You’ve taken a big step. You’ve decided it’s time to part ways with your house in Grapevine, Texas.
You’re getting ready to put your home on the housing market and move on to the next chapter of your life. But you’re worried about how long it will take.
And the answer is: it depends. On any number of things, including predictions for 2018 market trends.
Want to know what might affect your home value–and how to get in and out of the market efficiently?
Keep reading to find out what affects your home’s time on the housing market and how to make the maximize your chance of selling quickly.
What are Days on the Market?
First things first: let’s talk about days on the market.
It’s pretty much what the name implies. Days on the market refers to the number of days a listing is active on a multiple listing services before it is marked as pending.
Pending means you’re almost in the clear. It’s when an offer has been placed and accepted by the seller but the transaction has not yet closed.
How Does It Affect Your Home Value?
So, do days in the housing market affect your home value?
Yes–more than you think.
The time you spend on the market tells you something about your listing (and the market you’re in). A buyer’s market will have higher than average days on the market, while a seller’s market will have lower than average days on the market.
Of course, there are other factors that determine the heat of your market. And your market will also change how much days on the market will affect your home value.
A top market is partially determined by location. Homes in some cities tend to sell faster than others.
In those cities, you don’t need to worry as much about days on the market (usually in areas where homes tend to sell in 50 days or less).
This also means it’s a hot market, and more people are willing to buy homes there because it’s an area everyone wants to be in.
For the rest of us, though, days on the housing market will affect your sales price.
In these markets, you have your best shot at selling your home for the original asking price in the first ten days on the market. After 30 days, you’re looking at a likely 5% decrease from the original listing price.
Homes on the market for 90 days or more will see a 10% drop, and so on.
Then, there are those unlucky homes that are looking at six months on the market.
For you, days on the market matters. A lot.
Usually, this is a sign that buyers are seeing something wrong with your home. Or, if they haven’t seen the house, they’re likely going to question why the house has been on the market for so long.
In this situation, you’re going to be looking at low-ball offers.
Of course, the lucky few who are exempt from this rule of thumb are high-value homes.
In this case, the house value isn’t strongly affected by the days on the market. This is mostly because you don’t have a large pool of qualified buyers looking at the house to begin with.
And the buyers who are looking are the ones who can afford the price you’re asking.
Factors Affecting Time on the Housing Market
Of course, there are other factors affecting the amount of time you spend on the housing market beyond where you are. (But let’s be honest: location, location, location is an important factor).
What else can affect how long your house will have to wait to be sold? Here are three factors you’ll want to keep in mind.
The Market Climate
Some days, the market is on your side. Others…not so much.
The market climate is one of those things you can’t control. It’s either in your favor or it isn’t.
But it’s definitely helpful to be aware before you decide to sell what the housing market conditions are. That way, you can get a sense of how good your odds are if you decided to sell right now.
You can research Texas housing market trends for an idea of what you’re dealing with.
Your Asking Price
This is one factor you can definitely control (even if you would prefer to not have to).
Asking price can change who’s willing to look at your house in the first place, and it tells buyers something about your house. If you’re asking too much, buyers who would otherwise consider your house won’t look twice.
If, on the other hand, you’re asking too little, buyers tend to get suspicious. If you’re not asking what the house is worth, they’re more likely to assume there’s something wrong with it, like a major repair you’re hoping they won’t notice.
‘Tis the season (not to sell houses).
It might sound funny, but it’s true. The season you look to sell your house can actually affect how long it takes you to sell.
People are more likely to be buying homes in spring or summer, which makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Kids are more likely to be out of school in the spring and summer months, and it’s fast approaching vacation season.
Plus, moving is way less of a disaster if you don’t have to deal with snow.
On the other hand, the market has a tendency to cool down in autumn and winter. Which, again, makes a whole lot of sense. Kids are in school, the weather is colder, and people aren’t that inclined to leave the house they’re already living in, much less buy a new one.
What Helps a House Sell Quickly?
So the question is: what helps a house sell like hotcakes?
Which is a slightly different question than what factors will affect your time on the housing market. Here, we’re mostly talking about factors that are within your control.
Here are three things to keep in mind.
If the price is right…
Seriously. We said it before and we’ll say it again: pricing your home is no monkey business. If you overprice, you’re chasing out qualified buyers with a stick. If you underprice, potential buyers will assume there’s something wrong with the house and head for the hills.
It’s an art and science combination of supply and demand.
