High demand. Low interest rates. These are the perfect ingredients for a quick sale anywhere. But even in a Texas sellers market or when the market rebalances itself, as it usually does you may wonder, What could I do to speed up my sale? Heres what you can do, what you cant control, and who you should turn to for a seamless sale that suits your timescale.
House sale benchmarks in Texas
You might have your timeline for selling up and moving on, but the market marches to its own beat. As of May 2021, the average number of days on the market in Texas was 42 days, although you can expect a faster sale in Austin (25 days) and Dallas (32 days), where demand is more intense than the state average. Bear in mind that this doesnt mean youre ready to roll out just six weeks after posting your listing. Theres still the closing period to factor in, which typically adds 30 to 45 days depending on the skills and expertise of your real estate team. With that in mind, try these six tips for a faster sale.
1-Find your price sweet spot
Arguably the single most important factor in a quick sale is setting the right initial listing price. Think of how your potential buyers are filtering their search, particularly online. They will likely set a minimum and maximum limit, then compare the properties that fall within their budget according to size, location, amenities and so on. If your house doesnt make the shortlist, you will be in for a longer sale. For reference, the median Texas home price in March 2021 was $283,200, but buyers will expect to pay more in Fort Worth ($285,300), Dallas ($341,300) and especially Austin ($424,100). How do you find your price point? You can use online comparison tools, but youll find it hard to beat the local area knowledge and sweet-spot sense of an experienced real estate agent.
2-How location affects time to sale
Clearly, the location of your property comes under the Things you cant control column when its time to sell, but not when youre taking a long-term perspective. Its not rocket science, for example, to predict that Houston where the current market conditions are sizzling hot will continue to attract highly paid talent in, well, rocket science. Or that Austin will consolidate its growth as a Silicon Hills tech hub to rival Silicon Valley. Or that Dallas and Fort Worth will continue to be hot spots for jobs in tech, finance, oil and gas. Any metro area with a cluster of Fortune 500 businesses should offer a sound investment and a quicker-than-average sale.
So if youre focusing solely on investment properties, where a quick sale is crucial, do some heavy research (or ask your agent) about companies moving to the area, development applications, transport upgrades and so on. The goal is to get into the trending neighborhoods early and move out efficiently when its time to sell.
3-Luxury homes sell faster
If you do find yourself frustrated by how long its taking to sell your home, accept that some types of homes are more in demand than others. Single-family homes, for example, make up three-quarters of houses sold in the U.S., and their average price rose 10.4 percent between 2020 and 2021. Those numbers point to a quick sale and a healthy profit. Likewise, luxury high-end properties in desirable metro areas such as Downtown Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin or Houston change hands in a flash. Their average price rose 12.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021.
But if youre trying to sell a studio apartment or condominium, youll be competing against a heavily saturated rental market, so it can take longer to find a buyer. In that scenario, consider niche features that differentiate your property from the competition, such as a kitchen upgrade, a green-energy solution or perhaps new wood flooring.
4-Watch how the market moves
Right now theres an Exodus to Texas; millennials are increasing their activity in the housing market; and interest rates are comparatively low (at 3.1 percent) but rising. These factors contribute to a sellers market with shorter times on listing. Should any of these elements change, or outside factors (e.g., pandemic return) enter into play, expect it to take longer to sell your home. The effects can be local, too. Fluctuations in oil prices or a key employer collapsing can stress the housing market.
Even the weather matters. Storms and weather-related disruptions affected sales activity in Texas, which slipped by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021. (And that was in the middle of unprecedented demand.)
5-Boost your curb appeal
Weve run through all the external factors that can influence the speed of your sale. Now what can you do, yourself? Start with enhancing your propertys curb appeal from a fresh coat of paint to some modest landscaping. A well-presented exterior achieves two goals: It makes your home sell for a higher price (adding up to 7 percent to the value); and it makes your home sell faster. First impressions really do count for more in real estate, and the allure of your front yard or driveway can be a deal-maker, particularly in summer when lawns and flower beds look their best. Its one of the reasons why homes listed in early May sell faster.
6-Beware poor staging and cleaning
There is no doubt that staged hoes sell faster. By presenting a future vision of your home rather than just the current reality, you will almost certainly push buyers to a quicker decision. Staging can come at a cost particularly if you choose to put your furniture into storage and rent custom display furniture and accessories but balance that against the expense of your home sitting on the market for longer than your budget allows for. With online listings now standard, and virtual tours becoming increasingly commonplace, staging is also a useful tool for capturing the imagination where attention spans are shorter. Buyers will linger in an open house or home visit, but they lose interest quickly online when a home is poorly optimized for virtual viewing.
Additionally, open your eyes to the condition of your home as buyers experience it. Its easy to overlook the clutter, dirt and flaws we dont perceive every day. Let a professional stager or real estate agent advise you on this. With fresh eyes, they can tell you what needs to go into storage, what needs fixing or replacing and where to find a reliable professional cleaning company to bring your property to its best, market-ready, biggest-dollar state.