How to Sell Your Home for More Money: 7 Proven Tips
It's come time to list your property for sale. Like most homeowners, you'd like to sell the home quickly, easily, and for the highest price. In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at the factors that impact your home's sale price and cover the seven best ways to sell your home for more money.
This article is an extension of how to sell a house.
What Makes a House Sell for More Money?
In real estate, there are a lot of factors that affect a home's value and sales price. There could be two identical homes, but if they're in different locations, in different conditions, or marketed differently, their sales prices could be hundreds of thousands of dollars different.
The specific factors affecting your home's value will depend on your local market. However, in general, the factors that will most heavily impact the price of your home are:
- The real estate market (your home will sell for different prices if it's a seller's market vs. a buyer's market)
- Location of your home
- Your home's features (the size, style, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.)
- The condition of your home (Clean vs. cluttered, updated vs. needing improvement, vacant vs. staged)
- Listing marketing strategies
You'll notice that many of the most impactful ways to sell a house for the most money are not easily changed. For example, you can't change the real estate market or your home's location. While you can change the size of your home, it requires a significant time and financial investment.
However, you can massively impact your home's sales price with a few strategic decisions and the right expertise.
7 Tips to Increase Your Profits When Selling Your House
1. Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
Everyone in the country knows a real estate agent - in fact, you probably have multiple friends and family members who'd like to list your house for sale. However, even though your cousin Joe might be licensed to help buy and sell houses, you may want to think twice before hiring him.
Not all real estate agents have the work ethic, education, connections, and marketing skills to get the maximum value out of a home. If selling your house for the maximum price is a priority to you, then find a real estate agent or broker who specializes in listings.
If you are a real estate agent looking for more listing clients, make sure you know how to show potential clients exactly how you sell homes for the best price. Learn how by reading how to market yourself as an agent.
On the other hand, some homeowners attempt to maximize profits by listing their house For Sale By Owner (FSBO). This is appealing because you won't have the 3% listing fee taken out of your profits (although if the buyer works with an agent, you will still pay 3%). However, we recommend doing serious research before taking this route. In 2020, FSBO homes sold for $77,100 less than agent-assisted homes (National Association of Realtors). Studies show that FSBO homes often do not receive the additional profit they hoped for.
2. Make Strategic Repairs and Improvements
The condition of your home is one of the most important factors of your sale price. If you've lived in your home for many years and took great care of things over time, it should be easy to list a clean, beautiful, upgraded home.
If that is not the case and you don't have a flexible timeline and thousands of dollars to do renovations, then you can take a more strategic approach to your home improvements.
Focus on obvious repairs and upgrades that need to be done and can be done quickly like light fixtures, landscaping, or adding a fresh coat of paint. To get the best return on your spending, talk to a Realtor® or home appraiser about what buyers want in a home in your area.
3. Time Your Sale Appropriately
The real estate market might be the single most important factor in determining the sale price of your home. Even if you're selling a perfect home (which is very unlikely), listing it at the wrong time can significantly decrease the price.
According to Zillow, the best time to sell a house for the maximum price is in July. However, this depends on your location, so make sure you talk to a real estate professional to get the most accurate information.
The best times to list a property in different cities via Zillow
4. Set Your Home at The Right Price
As a homeowner, it's difficult to determine the right price for your home without extensive knowledge of your area, your home, and your local real estate market. You can use an online home value tool, but the best way to determine the best price of your home is to consult a professional.
If you price your home lower than it ought to be priced, you are more likely to receive multiple offers and have a quick sale. However, you will leave money on the table.
If you price your home higher than it ought to be priced, it's more likely to sit on the market for an extended period of time. Over time, buyers will actually become skeptical of a house that sits on the market and doesn't sell, which makes it much more difficult - or impossible - to maximize your profits.
In addition, listing too high can cause you to miss out on buyers who are only searching for homes up to a particular price point. Oftentimes, buyers will offer more money if there's high demand for a home, but they won't go visit a home if it's too far off of their ideal price point.
5. Market the Listing
Many homeowners and even real estate agents simply wait for showing appointments and offers after publishing a listing, but this is only half the battle when you want to sell your home for the most money.
Marketing your listing means getting it in front of more qualified buyers. While marketing a listing won't affect the actual appraised value of the home, it can be the difference between tens of thousands of dollars (or much more).
Read our in-depth guide on all the ways to successfully market a listing and maximize profits.
6. Take Professional Real Estate Photos
It's somewhat obvious that homes with better photos are more attractive to buyers. Would you be thrilled to walk through a home with pictures like these?
Example of poor listing photos via Craigslist
Of course not! But let's look at more common and more realistic listing photos. Which garage would you be more excited about owning?
We can almost guarantee that you'd be more excited by the second image - and here's the key - and willing to pay more for it.
Studies show that homes with clear, high-quality images sell 32% faster and for more money. Real estate photography is an investment worth making. Whether you invest your time in order to learn how to take clear and bright photos or you hire a real estate photographer, you'll see the sales price of the home increase.
7. Stage the Home
According to Forbes, staged houses sell for 17% more money than vacant houses or non-staged houses, and sell 87% faster. This is not a step you can afford to skip if you're truly focusing on selling a home for the maximum price.
However, traditional home staging can be a problem for a variety of reasons - for one, the average cost of home staging is $6,000 (Home Advisor). Plus, it takes weeks to meet with a stager, plan the design, have the homeowners move out of the house, set up the furniture and decor… all to remove it all at the end.
If you're selling a home and trying to squeeze the absolute most profit out of it with as much simplicity as possible, virtual staging is the obvious solution. For as little as $29 per photo and in 24 hours or less, you'll have beautiful, staged photos that attract buyers, create demand, and drive up your home's sales price.
Learn more about what virtual staging is, or learn exactly how virtual staging sells houses.
FAQs: How to Increase the Sale Price of Your House
Why didn't my house sell?
If you already listed your house for sale and failed to receive a satisfactory offer, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Was the asking price fair?
- Could the condition of the home be improved (cleaned, repaired, upgraded)?
- Were the listing photos clear, bright, and staged?
- Were there enough listing photos?
- How well was the listing marketed?
- Did your agent market or advertise the property?
By answering these questions honestly (or getting answers from a professional), you'll likely find the primary reason why your listing expired the first time.
Do staged homes sell for more money?
The short answer is yes. You can read studies by Forbes, the National Association of Realtors®, Homelight, and more. Staged homes universally attract more showings and more offers than non-staged homes.
What's the best way to sell an empty house?
Empty rooms tend to look smaller than they actually are, and they make it difficult for interested buyers to form an emotional connection with the home. In short, the best way to sell an empty house is with virtual staging. You can show the full potential of any space, attract more buyers, and create demand - all within 24 hours. Try it today!