They say that everything’s bigger in Texas, and the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area’s housing market is no exception. Texas Realtors Q2 2019 Report showed a year-over-year increase in home sales by 1.2%, with an impressive 29,740 homes sold! But, the competition got bigger too.
Active listings increased 13.7%, meaning there were 3,569 additional DFW homes on the market than the same time just one year prior. So how do you make your most prized possession stand a chance of out-shining the steadily increasing competition? A top DFW real estate agent, for starters.
We’ve spoken to some of the top agents in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, from McKinney down to Arlington, and everywhere in between. They’ve shared some of their tried-and-true industry secrets that every Texan home seller should know.
In true Texas style, these agents have big numbers to back their advice, with a combined total of 4,913 transactions to date between them. Here’s what they had to say about selling a home in Dallas.
Choose a neutral paint color that best matches your home’s palette.
Christie Cannon at Keller Williams Realty
Christie is a SFH expert, having sold 67% more single family homes than the average Frisco agent.
“Homes can have either warm palettes or cool palettes. If you have a warm palette in your home right now, such as warmer woods or warmer oak cabinets in your kitchen, match that palette with a warmer shade of neutral paint, rather than a cool shade. We recommend Versatile Gray by Sherwin-Williams as one of our go-tos. It’s kind of a khaki gray; it’s warm and neutral.
“Depending on the house, we even recommend going back to basics. If you’ve got great big rooms, for instance, you can select white paint for your neutral color—white baseboards, white walls—and then add a color-flash wall.
“As far as matching paint colors to your furniture, people aren’t buying your furniture, they’re buying your house. Go with a neutral color that’s going to go with most fabrics and tones.”
Select an agent to be a consultant, not just a salesperson.
Seychelle Van Poole at Keller Williams Realty
Seychelle is an Investor Specialist and has 1,011 transactions under her belt.
“There are a lot of new and innovative companies that have entered the market in the last 24 to 36 months that help sell your home differently than a traditional sale. There are also a ton of builder move up programs and our team works exclusively with builders. Our job is to make sure that we’re evaluating all of those different opportunities and work as consultants for our clients.
“We recently had one client initially go directly to home investors for an offer on his home before talking to a Realtor. Once he came to us, we took that exact same home and bid against seven different investors for him, netting out $35,000 more than if he had taken the first investor offer he had.
“So don’t assume your Realtor can only help you in a traditional buy and sell manner on the MLS. Ask them, instead, what options are available to help either sell for the most amount of money, save the most amount of money when buying a new home, or minimize the hassle in selling—whatever’s important to you.”
Touch up your counterspaces and keep mildew out of your home with fresh caulk.
Tanya Endicott at Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty
Tanya is a SFH expert, having sold 79% more single family homes than the average McKinney agent.
“Every house I go into, I check the caulking. Because you don’t want to have mildew growing there. It’s just a natural thing that happens in our area over time, but fresh caulk will cost you just $3 to $5, and it’s something that you can do to make your bathroom or kitchen look newer. It also ensures that no water is getting behind your tiles.”
Get a pre-inspection to give buyers a clear picture of your home’s condition.
Susan Melnick at Virginia Cook, Realtors
Susan has sold 83% more properties than the average Dallas agent and has over 34 years experience.
“Get a pre-inspection before you list your home. In Texas, 1 out of every 3 home sales is new construction. So then when the homebuyer goes out and begins looking for a home, they compare the older homes to new homes.
“If a seller chooses to get a pre-inspection, it’s not to say that a seller has to fix every single thing, but they can have more control over what repairs they decide to make before listing the home to get the best price possible. It will eventually come up in the buyer’s inspection, and at that point the buyer may walk away or not want to pay the original top list price. A pre-inspection can help avoid these scenarios.”
Create a welcoming outdoor space with simple staging techniques.
Pamela Lewis at Ebby Halliday, Realtors
Pam is a certified residential specialist and has sold 65% more properties than the average Plano agent.
“Buyers love outdoor living spaces right now. Covered patios, pergolas, that sort of thing. Enhance that space. Make it pretty out there. Don’t just have a grill. Put together an outdoor living space if you can.
