Make the most of peak home-selling season.
If you think late spring or summer is the ideal time to put your house on the market, you’re certainly not the only one. Real estate information site Zillow reports home sellers make the most money and sell fastest in the first two weeks of May, with July and June, respectively, serving as the next best months to list your home. While the market may be as hot as the weather this time of year, there are still some key steps you shouldn’t overlook — and details you consider before below are ten things to be aware of when selling during the summer.
There is more demand. Period.
The change of seasons organically encourages people to start thinking about purchasing a new home, and for homebuyers who are financially ready, it can be an alluring proposition. Many buyers may also be excited to move forward with purchasing knowing that mortgage interest rates aren’t expected to climb particularly high in the near future. In March, the Federal Reserve confirmed its plans to not increase interest rates from the current 2.5% for the remainder of 2019. While mortgage rates vary based on the individual financial history and current market conditions, the Fed’s decision may help many potential homebuyers start shopping for a home confidently.
There is more competition among sellers
A seasonal influx of buyers certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by other homeowners. Many sellers wait to put their house on the market until the spring/summer with hopes of a attracting a higher number of potential buyers. But they also choose to hold off until May-August because it makes sense to sell, find a new place to live and relocate before the end of summer— especially if they have school aged children. Keep this competition in mind as you prepare your house for the market.
YOUR buyer may be on a specific timeline.
Late spring and summer are ideal for many buyers not just because the weather’s nice, but also because the timing gets them moved before fall. That said, if your house goes under contract in late May, a buyer may ask for an extended closing to buy more time to get their own home under contract and things worked out with the kids, etc. Alternatively, a buyer later in summer/early fall may be looking to close quickly and move in under a month. Remain as flexible as possible in order to keep the deal running smoothly, and your buyer may be willing to throw in concessions, like covering some of your closing costs or overlooking minor punch list items.
The market varies from neighborhood to neighborhood.
As housing markets continue to shift you should expect to see more differences from zip code to zip code, especially in the Chicagoland area. Tracking national housing information can be helpful, but understanding how your particular neighborhood is doing, what recent comps are and how it pertains to the sale of your home is really what you want to be focusing on. If homebuyers start house hunting later in summer, for example, we might suggest holding more open houses, adjusting the asking price or even waiting to put it on the market.
Landscaping can make a difference.
If you have outdoor space, green grass and blooming trees help your home’s exterior look its best for photos and open houses, but that doesn’t mean you should let nature do all the work. Keep your grass cut, plant fresh flowers and trim shrubs or bushes that have a tendency to grow into walkways. If your grass didn’t return from the winter as green as it could be, you may want to consider new sod to improve curb appeal
More days on the market doesn’t mean you are screwed.
No one wants their house sitting on the market for months with little activity, but don’t be afraid if you reach the month mark with no serious bites. The median days on market for properties nationwide ebbs and flows throughout the year, and it changes as conditions shift more slowly to a buyer’s market. Real estate brokerage Redfin reports the median number of days on the market for U.S. housing hit its lowest point last year in June at just 35 days. In March 2019, the median number of days on the market was 49. While you can expect that median to drop again during the late spring and summer, you’ll likely see more houses sitting on the market as buyers are more selective.
You may have to lower your asking price.
You may have witnessed friends and family members (or neighbors) sell their homes in previous spring seasons with multiple offers on the first day and above the list price. In many parts of the U.S., however, that part of the real estate cycle is over. Instead, you may find your broker recommending a drop in the asking price to ensure the right buyers getting looks at your home
Some staging is a good thing.
As with your home’s exterior, there’s no reason to slack when it comes to preparing your house to impress would-be buyers. De-cluttering, emptying closets, attics and crawl-spaces to make them appear larger, moving some pieces of furniture to storage to help rooms look bigger and keeping counters clear and show-ready at all times.
Some projects are a simple DIY.
It’s common for us to recommend that home sellers repaint some rooms, steam the carpet and power-wash the deck or driveway. Fortunately, many of these smaller projects can be a DIY task that requires minimal investment to get your home looking fresh. But taking on a task yourself doesn’t mean it’s OK to get super amateur — especially with paint.
A professional touch on bigger upgrades may see more return.
For certain parts of your home that need work outside your skill set, using a professional will be worth it in the end. We recommend big bathroom projects, kitchens overhauls, and anything mechanical/electric/structural including tuck-pointing AND roof work 100% be done by a professional. While spending a chunk of money often isn’t what you have in mind when you think about selling your home, a bad DIY backsplash could become a sticking point with buyers, who may be concerned other work was done poorly elsewhere in the house. So we say- leave some things to the professionals. On that note, if you’re looking to buy, sell or invest, Dunning Real Estate is here to help! Give us a call: 312-858-0692