Are you thinking about selling your home in 2023? Perhaps, you are concerned that you have missed some magical window with 2022 now behind us. After all, The Hill notes that home prices nationwide have increased by nearly a third since 2020 and over 15% since 2021. These were tremendous gains, with sellers regularly receiving 20 to 30 offers and homes selling as high as $200,000 over the initial asking price.
With these dreary days behind us and interest rates now hovering at just over 6%, many wonder if these new market conditions and an economically ambiguous environment are conducive to real estate sales, as noted by NerdWallet. But as a real estate agent, I am here to tell you that the beginning of the year will still be a great time to sell your house! So with that, here are my five expert tips for home sellers in 2023.
What do I mean by manage price expectations? Don't assume your home has appreciated an additional 15% over the last 12 months. And don't expect your home to be under contract in 48 hours with multiple offers over asking. As inventory gradually begins to rise, sellers will now have more competition for buyers' attention. Some vacation and COVID-motivated markets have started to cool, with people returning to their previous residences as the pandemic comes to an end.
Other markets, on the other hand, like El Paso, Texas, remain heavily a seller's market, per Realtor. Either way, look at the recently sold properties in your neighborhood. Consider square footage, renovations, and lot size, among other factors, when deciding on a price. At the end of the day, price the home to sell, not sit. And price the house to capture the attention of buyers and get them through the door.
Home Light recommends getting in touch with a realtor a few months before you sell, especially if you are simultaneously trying to buy something else. But the most proactive and communicative realtors are the ones that are either referred to you or find you. That realtor cold-calling you or door-knocking your neighborhood might be annoying, but they are likely tuned into every listing, every seller, and every buyer and have a vast knowledge of your local market. Work with them.
Especially in these changing market conditions, these are the kind of people you want supporting your property. A proactive realtor will have a great sense of how many days on-market homes near you are sitting for, how open houses are going in the area, and what your house can do to help it stand out to buyers. A great realtor will also lay out a comprehensive plan for how the sale of your property should go and help make it as smooth as possible.
Is there a particular kitchen style that seems popular in your local market? Perhaps it is worth considering a kitchen remodel prior to listing. Does your agent know the open house protocol for your HOA? Make sure to communicate with your neighborhood security when admitting visitors. There are so many details that go into successfully and smoothly listing a home. Take time at the beginning of your consultations with your agent.
For example, Stuccco notes that details touches like hardwood flooring in key areas, walk-in pantries, and patios were at the top of home buyers' lists in 2022. Take stock of the optimal use of your home. If things can be improved, consult your local market realtor to compare these ideas with recently sold homes. It can also be worthwhile to get quotes from contractors to understand what kind of return on investment you can expect with these additional choices.
Staging should always be included in a listing, but especially now. We are not in the early half of 2022, where an abandoned shack could be sold with multiple offers in five minutes. Buyers want to see a property in its optimal condition. They want to see what kind of furniture complements the lighting and imagine themselves enjoying a drink at the island bar and looking out over the backyard. Staging is vital to selling your property and trading it for the highest price possible.
There is also data to support these claims. The National Association of Realtors notes that staging a property can help it sell anywhere from 5 to 20 times faster than it usually would. Buyers are beginning to look at homes online a lot, like users on dating apps. You have a couple of seconds to grab their attention, and you want the handful of photos they come across to blow them away.
One more time for the people in the back: this is not 2022. Homes sold by sellers not willing to budge on price, engage with repair requests, or have flexible showing schedules, will have a much harder time selling their homes in 2023. Buyers have more options, look at contracts more closely, and take their time compared to a year ago. The circumstances have changed.
Forbes notes that the uncertainty of interest rates is one of the main factors that has created a haze of confusion around the market. Any buyer who is an existing homeowner is forfeiting, what is likely, a meager interest rate to buy your property. There is no rush to buy as quickly as possible before interest rates go up like there were over the past two years. In 2023, be prepared to engage with and compromise with more seasoned, serious buyers who will do their diligence and may even purchase with cash.