The first step in selling a home is figuring out when the best time to list it is. Knowing the best month to list a home can shorten the amount of time it spends on the market, and reducing a listing’s “days on market” is critical because if a home sits on the market too long, it risks getting stale and possibly having to reduce the price.
In addition to finding the right launch point, there are also strategies sellers can engage to ensure a top-dollar sale, such as hiring the right real estate agent, taking advantage of market conditions, properly preparing the home before listing and learning expert negotiation tactics.
Many people think that the best time to sell a home is in the late spring and early summer, but in some markets, such as Miami and New Orleans, summer is actually a slower time for homeselling because buyers are on vacation, and it’s extremely hot.
In fact, looking at HomeLight data from 2014 to 2017, homes in New Orleans that were listed in September and sold in December, sold for 3.87 percent more than the yearly average.
And sellers who listed their homes in New Orleans in September sold them 8.4 days faster than if they had listed in any other month.
September also presents an opportunity for sellers for several other reasons. For example, the temperatures become more mild. Also children are in school, which can give buyers more time to schedule showings.
Being smart about selling
There’s a certain amount of preparation that goes into getting ready to sell, and according to Nicole Solari, a top 3 percent ranking real estate agent in Fairfield, California, the more sellers can do before they hit the market, the better.
Selling in September allows homeowners to take the summer to make upgrades and complete repairs essential to selling. Upgrading curb appeal doesn’t have to be hard. It can be as simple as replacing hardware like door knobs and the house number, planting gardens or flowers and doing a little painting. By September, all upgrades will have had time to take root.
Another way to get an edge on the market is to know how to negotiate. Negotiation happens well before and long after the initial bid. It’s every action and interaction.
Who better to teach the art of negotiation than FBI hostage negotiators? Whether trying to save a hostage or trying to save the sale, the following negotiation tactics apply:
- Active listening: Listen to the other side, and let them know you’re listening.
- Empathy: Get an understanding of where they’re coming from and how they feel.
- Rapport: Empathy is feeling. Rapport is reciprocating and earning trust.
- Influence: Once you’ve earned their trust, you’ve also earned the ability to work on problem-solving and recommending a course of action.
- Behavioral change: They act in a positive manner.
How can homesellers put that into action? By asking buyers or buyer’s agents open-ended questions and then tailoring the home to that specific buyer before the next showing.
For example, if the buyers have a baby on the way, sellers can mold a bedroom into a little nursery to allow the buyers to envision themselves living in that home.
If sellers speak the buyers’ emotional language, they’ll better sell the emotional value of the home.