Should I Sell My House Now? Your Guide to Getting Top Dollar for Your Home
Thinking about selling your home? The market is the hottest seller’s market we’ve seen in a long time in many areas of the US, but especially here in Western Washington.
Sellers have been getting 10, 20, even up to 30 offers on their property, driving up their property price significantly. If your neighbors have all started moving, it’s likely due to the great market, not a desire to leave town as soon as possible. Sellers are getting great deals with no home inspection and no appraisal contingency. They’re moving across town or out of state having made a big profit, so why wouldn’t you want in on that good fortune?
The Pandemic Has Boosted the Washington Market
Back in March 2020, we were all wondering if home values were going to drop. Everybody was worried about what would happen to the price of their home, and sellers were worried they needed to sell before there was a big price drop. Now, in April 2021, so much has changed, and current house values are through the roof. We in Kitsap County have never seen prices higher.
There’s a lot to consider when putting your home on the market. The process of selling your home can be stressful, but it helps to have an experienced Kitsap County real estate agent in your corner. If you want to ensure you get the best return on investment for your home, read on, as I’ll share my top 5 tips to help you do just that.
Should I Sell My House? 5 Things to Consider if You Want Top Dollar
Before you get the ball rolling with your sale, make sure you understand exactly what you need to do to get the most successful sale. Don’t leave a penny on the table, even in a crazy market like this. Here are five important things you need to think about before selling your home:
- Ask yourself if you have somewhere to go.
Okay, so it’s pretty likely you’ve thought about this at least to some degree, but think about it seriously. What’s the goal here? It’s totally okay to move because you want to make a good return on investment, but you need a game plan. Are you:
- Planning to move away to a different market?
- Planning to move to a bigger/smaller home nearby? Remember that the market is likely hot there, too, so you may not see the benefit of your ROI unless you’re smart. If you want to move within Western Washington to another up-and-coming area, talk to me – I can help advise you on somewhere that’s a good investment as well as being somewhere you’ll enjoy living.
- Are you going to move into a VRBO or Airbnb for a few months until you decide for sure where you’re going to go?
- Go and stay with family until you find somewhere else to live?
- Rent for a while?
- Go traveling?
The most important part of this process is to get all this figured out before the home goes on the market, and then also have a plan B and even a plan C just in case you need it. Because once that home hits the market, things will move f-a-s-t.
- Be ready for things to get a little crazy.
The minute you start showing your home, it will be nonstop. From sunup-til-sundown, there will be people walking through. You’ll have to stack the appointments and make sure there’s time for buyers to see, which could mean you get 30 or 40 appointments in a weekend.
Then the offers will start to roll in. There may (hopefully!) be 10, 15, or 20 offers to work through. And you may find that once you get the property under contract, that suddenly there’s buyer’s remorse, and your buyer has pulled out of the deal, and you’ll have to contact the other bidders or start all over.
It may be frustrating and even exhausting, but in the end, when you finally close, it’ll be worth it.
- Is the house ready?
You can do plenty of things to the home to get you a few more dollars, from cleaning and landscaping to painting and even changing out floors. Maybe it’s something a little more dramatic, but there are usually a few odds and ends you can do to maximize your dollar. Here, we’re talking about the physical structure, but what about intangibles, like a title to the home? You want to make sure there aren’t any tax liens or clouds or code violations. Be sure to get those things sorted out before the home goes under contract. You don’t want to be straightening that out when the home is under contract, so make sure the home is completely ready.
- Have you talked to your financial advisor or your CPA about selling the house?
If you’re not careful, you could end up with a big income tax bill. So run the numbers by your CPA or financial advisor.
For income taxes, the relevant section is section 121, which is the exclusion for single people of $250,000. And for those who are married, it’s an exclusion of $500,000. That’s free money you can put straight in your pocket. Anything above that will be taxed, which is why it’s important to run through the numbers with the appropriate professional. The other thing to bear in mind is property taxes because if you move into a bigger house, you’ll be paying more.
- Have you hired the best real estate agent you can?
You need somebody who has the tools and the experience to manage the process to make sure you end up with the highest quality buyer who’ll pay the most money and then get it under contract quickly.
You need an expert real estate agent to help you get your property across the finish line and get you out the other side with the most money possible. If you work with a real estate agent like me, they’ll also make sure that the first 4 points have been considered properly, so you won’t lose money or find yourself making a mistake that could have been easily avoided.
Prices Won’t Drop Soon, But the Market May Cool Off
As a Kitsap County real estate agent that knows the Western Washington market like the back of my hand, I don’t expect prices to drop anytime soon. We may see a slowdown in the increase in values, and I wouldn’t be surprised if affordability hits a ceiling and fewer people are able to outbid, but prices won’t drop significantly.
There’s also a chance that we’ll get some sort of minor flood of inventory. I don’t expect it to come from foreclosures, but there could be a case where a lot of folks see the prices their neighbors are getting and decide it’s time for them to sell.
If we get some more inventory, that could lead to prices stagnating, the other thing is interest rates going up. This could also reduce demand and the amount that buyers can pay. So if you are considering selling, this is one of the best times ever to do that, but it is up to you to make that decision.
I’m Here to Help
If you decide that this is a good time for you to sell, you need an expert in your corner. I have the process dialed in, and I can make the transition as smooth as possible.
I’m Ledeana Strand, an experienced Western Washington real estate agent that has lived in and loved the area for many years. My aim is to help you sell your home in Kitsap County faster and for more money. I can help you find and buy the perfect home with less hassle, so why not reach out to me today? You can call, email or text me with any questions you have, even if you’re only just starting to think about putting your home on the market.