How to Sell Your House in 2022

So, you’ve evaluated your finances, thought about your lifestyle and made the big decision to sell your home. With so many things to consider, from home inspections to staging, selling a house can be an overwhelming process. Luckily, for you, here is a comprehensive guide on how to sell your house in 2022.

What to expect from the housing market in 2022

While 2021 was a record-breaking year for the U.S. housing market, remaining a seller’s market the entire year, don’t expect a quick shift to a buyer’s market in 2022. While the new year may bring a more balanced market, expect to see an increase in listings, people relocating to affordable cities, a greater emphasis on climate risks, and a rush to buy houses at the beginning of the year as mortgage rates rise. As 2022 begins, Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather gives us her insights on what to look out for.

“Historically, the homebuying season starts in late spring, but in 2022, we expect the homebuying season to begin by late January. That’s because buyers will want to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates before they begin to rise. So if you are thinking about selling this year, you should get your home ready now. Buyers want move-in ready homes because they don’t want to worry about getting work done while there are materials and labor shortages.” 

Regardless of whether you’re a first-time or seasoned home seller, this step-by-step guide will help you navigate how to sell your house this year.

1) Hire a home inspector

You’re probably thinking, wait, isn’t that the buyer’s responsibility? You’re not wrong. When you’ve accepted an offer, the buyer will most likely request a home inspection of their own. So, why would you need one? First, if a home inspector finds something that’s in need of repair, wouldn’t you prefer to resolve it before entering into negotiations?

In fact, if you discover repairs that take weeks to fix, you may lose that buyer altogether. Performing a home inspection is a proactive approach to getting your home ready to sell.Also, being aware of the condition of your property will further assist you during the negotiation phase with potential buyers.

2) Make repairs and small upgrades to your house

After you receive a comprehensive list of recommended repairs, it’s time to start either making the repairs yourself or contracting out the right person. This may also be a great time to make small upgrades that can increase home value.

Understand what today’s homebuyers are looking for

With the shift to remote work, certain home features have become essential for homeowners, such as a home office. Even if your home doesn’t have a designated office space, a smaller bedroom or extra area beneath the stairway can easily be staged as a space for this. In addition, recessed lighting, a new kitchen, and a quartz countertop have become three of the top 4 most valuable home trends among buyers. 

Enhance your outdoor space

You don’t necessarily have to paint the exterior of your house to impress homebuyers. Simple landscaping renovations like trimming your hedges and a freshly mowed lawn will go a long way. 

Brighten your home

When it comes to first impressions, a poorly lit home is at an automatic disadvantage. Darkness can make a home feel uninviting, dirty, and cramped even when it isn’t. So, before putting your home on the market, you’ll want to find simple ways to brighten your home. 

3) Declutter and prep your house to sell

When determining how to sell your house, be sure to make decluttering and prepping your home a priority. Renting storage units is becoming an increasingly popular method of decluttering one’s house before selling it.

4) Find a real estate agent

Finding a real estate agent is easy, finding a great real estate agent can be more of a challenge. Getting referrals and reading online reviews is a great way to start narrowing down your options. You’ll want to understand what you’re looking for when hiring a real estate agent to represent your best interests. Here are some questions to consider asking any potential candidate:

  • How many clients have you served this year?
  • Has a client ever filed a complaint against you?
  • What is your fee? 
  • What services do you offer beyond negotiations and escrow?
  • What tools and resources are available to you?

After you decide on a real estate agent, you and your agent should come up with a plan of action for how to sell your house. It should include a timeline, from the pricing of your house and getting it listed on MLS to personal showings. You and your agent should be on the same page at all times and a plan of action will help ensure that.

5) How to price your house to sell

Now is the time to find out what price you should list your home for. You can start by using online tools to help you get an idea of what your home is worth. However, you should never set your sights on a single number and expect it to happen. Market conditions change all the time and so does buyer behavior. 

Another option is to conduct an appraisal. Home appraisers are licensed professionals that will assess the value of your house based on the state of your property and overall housing market conditions. They will look at the size of your property, the interior and exterior conditions of your house, any upgrades, additions, or home improvements you’ve done, and then calculate your home’s worth based on the local market conditions.

Looking at comparables, often called comps, of recently sold homes in your area will also help you settle on a price. These homes should be similar in size, location, and sold within the last few months. Furthermore, you want to be strategic about your pricing. Instead of lumping the price of your house in with other comps in the area, strategize your pricing based on your home’s selling features. In other words, if there are three houses for sale in your area and they are priced at $350,000, you might be able to justify $360,000 or more because you have a larger lot size or maybe you’re located in a popular neighborhood. Work with your real estate agent to ensure your home is priced accordingly.

6) Stage your home to sell

If you don’t deem yourself a design-minded individual, consider hiring a professional home stager to help. Many stagers offer different alternatives that can suit your needs from in-person consultations to virtual consultations.

7) Get professional photos taken of your home

Nothing sells a house faster than professional photos. This is especially true now, as many prospective buyers start their home buying journey online. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. They are searching online, looking at every home that comes up for sale within their filtered interests the moment it’s listed. If your house is represented online by poorly shot photography, your listing will likely see very little traffic. Not to mention, it’s widely observed that houses with professionally shot photos, on average, sell for more money than other listings.

8) List your home to sell

Your real estate agent will list your home online on MLS (Multiple Listing Service), in order for it to start showing up on real estate websites for potential buyers. Also, don’t limit the marketing of your house to your real estate agent and online search. Market your house yourself. Spread the word through your family and friends. Share your listing on social media and send out emails asking people to share your listing with others.

9) Have a plan in case your home doesn’t sell quick enough

You and your real estate agent should have already gone over this beforehand, but not every house sells quickly. There are many factors at play and depending on the condition of the housing market for your area, your real estate agent may have to use some other strategies in their arsenal to get your house sold. If it’s lowering the price of your home or holding more tours, you’ll want to discuss this with your agent, and agree on what the next steps should be in case your house isn’t seeing any offers.

10) Negotiate the sale price of your home

One thing to consider is that the buyer is trying to get the absolute best price they can, while you’re doing the exact same. There will be multiple factors to consider, as each home sold and purchased is different. For example, if it’s a buyer’s market, that means the buyer has the upper hand because there are multiple listings with fewer offers being made. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make huge concessions in order to sell your house.

This is where your agent really steps up. They will help you navigate the negotiation process, and will offer their advice on how to proceed when offers are being made. Luckily, you interviewed and hired the right agent, so you know they have your best interests in mind.

11) Sign and close

You and your agent have been working towards this moment. You’ve agreed on a price with the buyers, all inspections and appraisals of your home have been completed, and you are now ready to sign the papers and close.Once you’ve signed all of the paperwork – congratulations, you’ve sold your house! 

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