If you are considering selling your home, you already have the upper hand in the Knox County real estate market.
Sales are skyrocketing and supply cannot be replenished quickly enough. This means that sellers can set terms and make money with their homes.
But you have to know what to do to capitalize on the wild market.
“I think no matter how much advice you give a seller on how the process is going to go, no one really knows what that looks like until you’ve experienced it,” said Laura Slyman, owner of Slyman Real Estate .
Realtors spoke to Knox News about what sellers need to know to prepare for the process.
Make these upgrades first
Sellers shouldn’t neglect to make improvements to increase a home’s value just because they think it will sell anyway, said Jeff Grebe, broker and owner of Weichert Realtors in Knoxville.
“Don’t rush into the market. Have a professional appraisal of the things you can do to put your house in a better position to show it off better and sell it for a higher price,” Grebe told Knox News.
Start off on the right foot with the list
The appearance of your home online is more important than ever, especially because it’s the first, if not the only, place a buyer can see your home before bidding.
Sellers should ensure that there are high quality photos of the homes before they are put on the market. Many listings also feature 3D tours of the homes, which can help buyers visualize the space.
Know what’s next for you
Sellers are buyers too, so they face the same difficulties in finding housing as anyone else in the market. Whether you’re planning to move into another home, build your own, or live in temporary accommodation, know where you’ll go after your home is sold.
It may sound simple, but home hunting is difficult for everyone right now. Plan for slower-than-expected processes and have a backup plan if finding another place to stay takes too long or becomes too expensive.
Set your starting price
One of the most important decisions sellers must make is to set an asking price. Although Knoxville is a sellers’ market, no price will work, Grebe told Knox News.
“You want to be a bit ahead of the market, but you also want to set it at the level where you create enough business that you can sell above the list,” said Grebe. “It’s a little tricky sometimes. But having a pulse in the market, really paying attention to the wait and what houses are selling can help.”
Slyman agreed, saying price adjustments are happening faster in Knoxville than in other cities. A good rule of thumb is to weigh how many people are looking at the house versus the number of buyers who are bidding. If sellers see more interested people than offers, they should consider adjusting the price of their property.
Ready, ready, show!
What many sellers don’t realize is how much activity they are likely to have as soon as their home goes up for sale. In many cases, homes are only on the market for a few days, or even a day, before an offer is accepted.
Remember to move away completely, as houses can be occupied 24 hours a day.
“Go to the mountains or take the kids to Grandma’s,” said Grebe. “Do whatever you need to do to escape, being there can be a lot more stressful.”
More than money
Money isn’t the only thing that matters when selling a home.
Sometimes conditions or the buyers themselves can influence a seller. If you’re still looking for a home or waiting for a builder, it might be worth taking a lower offer if you can make a deal to live longer in your home.
Some sellers are also concerned about buyers’ plans for the property after it has been sold. For example, if you are selling a farm that has been in your family for generations, you may come into contact with a buyer who is considering using the land.
Grebe also cautions sellers against the highest bid to avoid complicating factors if a valuation doesn’t match.
“There are agents who are pretty savvy. They’re going to throw a really high price there, based on the appraisal. Then, once it’s not appraised, they’ll try to renegotiate once all the other buyers will have been eliminated, ”says Grèbe. “That’s why it’s important to watch every buyer, not just the dollar signs.”