Let me first say that it is still a wonderful time to sell a home in Houston. When we look at the appreciation rate the last couple of years, there is a really strong chance that you will make a nice profit selling your home. While it is still common to see reports claiming the market is still on fire, to those of us that look at all of the statistics, we definitely see a cooling of the Houston housing market. While the average and median sales prices are still up, several other key statistics are not as promising. Days on market, number of homes on the market, and number of sales are starting to show signs of a cool down. There are several reasons for this including the extreme reduction in oil prices and other factors slowing the growth of our market.
If you are thinking of selling your home, here are a few suggestions to sell your home quickly and for a good price.
- Forget about last years housing market. It does no good to talk about the days of overbidding, multiple offers, escalating prices etc.. Focus on today (although I will do some comparisons to last year for reference purposes only)
- Get your home in prime showing condition. During the last couple of years, we forgot the value of home stagers and getting your property in pristine condition before putting it on the market. While last years buyers were so desperate for housing that they would overlook dirty windows, cluttered closets and needed paint touch ups, this years buyers have plenty of prime properties to choose from and will gladly pass on ones that don’t knock them off their socks.
- Price your home ahead of the market. A very common price strategy last year was to price high and make small adjustments until activity increased. This method no longer works as you are usually anchoring your decision based off comparable sales (comps) which have changed since the first meeting with your agent. The best method is to price your home slightly below the comps. Price your home ahead of declining prices and it will seem like a value to a buyer and prevent your home from being on the market for more price drops when it doesn’t sell.
- Make sure you have an agent that has experience selling in a declining Houston housing market. There are many new agents that have some valuable experience selling homes in a hot market, yet lack the ability and skill set to sell in a softening market.
- Learn the new changes in the closing process due to the CFPB rules and make sure you are protected. This could meaning insisting on a lease back, closely monitoring when the buyer receives their disclosures and more. For more information about these new rules, please read our article by clicking here.
Let me close by saying that although we have had 2 months of declining sales, Houston is still a great market. Even with a drop in sales and prices, we achieved so much appreciation in prices the last few years, there are very few sellers that will be in a negative equity position if prices continue to fall slightly.