The temperature is rising outside and so is the competition among homebuyers. The Wall Street Journal says the U.S. is experiencing the "hottest housing market in more than 15 years." And many sellers are taking advantage, securing record prices for their properties.
But is this trend about to reverse? Increasing mortgage rates have some real estate experts questioning whether Americans will re-evaluate making moves. The growing consensus? It might dampen consumer demand, but it won’t be a complete market pullback — at least not yet.
Historically, late spring is deemed the ideal season to sell a house, so now may be the time to test the waters. Before hammering in that "for sale" sign, owners can take a few simple steps to list their homes with confidence and secure the best price.
1. Enhance the curb appeal. First impressions matter. Purchase a wreath or doormat and do some light yard maintenance for a polished, welcoming appearance. Extend the inviting vibe inside by opening curtains and turning on lamps to create brighter-looking spaces.
2. Clean, and then clean some more. It seems like a no-brainer, but a deep clean can instantly up a home’s appeal. Pay attention to traditionally overlooked areas, such as built-in shelves or fan blades. If possible, take steps to eliminate lingering odors, such as those from pets.
3. Focus on decluttering. That back door junk pile seems inevitable, especially for young families. Eliminate distractions during future showings with a thorough decluttering. Remove oversized decor or furniture that can make rooms feel cramped. Instead, create spaces where potential buyers can envision themselves living.
4. Make repairs. Have a dripping faucet or cracked caulking? Before putting a home on the market, address minor issues or cosmetic damage. Sellers may even consider hiring a professional for a pre-sale inspection to highlight potential red flags.
Selling a home is a big decision. For those worried about the process or when to list, an experienced realtor can help. These professionals can walk owners through neighborhood-specific information, including comparable sales, to make the most informed choice possible.
Sandra Kelly is president of the Arkansas Realtors Association, an organization that provides education, communications, technology, legal information and services to help its members preserve, protect and advance the right to real property for all. She is an associate at Wichert Realtors in Paragould, Arkansas.