Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / by Dennis Isip
The writing is on the wall for Spokane homeowners thinking about selling. We are lucky here in the Inland Northwest because there is a market lag between the major metropolitan cities and our Spokane real estate market.
In recent years, sellers have called the shots in home-buying negotiations. They’ve had plenty of leverage, too, thanks to surges in buyer demand, tight inventory and soaring home prices.
Things however, have started to turn around. Home sales are slowing down throughout the country, and the inventory of homes are slowly rising. Sellers won’t be seeing the sharp increases in prices any longer. They may not sell their homes as quickly either.
To get to the closing table successfully in the year ahead, sellers may need to adjust their expectations. Otherwise, you will end up settling for the wrong buyer, and that means less money in your pocket. Here are five key mindset shifts to make now to sell your home in 2019.
Don’t Lose Your Buyers - Digital Appeal is the new Curb Appeal. Some sellers may think they can do the absolute minimum to prep their homes and still get a flurry of interested buyers. That can be a huge mistake. Making your home look move-in ready, using high-quality photos, are a must if you want your home to attract the right buyer. The wrong buyer means less money for the seller. Don’t let buyers swipe past your listing because of unprofessional photos.
Don’t Turn Off Buyers - It’s more important than ever that a home looks move-in ready. Be sure it’s clean and all the honey-do list items are done before you list. You also want to work with a Realtor who will put the time and effort into making your home stand out in marketing materials, especially the listing description and photos. Most buyers will see your home online first, and you need to make a great first impression.
Don’t expect multiple offers over asking price - Some sellers had buyers fighting over their homes in bidding wars, sometimes offering thousands of dollars over asking price to get the house. But those days are likely gone. There will likely be more inventory and more choices for buyers. Homes may take longer to sell in 2019 than a year ago. It’s important to set realistic expectations as a seller. This means that sellers have to price their homes appropriately.
Consider listing sooner rather than later. With mortgage rates falling to nine-month lows, buyers are jumping into the market early this year to take advantage of the savings. That means sellers, thinking about selling later in the year, will benefit from moving up their timeline. Buyers are showing strong interest now.
Get a home inspection before you list. A big wrench that gets thrown into a home sale is when a home inspection uncovers problems that buyers want addressed. Typically, buyers get a home inspection done within two weeks after a purchase agreement is signed. Waiting until then, however, can cause serious delays if multiple issues are found or, even worse, they back out of the deal because they had an inspection contingency. Instead of waiting for nasty surprises, consider hiring a home inspector before you list your home for sale. You can then decide whether to fix any problems — or account for repairs in your asking price, Mattina says. If your home inspection reveals major issues, you’ll have to disclose them to potential buyers. That transparency, though, can save everyone time and hassle. “If you don’t have an inspection ahead of time, you’re waiting two weeks to see how it turns out,” Mattina says. “Then you have to negotiate with the buyer and wait on repairs.”
Now is the time to sell, and be sure to sell for the right reasons to get the most money out of the sale. In other words, don’t sell simply because you’re cashing out. That time may have already gone.