“Try to create a little ambiance in the backyard. Even a couple of chairs, a table, and a plant will help an open patio. Something that draws the eye out so that it’s not just a vacant space. Create a feeling that you could see yourself sitting out there.”
Focus your marketing dollars on your pool or other special home feature to capture the right buyer.
Renee Kolar at Keller Williams Realty
Renee has sold 66% more properties than the average Fort Worth agent and holds over 33 years experience.
“When you have a house with a pool, that’s where the majority of your marketing dollars are going to point to. Statistics show only about 50% of the market want a pool at all, so we really want to make sure that we’re targeting those people.
“On the MLS, I feature the front of the house as the first picture because I want people to recognize the house when they drive by, and then I want to really target those areas of the house that I think are going to sell it the most and if it’s got a pool, that’s what it’s going to be.”
“As for the photography, if there’s a larger property with 1-3 acres, we use drone photography to help people visualize what that looks like. If it’s just a home in a traditional subdivision, we may just use some professional photos and videography because a drone may not capture what you’re looking for. Depending on the property, we also sometimes do morning or evening photos that might include a sunrise or sunset. Anything specific to that property that might make it more special than something else”
Use these simple, inexpensive bathroom staging hacks to maintain a show-ready environment.
Dalton Carroll at Keller Williams- Arlington
Dalton earned the 2018 Best of HomeLight Award for being in the top 1% of agents in his area and sells homes 50% faster than his peers.
“In the bathroom, you want to clear off the countertops completely, except for maybe a soap dispenser. And then, for everything else, you can just go buy a small caddy from Target. Your toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, all those other things you can throw in the caddy and put underneath the sink or in a linen closet every morning when you’re done getting ready. You also want to put everything you typically keep in the shower, like shampoo, conditioner, and soap in the caddy to avoid the shower looking cluttered. That is a huge hack that makes it not only convenient but also keeps the home staged and ready for showings.
“Another thing is if you have a glass door on your shower and you don’t already have a squeegee, you should invest in one. Every time you take a shower, squeegee off the glass to keep it looking clean and neat. You do this because the more well-maintained your bathroom is, the more your buyers are going to think your entire home is well taken care of.”
Find a committed buyer quickly with a strong first impression.
Jordan Davis, of The Davis Team at Keller Williams Realty
Jordan is a top-selling Arlington agent, having sold 67% more properties than the average agent.
“We’re seeing an influx of inventory and, especially in South DFW, way fewer multiple offer situations. Buyers have longer to make more choices, so you need to do those touch-ups like repair wood rot and fix fence posts before you list. Buyers are getting pickier and deciding not to choose a home because of those small things. And even when we come back and say that the seller is willing to do the repairs, they’ve moved on because they have more options.
“Additionally, pair professional photography with professional staging because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Replace visually worn-out flooring before you list.
Ryan Cave, of the Cave Realty Team at Keller Williams Realty
Ryan has over 18 years experience and sells homes 54% faster than the average Allen agent.
“The number one thing that turns buyers off when it comes to flooring is when it’s showing a lot of wear. It can be hardwoods that are really scratched up, or tiles that have chips from heavy objects being dropped on them. It ages the home instantly and makes buyers think, ‘If I can see these problems, what are the problems I can’t see?’
“Carpet doesn’t hold up forever. Especially builder grade carpet. My general rule of thumb is if you don’t have kids, you might have up to 8-year-old builder grade carpet that looks decent. If you have kids, probably no more than five years. People always say, ‘I can steam clean the stains; it will look good again.’ The problem is the pile and the pad underneath the carpet gets worn out. And so the places where you walk a lot, like the entry into the master bedroom, or that corner where you always walk around your couch, they’re never going to recover so you really need to replace the carpet in these situations.”
A top Dallas agent will help navigate the first step of your home sale
In a city home to an excessive amount of HGTV renovation reality shows, healthy interest from real estate investors, and 15,972 Realtors, it can be confusing (to say the least!) to know what path is right for you when selling your Dallas home.
Partner up with a top-performing DFW real estate agent to navigate your unique market. Not only will a top agent have the local insight and experience to sell your Dallas home fast and for the most money, he or she will also be able to quickly identify your priorities as a home seller and deliver a strategy for success to meet those specific goals.
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Editor’s note: Agent quotes have been edited and condensed for brevity and clarity.
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