So you want to sell your house in Vancouver? Even in a seller’s market, it can be difficult to get a strong offer on your home or property — especially if you don’t have a lot of time or resources to spare.
We’re a local PNW real estate investment company with over 12 years of experience. When a friend, family member, or client asks for advice on how to sell a house for the best price, here’s what we tell them.
1. Consider the local market
Always gather as much information as possible to make informed, smart decisions during the selling process. Start with details about what’s going on in the local real estate market.
First, is it a buyers’ or sellers’ market?
- Buyers’ market — When there’s more homes for sale than there are buyers. Sellers have to compete for buyers, bringing market prices down.
- Sellers’ market — When there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. Buyers are competing for fewer homes, driving prices up.
Vancouver, WA has gained in popularity over the last decade. Vancouver tends to offer more affordable real estate options compared to PDX, driving an increase in people looking to buy in this area. As of January 2020, the Vancouver area is still considered a sellers’ market, making it a great time to sell your house!
However, don’t take this completely at face value; there’s more to look at. History tells us that buyers in this area are picky and it’s not uncommon to see homes sit on the market for months.
Taking time to look at local market trends, understanding what’s selling and what isn’t, and considering why, is the key to making smart, informed selling decisions.
2. Understand the value of your home
Calculating how much your home is worth cannot be done with a quick price-per-square-foot formula. Pricing a home takes careful research and expertise. You need to consider:
- Current market conditions and inventory
- Comparable sales
- Condition of the home
Even looking at these details, it’s difficult for most homeowners to price a home correctly, especially when emotions are involved. Still, it’s best to approach selling a home from an informed standpoint. Do the research and then talk with an expert to get their professional valuation.
3. Days on market matters
What’s the harm in pricing your home high? What if someone is willing to pay that amount — you might as well just price high and see what happens. You can always lower the listing price later, right? Wrong. This mindset can actually hurt your ability to get the best price on your home.
First, if you price your home beyond what any reasonable person will pay, buyers will have a hard time finding your home. Most homebuyers search using a price range, so your home might not even come on their radar!
More important is the length of time your home sits on the market. Starting high and slowly inching the price of your home down until you find a buyer who bites might work out in the end, but can cause a few problems for you along the way:
- Buyers are wary of houses that sit on the market too long, they wonder what’s wrong with the home.
- Constantly changing the price on a home also makes buyers suspicious.
- More days on market means a longer selling period, which can be problematic if you’re in a rush to sell. You may have other costs like paying a double mortgage or temporary housing costs, staging fees, or storage expenses.
4. Keep in mind other costs of selling a home
Surprising to many, selling a home can be very expensive — especially if you sell the traditional route. Of course, there are standard expenses like closing and moving costs, but don’t forget about other expenses like:
- Real estate commission
- Professional photography
- Home staging
As you review all these costs, also take into account how much equity you have in the home. Most homeowners need to live in their house for around five years to build enough equity just to offset the basic buying, closing, and moving costs associated with selling a home.
Do you have a lot of work to do on the house, don’t have enough equity in the home, or fear it will take a while to sell your home? Selling to an investor is the best way to sell your house for the most money.
5. Don’t waste money on needless upgrades and repairs
Does your home need some TLC? If you’re selling the traditional route, certain upgrades or repairs will likely be necessary to attract buyers and get the most money. However, not all repairs will give you the return on investment you’re hoping for.
Once you start down the path of making upgrades, things can start to add up. For example, the average cost of a new roof in the area is somewhere around $10,000. And while small surface level repairs can help attract buyers, they take time and cash. Later in the process, if an inspection reveals deeper issues that need correcting, you’ll likely need to spend money on those, too.
The impact of a repair or upgrade will vary based on factors like the current market and your current home value. Before spending money on upgrades or repairs, get a professional opinion so you know whether or not it’s a smart investment.
6. Choose how you want to sell your house
Once you’ve considered all the above points, you’ll be in an informed place to decide how exactly you want to sell your home. You have 2 options:
- Sell the house with the help of a real estate agent
- Sell the house to a cash real estate investor
The first option is often best for those who have good equity in the house, don’t have a strict selling timeline, and have a home that’s been well maintained and doesn’t need a lot of upgrades. This route is also good for people who don’t mind dishing out money in repairs and upgrades and going through a potentially long and stressful process.
If that doesn’t sound like your situation, then the second option — selling the house quickly for cash — is an excellent way to sell a home for the most money.
There’s more than one way to sell a house for the best price — it all depends on your specific situation. One thing is for sure: selling a house to an investor offers considerable cost savings than the alternatives. It’s also less stressful and time consuming.
As you’re embarking on your selling journey, think about what’s most important in your specific situation. And remember, whatever route you choose, make sure you feel well informed and are working with a trustworthy professional.