House hunters’ biggest shopping day comes right after the holidays. Will your listing be ready?
During the long weekend after the Christmas holiday, when families are together and looking to the New Year, potential buyers come out in droves to search for their dream homes online.
December 28th was one of the biggest days in real estate in 2014, according to Realtor.com. This year, we expect Sunday, December 27th to be one of the most heavily trafficked days across all real estate websites including ForSaleByOwner, Zillow and Redfin.
If you’re hoping to sell your home early in the New Year, there are a few steps you‘ll want to take before December 27th arrives. These tips will help you stand out from the competition and attract more buyers during their online search.
1. Price Like a Pro
For most buyers, the first step in a home search is filtering by price. House hunters tend to set minimum and maximum prices by round numbers of $50,000 or $100,000. Even if you’ve already done a Comparative Market Analysis, take a look at how recently closed sales in your neighborhood were priced. Now compare those sold prices to homes in your area on the market. It may be worth reducing your price from $350,000 to $349,900 or increasing from $499,900 to $500,000 set yourself apart from other sales and appear where more buyers are looking.
2. Let Your Pictures Do the Talking
The keys to turning a house hunter into a potential buyer are your listing photos.
While you can take desirable photos of your home on your own, it might be worth springing for a professional photographer to make sure your home’s ready for real estate’s big day. Homes with pro photos can sell 50 percent faster and for thousands more than those with non-professional photos. Arrange your listing photos in an order that takes buyers on a journey from the front yard to the back door in a way that allows them to understand the space.
3. It’s All in the Details
Capturing the story of your home means providing the details buyers are interested in. Tell them what makes your home unique. Is it the brand-new stainless steel appliances you just bought? The meticulous landscaping you do every year? The master suite’s stunning hardwood floors? Or the award-winning school district? Take buyers on a quick journey with a great listing description that matches the amazing photos you’ve taken. Don’t forget to list the basics like square footage if you have lots of space to offer.
4. Be Personal
If you’re a by-owner seller, this sale is more for you than just a commission check. You’ve repaired or renovated this home. Maybe you’ve gotten married or watched your children grow in this home. And this is a time of year when house hunters are surrounded by personalities and plans for the future. Don’t be afraid to share some of that story with buyers to help them see what makes your house a home. Let your personality shine through in the staging, photos and description of your home.
Once you’ve attracted buyers on one of the biggest days for house hunters, make sure your home is show-ready and you’re prepared for negotiations.