Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, our kids are finally able to GET. OUT. SIDE…and the real estate market is going absolutely crazy with activity.  New listings are getting locked up in hours, not days or weeks, and if you’re not one of the first buyers in the door on something new there’s a good chance that someone else is going to make your buying decision for you.  Properties have never been worth more, and it’s a great time to be selling your house, no question about it.  Making an in-absolutely-no-way-sensationalized analogy, it’s the wild west of real estate right now, and sellers are cleaning up.  No matter what market you’re in though, selling a home still has challenges, they just may be a little less obvious in a great market rather than a bad one because there’s enough money flying around that it’s easy to lose track of the most important thing: MAXIMIZING your bottom line.

It’s certainly easy to put a house on the market and have it sell right now.  As long as it’s not literally falling down, getting to the closing table is almost a virtual lock.  This is why we’ve seen growth in companies such as Redfin and ibuyer platforms like Opendoor (and now Zillow), because when there’s an abundance of low hanging fruit—equity/eager buyers for sellers, and eager sellers for corporations—there’s always going to be someone there to pick it.  Instead of going too far down a rabbit hole though, let’s switch gears and discuss how YOU, intrepid home seller, can make sure that you’re not just showing up to pick that low hanging fruit, but that you’re really ready to take advantage of what this market is offering and take your bottom line from good to great.  We call that, the lowest-hangingest-bestest fruit…or something like that.

So, since you’re almost definitely going to sell your house for more than you thought possible a couple years ago, and that’s not in question, what is in question?  Well, as I see it, four basic things:

Take your time and do it right 
Don’t rush getting a house on the market just because you want that closing check in your hands a few days sooner.  If you rush the pre-listing prep you don’t get a redo after putting the house on the market, and by the time you figured out that something is wrong you’ve already blown through your most impactful time on market right after listing.  Too many sellers do this and ultimately they just end up hurting themselves by limiting their ceiling and not maximizing their value, even if their house sells quickly.  Do it right, get it staged, and make sure that all the little odds and ends are buttoned up.  After all, you’d pay more for a house that’s all dressed up for the ball, and so will your buyers.

Be strategic about pricing
If you price it reasonably (for the market, which may still seem high), and let the market determine your ceiling you’ll create an environment where there’s more interest, more competition, and more leverage for you.  No one wins by doing “price high and pray” method, you just dilute competition and thin out your potential buyer pool.  This also opens you up to potentially a long listing where your negotiating leverage dwindles.  In short, just don’t do it.

Bring in the traffic and capitalize on competition
Simple.  Get as many people in the property as possible, as quickly as possible.  You’ve got a great product and you’ve priced it well, so now it’s just a matter of showing it off to the world.  How do we do that?  A mix of sources and methods, but the key is saturating the marketplace with exposure.  Each offer increases your leverage and improves your chances at dictating terms significantly.

Negotiate hard
Negotiations are all about leverage.  Who has it, who doesn’t, and how well each party understands their position.  Remember, you’re in a SELLERS MARKET.  If you’ve executed the first three items on this list well then hopefully you’re able to be a little stingy and use the leverage of the market to your advantage.  If you find yourself with multiple offers then be strategic and figure out if there’s one buyer that you can push to squeak out a little bit better price, better timelines, or whatever else that matters to you.  That little bit extra can be the difference between good and great, just know where the line is and don’t push too hard.

So there you go, that’s selling your place in a nutshell.  If you execute each of these points at a high level then you’ll put yourself in the best possible position to not just sell in a good market, but to take advantage of a great market.  Let us know if you want to take a deeper dive into what this looks like!