More information about Utah market trends
Listing a home For Sale By Owner in Utah is more than just creating a FSBO listing on the Utah MLS, though.
You have to know the local housing market so that you can figure out the best strategies to use when selling your home.
Currently, the market is very favorable towards sellers as home values continue to climb. Currently,
home values in Utah are increasing at an average of 7% each year, and the current housing market shows that there are more buyers than there are homes.
In past years, Utah was one of the top states for underwater mortgages, but with home prices on the rise,
it has crossed over and is now one of the top ranked states for home sellers. At the end of 2015 about 13 percent of homes across the country were underwater,
compared to just 8 percent in Utah. Some local realtors who pay close attention to this numbers even believe that the number may be closer to 4 percent,
based on how quickly home values are increasing.
Pricing Your Home Accurately
When selling your home, your asking price is one of the most important factors that you can control. Obviously,
you want to get top dollar for your home, but there is more to setting the proper listing price than just finding a balance
between how much you can get and how low you have to go to in order catch potential buyer's attention. You will want to keep a close eye on the
Utah MLS and note any pricing trends when viewing comparable homes in your local market.
The simplest way to price your home is to hire a professional appraiser, but some homeowners would prefer to save that money.
If you are pricing your home yourself, you can get a good idea of what it is worth by studying the other MLS Utah listings
or get a free home value report from a Fizber Featured Agent (https://www.fizber.com/tools/what-is-my-house-worth/free-valuation.aspx).
Take a look at homes with similar square footage, comparable features, and the same number of bathrooms, bedrooms, and the like. When you list your home,
set a competitive price, but be sure that you still have room to negotiate when buyers come in with a lower offer.
Depending on the market, it's possible for a higher price to bring more attention to your listing.
There is something called finding the "soft spot" or "price banding," where sellers go over the sale prices of other homes in the neighborhood to look for patterns.
If several homes are bunched into the same price range followed by a gap, you might get more interest by pricing your home inside that gap.
A Few FSBO Pro Tips
Top Buzzwords Homebuyers Want to Hear (Plus a Few You Should Avoid)
When it comes to listing your home, there are certain words that will add value and that will help your listing stand out above others.
On the other hand, there are words that can actually negatively impact potential buyers' opinions.
Words to include:
- "Beautiful." It seems simple and obvious, but according to a study conducted by Paul Anglin, a professor at the University of Guelph in Canada, homes described as "beautiful" sell 15 percent faster, and for 5 percent more, than homes being described as "move-in condition."
- "Upgraded" or "Updated." Improvements and additions are strong selling points. "Upgraded" means better, and better means a higher value.
- "Remodel." Similarly, a remodeled home, or even a remodeled room, indicates a more modern style than otherwise expected. Listings that include the word "remodel" can command as much as a 2.9% higher price.
- Words referring to high quality materials. Certain building materials and features appeal more to homebuyers than others. Words such as "granite," "maple," and "gourmet" bring images of quality to a buyer's mind.
Words to avoid
- "Must sell." The words "must sell" immediately paint you in a desperate light. Even if a potential buyer is interested in your home, "must sell" makes it seem like the most important thing is selling the home as quickly as possible. If you're that desperate to get rid of the house, buyers will likely be more inclined to negotiate, offering well below the list price.
- "Value." Rather than driving traffic, the word "value" makes people think "cheap," and not just in price. You want potential buyers to see your home as an investment, not a budget option to fill a need for a short time before being cast aside for the newer model. If people see your home as just a placeholder until they can find something better, they will have little motivation to spend any money on it now. Instead, they will fight to spend as little money as possible.
- "Bargain." Much like with the word "value," a "bargain" home makes it look like you're trying to hard, making buyers skeptical. If your home is really a bargain, let the price speak for itself. Otherwise, you could be looking at a potential 3.5% drop in the offer price.
- "Potential." Buyers aren't looking for a home that could be amazing. They want a home that's amazing already. A home with "potential" means that it's not there yet. Lower-priced homes that have "potential" generally sell for 4.3% less than they might otherwise.
- "Opportunity." Buyers will see right through this one. This word brings "investment opportunity" or "house-flipping opportunity" to mind, which can mean a lot of undesired work for a buyer. Buyers often will see only an "opportunity" to spend more money or put in more effort-not at all what they are looking for. Homes described with the word "opportunity" bring in about 2% less than comparable homes.
Tips for Staging Your Home
If you really want to sell your home as soon as possible, and for as high a price as possible,
you have to make it look nice. There are several tips that you can follow to make this happen,
with some being very basic and intuitive and a few others slightly less obvious.
- Boost the home's curb appeal. They say that you only get one chance to make a first impression, and that is particularly true when you are showing your home. Often, when people are considering a home, the first thing they will do is drive by to take a quick look at the exterior. If the outside looks uninviting, you can be pretty certain that they won't even bother to take a look inside. So make sure that the lawn is mowed, the windows are washed, and the house numbers are hung in a clearly visible location.
- Remove clutter. Often, when professionals stage homes for sale, they will remove as much as half of the owner's furnishings. When your home is cluttered with furniture or junk, it makes every room look small. Take a look at everything in your home and decide what you can and cannot live without. Take this as an opportunity to get rid of a lot of things that you no longer need. If you simply can't say goodbye, then rent a storage unit.
- Let in the natural light. Bright and open rooms are very appealing to buyers, so use any natural light that your home receives to your advantage. You want your home to seem bright and welcoming, not dark and dingy. If you don't have a lot of natural light, then brighten the room with lamps, and plenty of them. Lightly-colored paint and bright-toned furniture can also help to warm up a room and make it feel welcoming instead of confining.
- Make sure it smells nice. Smell can leave a lasting impression, either positive or negative. If you have pets, make sure that there are no lingering odors (Because you have lived with it for a long time, you might not be the best person for the smell test, so ask a friend without pets to help you out). A mildew smell can scare off buyers faster than almost anything else, so make sure there are no lingering odors if you have had a spill or leak in the past. Hire a professional if you need to ensure that there is no mold or mildew remaining. On the flip side, if you are showing your house to someone, pleasant and welcoming smells like fresh cookies or clean laundry can make people feel more comfortable in your home and more inclined to buy.
- Play up features that set your home apart. If you have a built-in bookshelf, make sure that it is well-organized and devoid of clutter. Instead, feature a few interesting pieces on the shelf while still allowing lots of open space around it. Make sure that bathtubs and sinks are clean, particularly if it is a selling point. You want to make sure that anything that stands out in your home stands out in a good way. If people remember your bathroom, you want them to remember it as the one with a lot of light and a modern design, not as the one with black mold in the corners.
Remember, the purpose of staging your home isn't to show off your style to buyers; it is to let them imagine how their style would match with the space. Make sure that it is as inviting and welcoming as possible without being too pushy. You are selling the home that this could be to the buyer, so leave enough flexibility in the space that they can imagine themselves living there.