WHEN should I sell?
#1. When is the best time to sell? In Western Michigan, there are many factors that can play a part in winning the "statistical battle" to try to figure out when JUST the right time to list your home is, and identifying if there truly is a "bad time" to sell your property. These influences include home value, property size, and can also include other important factors such as specific areas, and the availability of acreage, waterfront, water access, etc.
Whatever the case, statistics show the facts are clear. While there are seasons that are statistically more likely to include a greater volume of homes sold, this is NOT the full picture.
In fact, the overall trend for sellers in Michigan to NOT sell in the winter months, actually creates a GREATER disparity between the amount of buyers seeking to relocate, and the amount of homes available on the market at that time. Remember, in the summer, while there may be more buyers in the hunt, there is undoubtedly going to be MANY more other listings competing for those buyers attention.
Ultimately, finding an agent that has the energy and experience to implement a strategy that is tailored to the timing that works best for YOU, is the win.
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ARE there still buyers looking for homes?
#2. Are there buyers out there?
The simple answer is, YES. The state of Michigan is estimated to have a housing unit shortage of over 150,000 units in the next ten years, and this number is projected to go up before it goes down. The reasons for this are many, but here are a few.
A. The cost of building has dried up the new construction demand, creating pressure on the pricing and availability of available housing.
B. Michigan is one of the most popular destinations for people moving out of urban areas due to factors related to the Covid-19 pandemic, along with other social-economic factors.
C. In national rankings, Western Michigan is one of the most affordable places to live, with the prices of housing well below the national averages.
D. Basically, Michigan ROCKS..but you already knew that
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SHOULD I find my next home BEFORE or AFTER I sell?
#3. How/when do I find myself a replacement home in this challenging market? This might be the question I get asked the most, and the answer is different with every seller. One thing is clear, there HAS to be a strategy in place. Is floating two mortgages an option? Can I place an offer on a home contingent upon selling mine? Can I sell mine and stay there after closing for a month or two, hoping the right home comes along? These questions and others are sure to enter your mind, and don't always have the answer you might think. HIRE. A. PROFESSIONAL. We know our market, and we know how to navigate these type of challenges to get you the win that you need. In the current market environment, it is more important than ever to have a solid plan before you take the plunge.
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WHAT SHOULD I fix or update before listing?
#4. Depending on the type of buyers you want to target (FHA, VA, RD, CONV, MSHDA, Etc) you will want to focus on sometimes seemingly minor items, such as railings, GFI's outlets, peeling paint, and so on. These are likely to be targeted by the appraiser during the appraisal process. If you are considering major updates, start with flooring, countertops, and paint. These are great bang-for-your-buck improvements to maximize the amount of space you are cleaning up, for the most efficient dollar-per-square-foot averages. DECLUTTER. Buy some plants/flowers to add a splash of color, and arrange your furniture to maximize your space. Most importantly, ask your agent what improvements should be made, specific to your listing.
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WHAT SHOULDN'T I fix/update before I list?
#5. This question is just as important to get right. I have seen SO much money wasted on improvements that ultimately did not give the seller a good return on their investment, and only marginally improved the saleability of the home. As a general rule of thumb, go NEUTRAL. Too much custimization will turn off many buyers, and cloud their vision of what THEIR furniture or family would look like inside of your home. Greys, tans, and clean chic fixtures and colors are usually a safe bet. Don't get caught up in dumping money into major bathroom/kitchen reno, these areas are especially difficult to get all of your money back out of. Be tastful, and REFRESH these areas, new hardware, paint, and a countertop update will greatly improve the look, but can be done at minimal cost.
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HOW do I pick the professionals I want to trust with my home sale and purchase?
#6. Statistics show that every adult in the US knows an average of 5 Realtors on a personal level. With so many options to choose, how do you pick?
DON'T make this choice lightly. The average agent in Michigan sells 8 homes a year. Combine this fact with the knowledge that 80% of Realtors quit the industry in the first 8 months, and you can see the picture. Only around 10% of the agents out there are FULL-TIME, TECH-SAVVY, and IN TOUCH with current market conditions. Take a look at Zillow, Google, Realtor.com. Read the reviews and research the past sales history of the agents you are considering, and make sure they have the experience in the area and the price range that you are selling in. Don't be shy about asking agents the TOUGH questions, and choose one who is confident and clear in their answers.
Marketing is HUGE. Video? Virtual Tour Technology? Open Houses? Professional Photos? If an agent is not utilizing these tools, you may want to keep looking. Set up interviews with 3-5 agents, and make the choice that best serves YOUR needs. Good Luck!
Thanks for reading! If there are any other questions I can help you address regarding buying or selling, I am a text, call, or Facebook message away. Click the contact link in the website, and I will get right back to you. Happy Selling! ~ The Broker Joe
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