofs, and septic systems, for example. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, as the money you spend on a home inspection could save you at the settlement table.
These tips are based on more than 30 years of home-selling experience, and are by no means all-inclusive! The biggest takeaway for sellers today is that most people look online first and have essentially already seen the inside of your home through virtual tours, so putting your best foot forward - the moment you list your home - is key, and gives you more time to enjoy our gorgeous fall at the beach!