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5 Ways to Get the Highest Offer for Your Home

Tips to Sell Your Home for the Highest Possible Price

Tips to Sell Your Home Faster and For More Money

A home is the most significant financial investment you will ever make. Make sure you get the most for it when you decide to sell. Here are five tips to ensure you sell your home for the highest possible price.

Find the Right Listing Agent

Finding a listing agent is not about selecting the person with the most sales or experience. It’s about finding someone that understands your needs and goals. While salesmanship and expertise are important, you’re better off with an agent that is on the same page.

Take the time to interview at least three people. Ask questions about how they set the price of a home and commission costs. The best listing agent should share your house selling philosophies. More importantly, they'll guide you through the home selling process from start to finish.

Some homeowners may want to forgo hiring a listing agent. That means the house is “for sale by owner.” If you choose this route, you will save five to six percent on the sale price. However, your home listing probably won’t reach the widest possible audience. You will also have to prepare, market, and negotiate the sale of the house yourself.

Set the Price of Your Home

In a perfect world, you would sell your home for the highest price immediately. Unfortunately, buyers and the market have other plans. As a result, you are trading off either time or money when pricing your home. In other words, you can try to sell your house fast or for the highest price.

An appraiser or a comparative market analysis can provide a home listing price. You can also get a free estimate from a home value estimator in two seconds. Remember, 75 percent of homes sell below their initial asking price, so don't get too attached to the first number.

Once you have an asking price, it’s time to create a pricing strategy. For instance, if the house does not sell in ___ days, we will drop the price ___. The answers here will depend on your local real estate market. A pricing strategy will also provide you something to fall back on when considering offers.

If there is no sense of urgency, the best time to sell is the first two weeks of May. According to Zillow, homes listed during this period sell six days faster and for $1,600 more. Again, the ideal selling time may vary depending on your local real estate market.

Get Your Home Ready for Sale

You’re going to sell your home. It’s just a matter out when you put it on the market. In the meantime, you should prepare your house for sale. One of the best uses of your time is home renovations.

Home renovations should be strategic. You want to add value to the house, like safety, energy efficiency, or durability. You can also use a home equity loan to fund the projects and can deduct the interest later on your taxes. Some of the best home renovations in terms of cost recouped include:

  • Garage door replacement: 97.5 percent
  • Stone veneer siding: 94.9 percent
  • Minor kitchen remodel: 80.5 percent
  • Wooden deck addition: 75.6 percent
  • Siding replacement: 75.6 percent

You should also consider a pre-sale home inspection. A detailed inspection report will identify any structural or electrical problems in the house. The report may cost a few hundred dollars, but you’ll avoid the hassle of potential buyers finding those problems later.

One last thing: don’t forget to take pictures. As of 2018, 50 percent of people found their home online. Investing in a professional photographer or videographer will be a small price now for a large payoff later.

Market Your Home

Zig Ziglar once said that selling is essentially a transfer of feelings. As you come up with selling points, remember that they should make people feel at home. Whether you promote the location, the backyard, or the size, focus on creating a meaningful connection.

A clean and clutter-free home is essential to a welcoming environment, whether you are marketing or staging a home. You can also draw back the blinds to bring in natural light, which is associated with happiness and health. As a bonus, freshen up the house with the inviting scent of vanilla, green tea, or citrus fruits before tours.

Negotiate the Best Price

Be prepared to receive several offers on your home. When you get an offer, you have three choices: accept, counteroffer, or reject it. A counteroffer is a response to the initial offer with revised terms. It doesn’t have to be strictly a negotiation of price either. Your counteroffer may include leaving some appliances in the house, moving up the closing date, or raising the earnest money deposit.

When you’re negotiating, always have things in writing. You’ll want a paper trail in case the other party tries to change any details after the fact. The deal isn’t final until both parties sign the same sale agreement.

There is no definitive answer on when to accept an offer. As we mentioned earlier, selling a house is a balance of time and money. While a bidding war can help drive up the price, the first offer may come when you're in a time crunch, or you're ready to move. The right offer will depend on your specific situation.

The Bottom Line

We all want to get the most money for your house. Doing so requires strategic decisions from finding the right listing agent to making ideal home improvements. Even choosing a listing price requires walking the line between leaving money on the table and being noncompetitive. While multiple factors go into selling a home, it only takes one offer to seal the deal.