Season for Selling
Yes! We still have a few weeks of summer! But if you are already trying to sell or thinking of listing your home for sale, be assured: Fall is still 'selling' season.
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 springtime is often considered “the best” season for selling a house (there’s no denying it is a great time) fall is catching up for home sales in recent years.
So far this year, The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group has been involved in over 175 sales, representing 220 buyers and sellers. If you are considering selling – either to downsize, upsize, or just relocate – we are happy to share these “lessons learned.”
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. At The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, we look at comparable properties for sale and most importantly, closed transactions as a guide.
A word about Zillow:
Zillow and other home-selling websites display homes for sale from local Multiple Listing Services and provide estimated home values based on a computer algorithm. While they’re enormously successful and provide convenience for buyers, they don’t take local information and 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.
Consider ordering a professional home inspection now, before the often-hectic contract timeframe, so you don’t encounter surprises. It’s a cliché, but ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ The money you spend on a home inspection could save you at the settlement table.
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, try to take a look at your home with fresh eyes. Eliminate clutter, personal knick-knacks and paperwork. Or, ask your REALTOR to make recommendations based on her or his first impression. 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! (The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group offers a free staging consultation to our sellers.)
In addition to a figurative “breath of fresh air,” it’s extremely helpful to have a fresh-smelling house. Walk into your house and take a deep breath. Do you smell your pets or smoky furniture? Has your home been closed up with A/C or do you need a fresh filter? The old ‘baking cookies for the open house’ strategy works for a reason! Don’t go for too much of a good thing, though. Aim for neutral versus too much potpourri or heavy scents.
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. Seal leaky faucets, replace washers, and caulk where necessary.
- Don’t neglect the outside. Clean out gutters and check your basement for any water leakage or mildew. Clip your flowers and gardens to keep them looking great, too.
These tips are based on more than 30 years of home-selling experience, and are by no means all-inclusive! One thing to keep in mind is that most people look online first and have already "seen" the inside of your home through virtual tours, so putting your best foot forward at the moment you list your home is key, and gives you more time to enjoy fall at the beach! (Even though we still have several more weeks of summer!)