One of the easiest ways to get started figuring out how to price your house is to pull up comparable listings. Pay attention to details like the age of the house and neighborhood dividing lines like freeways. Above all, be honest about how desirable your house is.
Not sure how to price your home for the housing market? Try this.
As the adage goes, location, location, location.
This is a factor you can’t really control for, but one you nonetheless need to pay attention to.
If you own a nice house in a highly desirable neighborhood, you may be able to get away with asking a premium price for your house. But if you’re in an average neighborhood, you’re going to have to be a bit more conservative.
It’s not just the neighborhood, either–it’s what you’re near. Schools, for example, or if you live near a major highway. Consider what you’re close to that’s desirable or what will drive people away.
You wouldn’t buy a shirt from Salvation Army if it was torn and had holes, right? Same thing goes for a house.
To be fair to your house, all houses will get a bit of wear and tear. That’s the natural life cycle of a house. But when you’re going on the housing market, you don’t want your house’s life cycle to show in the floors, the cabinets, or the walls.
On the housing market, the buyer wants to look at your house and see a fresh start. Help them to see it.
Prep Your House for the Housing Market
With that in mind, how do you get your house ready to go up for sale?
Plenty of people have probably also told you that it’s a pain. It’s not. It’s just a bit of work.
And if you need a few ideas on how to stage your house, we’ve got plenty of good ones to get you started.
Learn to Let Go
Before you pass Go and put your listing up, you have to learn to let go.
Your house is no longer yours. It’s like a cereal box: it’s something someone is looking to buy.
This means you need to let go of your emotions around your house. Be ready to do what you have to do to make it sing on the housing market.
Make your goodbyes to every room in the house. Then get ready to hand the keys over to someone else.
Then, take your stamp out of the house.
This means getting rid of family pictures, toys, family heirlooms, books on the bookcases. Anything that’s a personal possession that tells the story of your life in this house needs to get put away.
Because if someone sees your life in the house, they won’t be able to envision their life in the house. They’ll just be wondering what sort of people live here, like strangers snooping in your life.
To this end, it’s time to take out the trash. If you don’t need it or adore it, time to throw it away or donate it.
Clear your kitchen counters. Get your random knickknacks off the shelves. Any daily items can go in a storage box that you can put away when you aren’t using it.
Also, that chandelier that belonged to your grandma. Take it down.
It seems like a pain. But if you think of it as a head start on the packing you’ll have to do anyway, it’s actually multitasking.
Rearrange Storage Spaces
People are going to look in your closets.
If they open the door and see the place where you’ve shoved everything since you moved in ten years ago, they aren’t going to see a good storage space. They’re probably just cringing internally thinking of their own closets.
It’s not just a matter of snooping. Buyers want to see that they’ll have enough storage space if they live there.
Having ten spices fall out of the cupboard and hit them in the face isn’t exactly the abundant space message you want to send here.
Clean, Clean, and Keep Cleaning
If you have to hire someone to make the place sparkle, do it. It’s money well spent.
This is you showing off your house’s best angles. Getting your house ready for a first date, if you will. So you want that place to be spotless.
Wash the windows. Scrub the counters and floors. Dust every surface you can get your hands on. Bleach the grout. Clean (and scrub) the refrigerator. Polish the wood.
Clean until you’re vaguely afraid to touch anything for fear of getting fingerprints on it. Then your house is ready for the housing market.
Mind the Smells
You wouldn’t go on a first date with breath that smells like fish and onions.
So don’t leave your house smelling like the last thing you cooked in it. Or the trash. Or your cat. Or your small child.
This also applies to lesser smells that you’ve gotten used to and generally disregard. If anything, your house should smell like the soaps you used to clean it. Possibly with a hint of lemon.
Refreshing, in other words. Clean. Ready to be someone’s forever home.
This applies to fixing those leaks you’ve been ignoring in the faucets, but it also applies to things you wouldn’t readily think of as repairs.
Like, say, your paint colors. You might love eggplant. But you may not want to be “that house with the eggplant bedroom.” Neutral colors say that the room could become anything the buyer wants it to be.
If you need some remodeling ideas to get started, try these 10 residential remodeling tips to get started.
Ready to Sell Your House in Grapevine?
Great! We’re ready to help you do it.
If you’re ready to take the leap, click here to get started.
For more tips on how to get your house ready to rock the housing market, check out our blog for posts like why you should request a property valuation report.
You’re moving on to the next chapter of your life. We can’t wait to help make it a great one.