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Tips To Selling Your Home During a ‘Hot Market’

It is no secret homes are selling like hot cakes in Utah, especially those priced for first-time buyers. But, that doesn’t necessarily sellers are on easy street. Experts say there are steps sellers should take to get the price for their home, even in a hot market.

Mike Keeney is selling his brother’s South Salt Lake house. We spoke to him after the first open house.

“The open house went well,” said Kenney. “I didn’t have anybody kind of walk and go, ‘thanks’ and then they walk out. Everybody stopped and engaged”

The 86-year-old home’s $287,000 price tag puts it square in Utah’s hottest market right now.

“That’s the first time homebuyer range, in that $200,000 to $300,000 range,” said Linda Mandrow, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker. “That’s definitely the hottest price point we have here.”

Mandrow said a hot market doesn’t guarantee fast, easy money for sellers. Buyers still want to see neutral, clean and tidy homes.

“So, they can immediately start imagining how they’re going to live in the home and how they’re going to decorate the home,” she elaborated. “That’s when you know that a buyer loves the home.”

Sellers should still stage their homes advised Mandrow. But, that doesn’t mean spending of lot of money on bringing in furnishing and nice accessories.

“Staging is as simple as take what you have and make sure that it’s showing in its absolute best light,” she explained. “Buyers buy properties based on how it makes them feel. So, when someone walks into a home and it looks good, smells fresh and it’s neat and tidy, that property is absolutely going to get a better response from the market than the same home if it was cluttered and had a distressed feel.”

So, clean your home thoroughly and de-clutter it: store excess furniture and personal belongings somewhere else. Do minor repairs such as fresh neutral paint, leaky faucets, hole patching and fixing doors that don’t close right.

And, you probably do not have to fret about updating the bathroom or kitchen.

“It would probably be money not well spent to put a brand new range in, unless it had been broken,” said Mandrow. “If you price it (the home) based on the condition of the home, that’s really the best advice unless something is broken or defective.”

Items like the roof or HVAC system can be treated similarly.

“Buyers, what they do when they come into a home is they start walking through the home and they start adding up – the roof needs to be replaced, the A/C needs to be

replaced – as they’re preparing that offer. Typically, that (repairs and replacements) will be reflected in their offer, based on the condition of the home.”

And, Mandrow said a spruced-up yard and landscaping is still a must.

“Make sure the yard it cut nice, and is nice, tidy and clean – some mulch, some fresh flowers. Make sure the entry is looking good,” she urged.

“I did some upgrading, if you will, in the cleanliness,” Keeney said of his preparation work on his brother’s house. “I did quite a bit of painting, I consolidated some things. I replaced light switches and plates just so everything is fresh, new and clean.”

Keeney also had a real estate friend of his pull comp reports on the 86-year-old home. Even in hot markets, buyers are reluctant to pay more than the going rate of neighborhood homes shown in comps – or comparable sales. Comps refer to homes recently sold in the same area and comparable in size, condition and features of your home.

“In the two months I’ve been working on this house, there have been houses for sale or sold on this street or just around the corner, so they don’t last very long,” Keeney said.

A home priced too high, might not sell. But, priced too low and you could walk away from money.

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