Let’s follow up the lament over the lack of listings we posted last month with some practical, data-based tips for the homeowners out there who have decided to take advantage of today’s seller-skewed market.
Here are the top five most important things you can do to maximize your sale price, minimize your time on market, and maximize your chance of selling.
- Price your home right the first time
- Use professional photos on your listing
- List your home on Thursday or Friday
- List your home before June
- List your home with a Redfin agent
Price Your Home Right the First Time
Pricing your home right from the day it hits the market will ensure that you grab the attention of all the potential buyers of your home, all at the same time. The week that a listing goes on the market, it receives nearly four times more visits on real estate websites than it does a month later.
A common mistake many sellers make is attempting to employ a “test-the-waters” strategy with an unrealistic price, thinking that they can always lower the list price later to attract more attention. This does not work. Even when a listing agent lowers the price or removes the listing from the market and re-lists it, the listing gets less than half the attention that it did on its debut.
Use Professional Photos on Your Listing
We analyzed over 100,000 listings, comparing the final sale price to the original list price for homes with photos shot with a point-and-shoot camera vs. those with photos shot with the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera favored by professionals. The results were dramatic. Across every price tier, homes with DSLR photos sold for considerably closer to their list price than those with point-and-shoot photos. In the end, sellers made $5,700 more for a home priced between $400,000 and $500,000 when they used DSLR photos.
List Your Home on Thursday or Friday
Most home buyers look at homes online throughout the week and go out to see homes in person on the weekend. Average daily website traffic on Redfin is 20% higher on weekdays than over the weekend, and traffic on Fridays is 29% higher than Sundays. If your home hits the market on the weekend or early in the week, there’s a good chance potential buyers might see something they like more before they get around to seeing homes on the weekend. If you list on Thursday or Friday, you are fresh in their mind when they’re making plans with their agent to go see homes, giving you the best chance of finding a buyer quickly who will fall in love with your home and give you the best price.
An analysis of over half a million listings that came on the market throughout 2012 across the country bears this out, with homes listed on Thursday and Friday selling closest to their original price and having the best chance of selling.
For a home listed for $400,000, the difference between listing on a Sunday and listing on a Friday could be a sale price $2,800 higher. That’s a pretty good payday.
List Your Home Before June
Similarly, there are some months that are better than others for sellers. Homes listed in April sell for 99.2% of their original price, versus just 97.3% for homes listed in December—a $7,600 difference on a $400,000 home. As you might expect, sale performance improves dramatically through the first half of the year, then drops off after June:
If you can, it’s definitely best to list your home before summer. March through June also had the largest percentage of homes that were successfully sold within 90 days—homes listed in March were over 70% more likely to sell than those listed in November
List Your Home with a Redfin Agent
Self-serving? Yes. But is it true? Yes!
We analyzed 744 homes listed by Redfin agents in 2012. We compared each Redfin listing to an average of 22 nearby comparable homes listed by other agents, for a total of over 16,000 listings analyzed.
The results were clear. Redfin listings:
- Sold 6 days faster than the competition.
- Sold for $2,700 more (median) than the competition.
- Were 12% more likely to sell than the competition.
Even as the market has heated up considerably over the past year, Redfin agents still outperformed their peers, delivering better, faster results to our clients. They did all that while charging $8,500 less in commissions than traditional agents.
Whatever you do, and whichever agent you choose to represent you, if you’re thinking of selling your home, don’t just snap a few quick pics and slap it up on the MLS at at an unrealistic price. Put some thought into the process, follow these tips, and you’re certain to be much happier with the result. For even more insights check out Redfin’s Home Selling Guide.