If you’ve decided that 2020 is the year to sell your home, it’s helpful to know what challenges you may be facing. Thankfully, more than 500 real estate agents across the country shared what they’re seeing in their markets in HomeLight’s top agent insights survey from Q4. While it’s not a crystal ball, these agent insights provide a wealth of information — right from the most experienced and knowledgeable sources. Let’s take a look at what you might face when selling your home this year.
The level of home dictates the challenge
2020 bodes well for sellers with entry-level or starter homes, as low-interest rates continue to entice millennial homebuyers. Those sellers with starter homes will see healthy competition when they list, but upper-tier housing may prove flat. If you’re selling to downsize, you’ll face challenges getting your home to sell, and you’re likely facing competition in the smaller home market.
Cold weather equals a cold market
HomeLight shares one of the challenges that most home sellers face in the first quarter — winter market sluggishness. If you’re in a state that experiences a big temperature dip in the winter months, 64 percent of agents surveyed report that they expect winter home sales to take longer. This is not great news if you’re hoping for a quick sale this winter. However, 74 percent of agents report decreased listing competition in their markets over the winter months. While the market may slow, you may be able to take advantage of your home standing out amidst lower inventory levels in the colder months.
Lower inventory levels don’t equal lower buyer standards
While 54 percent of agents say that homes sell for the same price in the winter as other months, just 34 percent of homebuyers are as motivated to buy as in other seasons. This means that you can’t rely solely on lower inventory levels to sell your home. With winter buyers not as motivated as other seasons, they’re not willing to sacrifice on things they’re looking for in a home. Sellers need to make sure that their homes are in tip-top shape when shooting for a winter sale.
A picture’s worth a thousand words
It’s worth noting that sellers shooting for a winter sale should make sure that their home’s photos do the property justice. Remember, the majority of the buyers in the market are millennials who will be viewing potential properties online. If your home’s appearance doesn’t catch a buyer’s eye as they scroll, they likely won’t ask for a showing. 60 percent of agents say that a winter home listing should feature photos taken on a clear weather day. This may be difficult if you’re way up north, but it’s definitely worth the wait if you can catch a patch of sunshine for your photoshoot.
The price must be right
The number one risk home sellers face in 2020 is overpricing their homes, with 51 percent of agents saying that this will be their clients’ biggest challenge. While home values are predicted to remain pretty steady through the beginning of the year, it’s imperative that you get your pricing right at the outset. Work closely with your agent to calculate your home’s market value and trust that they know the market best. With some outlets reporting a slow shift to a buyer’s market toward the end of the year, the last thing you need is your home sitting because you overpriced it at the outset.
All things considered, 2020 looks like a great year for home sellers. With most agents not seeing a recession beginning until at least 2021, and interest rates remaining low, 2020 still looks like the year of the seller, so take advantage of it!
Written by Homelight