The first rule in real estate

The first rule in real estate today is that there are no rules.

In the past, there was a general thought that certain times of the year were better to sell, you had to do a lot of prep work before listing your house, and other things that HGTV still perpetuates.

Back when the market was terrible, I would give people huge lists of things they needed to do to sell their house.  Now sellers are amazed when I tell them to do as little as possible.  I’ve had clients who were planning on putting on new roofs, replacing front doors, replacing old carpet.  I tell them not to worry about it.  As long as these items are in at least average shape, buyer’s don’t mind.  An average house is appealing when there are only like 12 other houses for sale in your price range all over town and you’ve lost out in multiple offers on the last 3 you wanted.

We are so starved for listings that even if a few people don’t like your house, there will be several more that do.  About the only time I see a house not sell is when it is grossly overpriced.  It’s a Seller’s Market for sure, but you still can’t sell your house for more than it is worth…..although if you wait long enough, it will have appreciated into your asking price.

When the market was bad, the value in having a realtor was in knowing what all you had to do to sell and presenting the listing so that it stood out among the multitude of other listings.  Now, having a good realtor is about knowing the least you have to do and the most you can get for your house.  I’ve often paid for myself by saving the seller from spending money that they did not need to spend.  Back then, working with a buyer was showing them 40 houses and helping them pick the best one and getting it for as cheap as possible.  Today, working with buyers is about getting them in a house ASAP and coming up with a winning bidding strategy.

So, as long as it is a Seller’s Market, put your house up for sale any time of the year.  Fix anything that is broken and give it a good clean, but there is no need to sweat the details like you had to when it was a Buyer’s Market.  Today’s buyers can’t afford to be too picky.

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