Open the door to bigger profits.
Home prices are on the rise, climbing another 3% year over year, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index from February released this month. Still, that growth is slowing and some experts are predicting that we’re increasingly entering a buyer’s market.
And that means sellers who want to get a premium for their home may have to work for it. So MarketWatch dug into the research and asked experts what really moves the needle to get you a better-than-average price for your home. Here’s what we found.
Time it right. Don’t try to sell your home in winter, but do try to sell it in the spring. Sellers who sold their homes in June — meaning June was the sale date on the deed of the house, so they likely put the home on the market in spring — got 9.2% more than what their home was valued at, according to data released this month from real estate analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions.
Sellers got a premium in other spring and summer months too: May (7.4%); July (7.3%); April (6.4 %); March (6.1%); August (5.8%); meanwhile December, January and October sellers got less than a 4% premium. ATTOM’s Chief Product Officer Todd Teta says that this is because demand is much higher in spring and summer in part because school is out and winter is over so people are out and about.
And research released this week by Realtor.com on the 50 top housing markets confirms that spring is the best time for listing a home. Indeed, homes listed in the first week of April got 14% more views, had 5% less competition and garnered 6% higher prices. ‘Based on early 2019 data, this could mean an extra $17,000 added to the list price for a typical listing priced just over $306,000 in early April,” the Realtor.com data found. “By listing during the week of March 31 – April 6, sellers are able to take advantage of a sweet spot in the season that offers high buyer demand, less competition, quick home sales, and strong prices,” the analysis revealed.
Pause before you renovate. While you might be tempted to put in a top-of-the-line kitchen or a fresh bathroom, most of the time you don’t recoup the costs of a big-time renovation when you sell, according to a study of 22 major renovations. Indeed, with the two renovations where you recoup the highest percentage of your costs — garage door renovation and manufactured stone veneers — you’re still out of pocket at least $100.
So if your house is in decent condition, you may be financially better off making smaller cosmetic updates that don’t cost much. “If the house has ‘good bones’ — which refers to items like structural integrity, a solid roof, well-functioning windows and sufficient HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) — then upgrading the FF&E [finishes, fixtures and equipment] may be very worthwhile,” says Justin Riordan, interior designer, architect and founder of the Portland-based home staging company Spade and Archer Design Agency. That might include “fresh interior paint, new carpeting, refinishing wood floors, replacing outdated countertops, painting cabinets, and installing new appliances and light fixtures. Recouping the cost of these items is easy provided the bones are good and the house is beautifully staged and presented to potential homebuyers.”Read the Rest Here