But first, what creates a seller’s market?
Before you put your home up for sale, it’s important to understand what kind of real estate market you’re facing. This can help you with pricing and negotiation. Here are a few signs that it’s a seller’s market:1
More people are moving.
Today, more people are working remotely, which means they can move anywhere, rather than just live near their place of employment.
Properties are selling fast.
Chances are, it’s a seller’s market if you notice the houses in your neighborhood are turning over quickly.
Mortgage rates are low.
The market goes up and down over time. When mortgage rates drop, more buyers will jump at the chance to purchase a home.
Fewer homes are for sale.
Simply put, when fewer homes are for sale, there aren’t as many options for buyers. This is the perfect recipe for a seller’s market and everything that comes with it — bidding wars, cash offers and higher sales prices.3
If you don’t have the cash to pay for a remodeling job, it’s OK. Fortunately, a seller’s market is still in your favor. Instead, spend your time and money on do-it-yourself, low-cost upgrades that can help attract the right buyer’s attention. For example, here are a few places to focus your energy:
A fresh coat of paint on the walls, ceiling and even the front door can make a home look nearly brand new. Pick out a soft neutral color (like soft white, beige or griege) and paint the entire interior of your home.4 These colors give buyers a blank slate, so they can easily imagine their furnishings and décor within the room. They also can make rooms appear fresh and clean.5
You don’t need to do major landscaping work. Instead, add a few yellow flowers near your front door. Some real estate experts say the color yellow can actually help sell a home.5 In addition, keep your lawn neatly mowed and free from debris, like sticks and leaves. You can even add final touches like a hanging flower basket and a new welcome mat.
Cleaning and decluttering:
Roll up your sleeves, grab a pair of gloves and do a thorough cleaning of your home. Spend time washing your windows, steam-cleaning carpets and wiping down baseboards, ceiling fans, floors, doorway frames and door knobs. Finally, put away or donate extra clutter to make your home feel open and spacious.6
Selling your home? Your life insurance policy may need an adjustment, too.
Selling your home is a major financial decision. As with any big moment that affects your finances, it’s always a good idea to reevaluate your life insurance needs. If you don’t have a policy, look at whether you should get coverage now. If you already have life insurance, this is the perfect opportunity to make sure your policy fully covers your needs.
Here are a few reasons why, if you have a life insurance policy, it may need to change when you sell your home:
Your mortgage is larger — or smaller.
Depending on where you move and what type of home you buy, you may have a different mortgage. Take a look at your current life policy and see if you can make adjustments so it more closely matches your financial situation.
You’re experiencing a major life event.
If you’re buying a house and also undergoing a life event, like having a baby or starting a new job, you may want to reevaluate your policy. You’ll want to take out enough coverage to provide for your children.
You have more debt right now.
If you have more debt right now, whether it’s a larger mortgage or college loans for children, you may need to increase your death benefit. You don’t want to leave your loved ones burdened with debt. A life policy should be able to pay it off.