The market is in a strange place in Seattle, WA, and we all understand that houses aren’t flying off the shelves at higher-than-ever prices the way they were last year. What works in the favor of home buyers during times of economic uncertainty and higher mortgage rates, however, is that everyone needs somewhere to live and inventory remains tight in a lot of neighborhoods.
While you may have to adjust some of the expectations you or others in your area formed in 2020 and 2021, you can still sell your home in a down market. Here’s the way to get there.
Get the Most Recent Comps Possible
Starting the process of selling your home begins with looking at what real homes are listing for and selling for as recently as possible. Even six-month-old comps are less relevant when people were getting very different mortgage rates back then. These comps, especially if they are in your neighborhood or a similar type of home, will start to give you a range of what time it might take to sell your home and what price you can reasonably expect to get.
Interview Agents and Work With a Realist Who Gets Your Goals
Not everyone needs the same things out of the sale of their home. Some want to do the least possible work on the house, some want to sell lightning-fast, and others need to make as much money as possible, even if they also need to work on it and take a few weeks on the market.
Every agent has a slightly different approach to selling in a down market, so interview at least three real estate agents. This will give you a better feel for the variety that exists in their approaches. This meeting is where you can present what really matters to you: if they are all-in on your goals, that’s a much better sign than if they try to push you in another direction. That being said, you want a realist; someone who tells you that you’ll somehow sell for $100k above your recent comps is not preparing you for reality.
Make High-Value, Low-Cost Repairs and Updates
Not everyone makes changes to their home on the way to selling, but painting, doing some curb appeal lawn maintenance, and basic staging of the home can make a huge difference for your buyers’ first impressions. The goal isn’t to spend a lot of money but rather to update the spots where a small change, like painting, will make a really big difference.
Market Widely With “Coming Soon” on the MLS
By getting as many people to look at your home as possible before it is officially listed, you and your agent get some information about who is considering your home. If you want to sell fast, you’ll want there to be multiple interested buyers coming to see the house in person on the day you put it on the market. If you don’t get that interest, it may be that you’ve overpriced the house. It’s still possible to make adjustments if you’re still in “coming soon” and get that price to the right level.