What You Need to Know About Selling a Home in Seattle

Posted on: October 13, 2017

There’s no shortage of books and articles written about how to sell your home, each promising the most ROI if you follow their varied – and sometimes contradictory – advice. While no single book will have all of the answers you may have about how to sell your house, there are a few universal truths when it comes to putting your home on the market. There are also some niche truths many “how to sell your home” guide books overlook, such as how to sell your home in Seattle. Here, we’ll summarize some of those universal truths, as well as discuss Seattle-specific best practices to marketing your home.

Universal Truths

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of when you put your home on the market, due to both market factors and seasonal factors. If you list your home while the supply of homes for sale is low and while the number of buyers seeking a home in your price range is high, you can expect to sell both quickly and at a higher price point.
  • Similar to market factors, seasonal changes greatly impact a home’s worth. Notably, December is usually a slow month for real estate due to the holidays peppering the calendar. People don’t want to be in the market at this time; rather, they have to be – either for work, relocation, or any number of factors. As such, inventories tend to be lower on the selling side and buyers typically have a set time frame to buy a home, meaning the holidays can be one of the best times to put your house on the market.
  • First impressions start before the driveway. As a prospective buyer approaches your home, they’ll be imagining themselves driving up that driveway and walking through the front door from the moment your house comes in to view. That’s the true first impression, and therefore you’ll want to be sure your lawn is tidy, driveway cleared, and walkway to the front door clean and inviting. Then, these potential buyers will finally enter your home. To enhance the aesthetics and general mood of your home, let in as much natural light as possible for your temporary guests. You will also want to make sure that there isn’t clutter throughout the rooms. Often overlooked here is the kitchen: don’t assume that during an open house these prospective buyers won’t open various cabinets and closets, expecting them to be nice and tidy.
  • Try not to get carried away with renovations such as repainting the entire house or putting in new carpets. This can be a money sink where you think the investment will allow for a better sell price. This usually isn’t the case. If the buyer loves the home, they will get carried away and repaint, rip up the carpet and refinish the hardwood, and any number of other home improvements. If your carpet or walls are dirty, however, it usually is worth the cost of having them professionally cleaned – a much cheaper option than repainting, to be sure.

Seattle Specific

  • Homes are selling quickly. While it’s typical for them to be on the market for 45-90 days or more, houses in Seattle are spending on average just 25 days on the market.
  • Due to an influx of residents thanks to Seattle’s strong economy and employment giants such as Amazon and Starbucks, housing inventory is extremely low and buyer demand continues to rise. According to Attom Data, Seattle ranks third in the nation for highest average percent return on the previous purchase price at 56 percent.
  • It’s a good time to be a seller. One Real Estate agent, who has worked in Seattle for nearly 20 years, told CNN Money, “[If] you put a house on the market you will have 100 people through the open house on the weekend and maybe 15-20 offers”. Some sellers are putting a surprising lack of effort into their open houses and ignoring some universal truths, such as making sure the home is tidy, because they know they are in the driver’s seat as bidding wars become the new norm in Seattle.

Long story short, it’s a great time to put your house on the market in the Emerald City. If you’re considering selling your home, curious about what the market is like in your specific neighborhood, or are looking for a realtor to help you get the best price for your home, please contact us. Selling a home can be daunting, but we aim to make the experience as hassle-free for you as possible.

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