Over the past few years, sellers have received record-breaking offers on their homes. Fueled by low inventory and low interest rates, those selling their homes have been the biggest winners in real estate, but that has now changed.
Home sellers, much like home buyers, are feeling the squeeze from rapidly rising interest rates and, while homes are still selling above market value, inventory is increasing and blockbuster deals are simply no longer the norm.
There is, however, hope for sellers getting a late start, and pricing is key. According to Tri-Valley Realtor Liz Venema of Venema Homes Real Estate Team, it is imperative for sellers to seek an experienced agent and price their home correctly to sell quickly in today’s market.
“If a seller wants to sell, they need to be aware that home prices are not going to go up, that they most likely will not get multiple offers and that their home could stay on the market a month before going pending,” she said. “It is imperative that sellers listen to their experienced agent and price their home correctly to start.”
Pricing can be tricky, as many online resources can offer vastly different numbers of what a home may be worth.
Websites base pricing on the home’s square footage, location, lot size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but do not take into consideration improvements and updates made by the owner. It’s important, Venema said, to look at comparable homes in the area to determine what might be a fair selling price.
“An experienced agent should look at pending sales and new active homes for comps, and not current homes sold,” she said. “I always look at three sites for comparables. I look at recent pendings, ask the listing agent what they are in contract for and take that price per square foot into consideration. I don’t look at last month's sales, as that is no longer our current market.”
In addition to staggering offers, gone are the days of pricing low with the hope of spurring a bidding war.
Venema said homes are now selling at or under listing price with many seeing reductions (up to $100,000+) if they stay on the market more than three weeks. Buyers are also not viewing homes above their purchasing power and the increase in interest rates is lowering the overall cost most buyers can afford, which makes pricing a home correctly increasingly important.
This, again, said Venema, is where an experienced agent and their knowledge becomes a seller’s biggest asset for a quick sale.
Venema said sellers can additionally put in a little bit of work to increase the appeal of their home without breaking the bank. Simple improvements like painting the front door and interior of the home, adding flowers to the exterior, updating knobs and door handles and giving the home a deep clean freshens the home and makes it more alluring to potential buyers.
“A seller must do everything within their power for their home to have curb appeal, price their home correctly and lower their expectations to catch up with what is happening right now in the real estate market,” she said.
“Their listing agent should guide them every step of the way,” Venema continued. “What is happening in the current market is not personal, and your Realtor’s experience and excellence is what sellers need to hear.
“When the market shifts, we pivot along with it and we educate our clients every step of the way. With the interest rates rising, there is a great window of opportunity to sell for top dollar in the current market. Sellers need to not focus on the future or past; they must live in the now.”
To learn more, connect with the team at Venema Homes online.