How home selling has shifted in the past decade

If you haven’t sold a home in the last 10 years, you might be surprised by how much trends and expectations have changed over the years. Here are some leading factors changing the home sale market today:

Real estate sites: More than 90 percent of homebuyers use the internet as one of the primary ways to find a home, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). With the popularity of online tools like Zillow and Realtor.com, many buyers are searching the market on their own and narrowing their preferred selections before they speak to a real estate agent.

Photography matters: With most sellers searching online, high-quality photos are critical for capturing buyer interest. For many people, their first point of contact with a house is through the internet.

Staging: HGTV has shifted people’s expectations about what an ideal home looks like. Various industry studies suggest that staged homes sell more quickly and for more money than those that aren’t.

According to a 2019 NAR survey, more than half of sellers’ agents say staging decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market.

Similarly, 44 percent of buyers’ agents report that staging a home increased the financial offer on a home. A quarter (25 percent) say staging a home increases its dollar value up to 5 percent, and 12 percent said that it increases the dollar value up to 10 percent.

Move-in ready: According to a RE/MAX Brokers Report, demand for move-in ready homes is increasing. Buyers are willing to pay more for a home that doesn’t need any renovation.

For some homebuyers, the motivation is a financial one. As down payment standards have increased, buyers don’t have a lot of discretionary cash to make renovations after the purchase.

It’s sometimes easier to finance a move-in ready house through a mortgage than to get a home improvement loan after buying a fixer-upper. Plus, due to skilled labor shortages, some homebuyers recognize that getting renovations completed could be a struggle.

As a result, some real estate agents are urging homeowners to invest more on home improvements prior to a sale. Consult with an agent to decide how much investment is worth making before you sell.

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