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10 Must Do’s to Sell your Home in a Changing Market

Is the Housing Market Changing?

The simple answer is yes. Many of the new changes to the housing market have happened within the last two years. Buyers emerging real estate preferences have changed how we sell real estate and require thoughtful consideration when listing your home for sale.

Whether you are in a slowing market or a fast-paced market, the market changes every day. Timing is a critical factor in a successful home sale. Watch the inventory carefully. If you sell your home with nine other competing houses, you will need to be the best in show at a competitive price to get the buyer.

Subtle changes make a difference in how well a home does as far as the sale price. Those “little things” add up to be big things, especially in the luxury market.

Here is my Top 10 list for Sellers on a winning sales strategy for your home in today’s changing market:

1. Timing is everything.

List your home when there is low inventory in your price point. You can watch the market with your agent by requesting a subscription to the MLS so you can monitor local activity for months before you hit the market. The best seasonal time in Milwaukee is typically January through May, but a low inventory market can push those great sales into summer. Avoid listing your home when there are many houses similar to yours on the market. If that cannot be done then look to condition and price to beat the market inventory.

2. Buyers want move-in ready condition only—and they will pay a premium for it.

This is the biggest shift in housing, and there are many contributing factors to this shift. Buyers have busier lives than in the past and less disposable cash for repairs and remodels. Both spouses typically work, making managing a remodeling project nearly impossible. The contractor pool has diminished with nearly zero unemployment, and trying to get a contractor to come to your home to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, let alone a whole house remodel, has become a herculean task. Compound that with costs that sometimes exceed $400 a square foot for an addition, and it just makes sense to buy a move-in ready house. In the end, move-in ready is more affordable and easier on the buyer’s lifestyle.

3. Watch the Inventory!

High inventory in your price range? You may want to wait to list your home. Ask your realtor how many months of inventory are on the market in your price range?. Then ask how many houses sold in the last 6 months to gauge how quickly the inventory is selling. In some luxury markets, we have 18 months of inventory—a cautionary tale for those selling their million-dollar homes. You may have to price your home very aggressively to take advantage of the end of this great housing market and make sure your condition is premium. Take a tour with your realtor to view all the homes for sale you are competing with before you price your home.

4. Interest rates have fallen again, which is a relief to the luxury market.

As of yesterday, I saw a rate of 4% come across my desk. We are back down, and that should help buyers pursue more housing. If your home has trouble appraising out you can look to seller financing for that sale. Be aggressive in luxury and capture buyers now while rates are low again.

5. The limit on personal property tax deductions has impacted the luxury market.

The limit of $10,000 on tax deductions has had an impact on house sales in the luxury market. The lack of deductions is something to be mindful of if it is taking you longer to sell your luxury home and it is in move-in ready condition. The restrictions on tax deductions may mean the listing price will need to soften to compensate for the loss of personal property deductions. The market for 2017 was considerably better than the market of 2019 in luxury. Plan your pricing strategy around these considerations.

6. Lifestyles

Buyers' lifestyle is more important than their housing. This happened quickly. People are trading in the big house in the suburbs for travel and enjoyment. This explains why the millennials and the baby boomers are both converging on smaller, well-done homes. Have this in mind when listing your home for sale. It is all about price, condition, and location (in that order) now.

7. Your school district matters.

This has always been true. Make sure your realtor has the latest school information to share with prospective buyers. Each community has specific information that can be printed out and uploaded to your MLS Feed on your home. Make sure that information is readily available to buyers.

8. The new age of surveillance

80% of all the houses we now sell have inside and outside surveillance systems. Conversations regarding negotiations should be kept at a minimum inside the home. Alexa, RING, and Google all have smart devices to see and hear you in a home. You may want to consider surveillance devices for your home sale if you are concerned about safety and valuables in your home. Knowing when someone is coming or going can be a valuable tool in the sale of your home.

9. The millennial impact on housing

The new age buyers typically do not buy up to their limit. They are conservative. They have busy lives with two working spouse families, so the condition of the home is very important to them. They do not have time to meet with contractors and remodel a new kitchen. They are short on readily available cash but can finance the new home just fine. Doing a kitchen or a bathroom remodel can seem overwhelming to them, you should consider doing a kitchen or bath refacing before you hit the market to appeal to this new buyer pool. Make sure your home is as move-in ready as possible.

10. Take your photos in the spring even if you are not selling for another year!

Photos are your calling card to your buyer. They should be as perfect as you can get them! Seasonal photos become so important. Fresh spring photos stand out in January and entice buyers to see your home above all others. High definition photos, drone, and a 3D Video tour should all be considerations in your agent’s marketing of your home. Your photos, once out there, are the most important marketing tool you have, so be picky and make sure your agent is using the very best technology to sell your home.

If you have questions on today’s market I am always available for a no-obligation consultation to help advise you on your home sale. You can reach out to me, Suzanne Powers, at 414-870-7175.

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us today about buying or selling your home.

Call Suzanne Powers