How to Get More Money When Selling Your House
It should be a simple process to sell a home in decent condition and gain some money beyond what was paid to purchase the home. Unfortunately, many homeowners are still finding it difficult to recover from a housing market that crashed years ago and left many with homes valued far under what they were purchased for.
“For some time we have been hearing from sellers that are not listing because they are worried they won’t be able to buy their next home in that market,” says Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson.
If your goal is to sell your home, you should never have to worry about whether or not the profits of your home’s sale will be enough to purchase a new house – or even upgrade to something appropriate for your family.
And if you’re trying to sell a home that came to you through inheritance or probate, you shouldn’t feel like you’re giving the property away.
In this article we’ll look at some key ways to get more money when selling your house as well as the best option to both sell your house fast without the hassle of a listing and still get a great offer.
1. Work With an Agent
There’s pros and cons to working with an agent or selling your home on your own as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO).
A lot of homeowners try to save money by skipping the 6% listing commission paid to agents when they do FSBO. But is it worth it?
According to data shared by the National Association of Realtors, the average FSBO home sold for $185,000. A 6% commission on that would be just over $11,000.
That seems like a savings until you consider that the average price of a home sold with a listing agent was $245,000. While a 6% commission on that is just over $14,000 that’s still a substantial difference in the net gain when the home finally sells.
It might be tempting to sell your home on your own and try to find a buyer in an effort to save money but there are numerous benefits to working with an agent if you choose to do a traditional listing.
Net gain aside, an experienced agent will:
- Advise you the best updates and repairs to make to attract your target buyer
- How to price your home based on local market data
- Use a slew of experience and resources to market your home and maximize visibility
- Negotiate the best possible price with the appropriate buyer once offers comes in
- Help you with managing the load of paperwork that comes with selling a home
Just be mindful that working with an agent and selling a house in general takes time. No matter how experienced they are they can’t make buyers and offers appear.
2. Pick Your Updates
Homeowners commonly get sucked into the idea that large investments and updates add substantial value to homes. While that’s not entirely false, it’s also not totally accurate.
If it were true, every house flipper would be making money hand over fist. Data shared by Money.com shows they’re not. In fact, a large-scale remodel has been shown to recoup far less on the investment than smaller, more-targeted projects.
That’s why it’s important to pick your updates carefully when selling your home.
Find a sweet spot between selling your home as-is and making a slew of updates. In the next segment we talk about focusing on aesthetics and visual updates but there are other minor updates you can make that can help boost perceived value and make your home look more attractive to buyers.
Most importantly, these aren’t updates that hide flaws. They’re legitimate visual updates that also update the functionality of a home. This includes:
- Replacing screens, doors, and your garage door
- Upgrading lighting and hardware throughout the home (including outlet covers)
- Replacing and updating faucets and knobs
- Updating the vanity of your bathroom
- Install basic smart home tech like a NEST thermostat, carbon monoxide detectors, or a visual doorbell system
And who says you have to buy brand new hardware? You can often find things like high quality ceiling fans and fixtures at home restores (think Habitat for Humanity stores) or places like Goodwill for a fraction of the new retail price.
Imagine buying a like-new ceiling fan (a popular item with home buyers) for $10 instead $300.
Even if you pay a handyman to install them, you’ll still pay less than retail.
These are all things that can have a big impact on a small budget.
3. Focus on Aesthetics
Home buyers are touring your home with their senses, especially their eyes. For this reason, you should put the emphasis on any updates you make to focus on aesthetics.
It might be tempting to completely gut your kitchen and bathroom to create a space that will absolutely wow potential buyers, but all you’re doing is shelling out more money, creating a longer wait to sell your home, and likely reducing the net profit from selling.
Instead, focus on aesthetics.
How a home looks has a huge impact on how many potential buyers walk through the door and how many make an offer after viewing the inside.
Instead of gutting your entire kitchen try resurfacing cabinets and updating hardware and the appliances.
Instead of replacing doors throughout the home, repaint them for a cleaner look.
You should also improve the curb appeal. A small investment of time and a little money on landscaping, pressure washing, and making the exterior of the home look warm and inviting can help improve the offers you receive on your home.
A well-landscaped home can sell for anywhere between 5 and 12.5% more than a home with no attention to the exterior.
4. Stage Your Property
It might surprise you to discover that 77% of buyers’ agents say staging a home makes it easier for the buyer to visualize your house as their future home. Not only will this help the buyer visualize a life there, it also reduces the time to close on real estate deals by several weeks.
But this piece is about getting more for selling your home.
While staging a home for sale is an investment, the potential profit is there. On average, staged homes earn around $3,400 more per offer than homes not staged. You don’t necessarily have to stage the entire home.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the most common rooms staged for selling a home are the living room, master bedroom, and the kitchen.
5. Create a Digital Footprint
When buying a car it’s common to ask for service and maintenance records to ensure it’s a sound purchase. You can create a digital footprint for your home that works in the same manner. Services like HomeZada allow you to digitally maintain all the records for your home in one place. This includes:
- All maintenance records
- Home updates
- Floor plans and alterations
- Warranty documents
- Appliance data and more
Providing this information lets buyers see, and fully appreciate, the work you’ve put into maintaining your home. They’re more likely to put in a bid, and less likely to try to negotiate far below your asking price.
6. Negotiate a Lease Option
Timing is a big part of getting the most for your home when you sell it. That’s why timing it to local market trends is important because – depending on where you live in Oklahoma – some months are never good for selling a home.
You also don’t want to get caught in the trap of taking the first offer that comes along because you’re in a rush to sell the property so you can quickly find your next home.
Negotiating a lease option can be beneficial in those circumstances. Instead of rushing to close and taking a lower offer, work a deal by making the sale of the home contingent on the buyer leasing the home back to you for a couple months once the deal closes.
This short lease option can give you room to breathe so you can take a little extra time to sell the home, then find the home you want without abruptly uprooting as quickly as possible.
7. Become a Landlord
This is probably the least attractive option if your goal is to sell your home fast. However, if you want to get more money from selling your home then this is one option to consider.
Homeowners who have a difficult time selling their property sometimes choose this option and it can be a lucrative one. Instead of selling, or leaving your home empty while you wait for it to sell, lease out the property and become a landlord.
This allows your home to generate revenue over whatever length of time between when you move out and when you finally decide to sell.
Alternatively, you can offer an option to purchase the property at the end of the lease if your tenants find they love the home and location and don’t want to move.
Just keep in mind that there are still costs associated with being a landlord. When tenants leave you’ll have to deal with cleaning and updates before new tenants can move in, background checks, and other overhead and maintenance fees that come up.
Some homeowners find it’s easier to work with a property management company to handle a property lease in the interim while they work on selling their home.
Sell Your Home Direct
If the idea of paying out of pocket for updates and giving away commissions on the sale of your home doesn’t sound appealing, there’s always the option to sell your home direct. As a property investment company, W Properties purchases homes for cash all over Oklahoma (especially around Tulsa and Oklahoma City). Rather than paying for expensive updates and waiting on offers, we buy your home as-is and give you a fair cash offer on your home.
Not only is it the fastest way to sell a house in Oklahoma, it’s the best way to keep all the money from the sale of your home without dealing with the hurdles (and delays) of a FSBO or traditional listing.
If you’re interested in selling your home fast and getting the most cash for your home, contact us today at (405) 673-4901 for more information.