How to Sell Your Home for More Money: 2024 Edition

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When it comes to selling a home, owners understandably want to maximize the value of their sale. While home prices continue to rise, high interest rates have winnowed the field of buyers and made them more discerning. In this challenging environment, how do you sell your home for more money?

Things have certainly gotten harder for sellers. With buyer expectations on the rise, homeowners must be strategic and informed to maximize their home’s value. The key lies in a combination of savvy marketing, smart home improvements, and effective pricing strategies. It’s about showcasing your home’s best features, making impactful updates, and leveraging market data to attract a wide range of potential buyers.

We’ll explore proven tactics to increase your home’s appeal and value, regardless of the market conditions. From minor cosmetic fixes to strategic renovations, and from staging techniques to marketing, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to not only sell your home but to sell it for a premium in today’s market.

Sell your house faster and for more

Thinking about selling soon? We’d be happy to introduce you to a few top local real estate agents. Our service is 100% free, with no catch. Agents don’t pay us to be listed, so you get the best match.

Choose the right time to list

Activity in the real estate market fluctuates throughout the year, and listing at the wrong time could cost you time and money. It could take more than the average 45 days (from listing to closing) to sell your house.

So, when is the best time to sell?

Nationally, April is the best time to sell, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best time to sell in your market. Factors like school schedules, vacation buyers, and the weather play a role in buyer demand.

To figure out the best time to list, you’ll have to do more than look at your calendar. First, you need to analyze market trends, which involves a lot of research and deciphering the data you’ve collected.

Using HomeLight’s Best Time to Sell Calculator takes these factors into consideration. Our calculator uses your market’s transaction data to pinpoint the best time to put your home on the market (and potentially get more money).

Hire a top agent

The best way to get more money for your house is to work with a real estate agent — specifically, a top agent in your area. At HomeLight, we’ve learned that working with the right agent can significantly impact your bottom line. Our data shows that across the United States, the top 5% of real estate agents sell homes for as much as 10% more than the average agent.

So, when you’re researching local agents, a key statistic you’ll want to pay attention to is their sale-to-list ratio. This ratio indicates how accurately they price homes and how much of the seller’s asking price they deliver. The higher their sale-to-list ratio is, the better they are at getting more money for your house.

Be sure to interview at least a few agents to make sure that you and your agent are aligned on any number of factors important to you. We’ve compiled a list of important questions to ask here.

Make cost-effective upgrades and repairs

A pre-listing inspection isn’t required, but it’s in your best interest to have one done if you’re trying to get the most money you can for your property. On average, a pre-listing inspection costs around $340, but it can vary depending on market conditions, size of the home, age of the home, and location.

Minor problems like a leaking faucet or a door that doesn’t close right don’t impact your property’s value. But, you don’t know what hidden problems the buyer’s home inspection could reveal. If there are serious issues, the buyer could walk away entirely.

Examples of issues found during an inspection:

  • Plumbing: Major leaks, corroded pipes, water pressure, clogged drains/toilets
  • Electrical: Frayed wires, ungrounded connections, overloaded junction boxes
  • HVAC: Pilot or ignition malfunction, broken thermostat, blown fuses, unusual noises
  • Roof: Leaking roof, damaged flashing, missing or broken shingles
  • Foundation: Cracks, settling/sinking, gaps around window frames and entryway doors
  • Safety: No GFCI outlets or no smoke/carbon dioxide detectors

In terms of upgrades, we recommend choosing projects with a high return on investment.

Examples of improvements with the highest ROI include:

Deep clean and declutter

Did you know that if you deep clean and declutter your house, your home’s sale value could increase by an average of $8,000? That sounds crazy, but when you think about it, it’s pretty apparent why. Buyers don’t want to buy a dirty, cluttered house. It’s as simple as that.

As you’re cleaning, you should go through all your stuff and cull the excess. The name of the game here is to remove the personal touches and clutter so that you’re presenting a home that buyers can see themselves living in, and not you.

Note: Don’t forget to clean and declutter outdoors, too. It will improve your curb appeal — making a great first impression and drawing in more buyers.

Don’t overprice

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when selling their homes is pricing them too high. Even if you invest a bunch of money on repairs and upgrades, your home will only be valued for so much.

Appraisers go by what the numbers tell them, not by how impressive your upgrades are, so they’ll evaluate your home against nearby comps to determine your home’s appraised value.

To come up with an accurate price, your real estate agent will prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA). This analysis compares recent sales of homes similar to yours in location, size, condition, and features. Based on that CMA, your agent will help set a realistic price that won’t turn off would-be buyers.

Market effectively

When a house is professionally staged, people will see your house in all its glory — with the right accents, decor, and furniture. Buyers can envision themselves living in your home without getting distracted by your design style, photographs, and clutter.

Once the house is staged, a professional photographer will take photos of your house to show off the best features. They know how to choose angles that flatter a space without making the room look awkward. In addition, they’ll eliminate dark shadows by filling the room with as much light as possible, either by opening the curtains or using professional lighting setups.

Along with staging and professional photographs, you’ll want to talk to your agent about how they’ll market your home. Will they rely solely on the MLS, or will they use social media, too? Are they going to have open houses, or is that off the table? Besides a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn, will they mail out postcards or put an ad in the local newspaper? All these things matter, and a top agent will have a stellar marketing strategy.

Be prepared to negotiate

Once the offers start rolling in, you need to be willing to negotiate on some things and know when to stand firm. A buyer is looking for any chance to lower the price, especially after the home inspection. While you may want to say no to the buyer’s requests, you need to be willing to compromise; otherwise, buyers will dig in their heels and ultimately result in a stalemate. As with most aspects of the home selling process, a top agent will have experience in this area to help you sell your home for more money.

Connect with a Top Agent

It takes just two minutes to match clients with the best real estate agents, who will contact you and guide you through the process. To connect with an agent, simply tell us a little bit about your property (single-family, condo, townhouse, mobile home, commercial, or vacant lot) and how soon you’re looking to sell.

Maximize your home’s value

Your home is very likely your most valuable asset, so, understandably, you’d want to get as much money as you can for it when you sell. You’ve spent years taking care of your little slice of the world, and who knows how much money you’ve poured into it.

Working with a top agent is key to knowing how to sell your house for more money. They can walk you through the ins and outs of selling your house, increasing its value, and much more. They’ll talk you out of overpricing your house or making unnecessary repairs that won’t give you a high return on your investment.

Your home doesn’t need to be the best or best-priced property on the market; it just needs to be able to compete with the homes nearby. So, if your neighbor has a comparable house to yours but they’ve upgraded their kitchen and bathrooms and invested in professional staging, then you’ll need to do at least as much as your neighbor has done if you want to maximize value.

Header Image Source: (Erik Mclean / Unsplash)