Getting Top Dollar When Selling Your Home in the Triangle

November 4, 2023

Expert tips and local insight for maximizing your home's sales price and selling quickly in the hot Raleigh-Durham real estate market.

When you want to sell your home, one of the most important things is to price it right. Look at similar homes that have sold recently in your area and in nearby neighborhoods. This helps you find the best asking price - not too high for what people around you can afford, but high enough to get the most money from the sale.

Understand the Current Market Climate

When there are more homes for sale than interested buyers in an area, it generally leads to lower prices as sellers compete for the limited number of buyers. This is typically called a buyer's market. Conversely, when buyer demand outpaces the available housing inventory for sale, home prices tend to be bid up as buyers contend for the scarce properties on the market. This dynamic is referred to as a seller's market. A useful metric to gauge whether your locale is a buyer's or seller's market is to analyze the average Days on Market (DOM) for comparable homes that have recently sold or gone under contract. If similar properties to yours are selling faster than the typical DOM for the region, it signals solid demand. Examining the home price appreciation rate can also provide insight into the balance of supply and demand. Faster increasing prices indicate buyers are willing to pay more to secure homes in undersupplied market conditions. These trends will impact your home pricing strategy and ability to negotiate terms like repairs or offer contingencies. They can also forecast the prospective length it will take to sell your house, which affects carrying costs. Exploring the data for your specific neighborhood is invaluable when listing your property.

Competitively Position Your Home in The Marketplace

What is an Asking Price?

The asking price is how much you want to sell your home for. Give us a call if you are unsure what your property could sell for. Beware of 3rd party real estate website computer generated property estimates. Their computer-generated estimates simply cannot match the accuracy of an in-person appraisal and analysis from a local expert.

How to Find the Right Asking Price

To pick the right price:

  • Look at homes like yours that have sold in your neighborhood.
  • See what prices they actually sold for.
  • Price your home similarly.

Why Picking the Right Price Matters

If you price your home too high:

  • Fewer people may want to look at it and make an offer.
  • It may take longer to sell.

If you price it too low:

  • You may lose out on money you could have received.

The right asking price helps your home sell faster and for the maximum amount.

Making Your Home Appealing

Before you list your home for sale, make updates and fixes to get buyers interested. Here are some tips:

Make Repairs

  • Fix anything broken like leaky faucets or damaged floors. These are turnoffs for buyers.

Do Pre-Market Inspections

Before spending any money on renovations or repairs, hire inspectors to evaluate:

  • The roof and attic
  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Foundation and structure
  • Pests like termites

Doing these inspections first allows you to fix any issues upfront instead of needing repairs later. This makes buyers feel more confident about your home.

Upgrade Key Areas

  • Paint the rooms in light, neutral colors.
  • Update the kitchen with new appliances or countertops.
  • Remodel bathrooms if needed. Buyers care a lot about these spaces.

Enhance Curb Appeal

Curb appeal means how nice your home looks from the street. Good curb appeal grabs attention.

  • Plant flowers and keep the lawn mowed.
  • Paint the front door.
  • Make sure the outside looks clean and inviting.

When your home looks move-in ready, buyers can picture living there and make better offers.

Selecting the Optimal Time to Sell Your House

Home sales typically follow seasonal patterns, with the greatest buyer activity occurring in spring when families seek to relocate during the warmer months with children on break from school.

Though these trends vary across markets, they are not the only timing considerations when determining the "right" period to list your property.

To maximize your sale proceeds, it is strategically advantageous to offer your home when you have built up enough equity to pay off the current mortgage, selling/closing expenses, and moving costs.

Otherwise, you'll need to cover much of these charges out-of-pocket. According to recent Bankrate data:

  • Most homeowners do not accrue sufficient equity to offset all purchase, closing, and relocation bills until residing around five years in their house.

However, optimizing for top dollar pricing could conflict with other life priorities like changing jobs, assisting elderly family members, or starting your own family. For instance, if you target the peak season but consequently miss a major career opportunity, the long-term financial impact could actually be worse.

Understanding Buyers

To best attract buyers, think about what people in your area want when house hunting:

Buyer Needs in the Triangle

Many home buyers in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill want:

  • Open floor plans. This makes rooms feel bigger and more modern.
  • Upgraded kitchens and bathrooms. These get a lot of use!
  • Smart home technology like home automation. This is becoming more popular.

Before listing your home, make updates and renovations to give buyers what they want. This gets you more showings and offers.

Marketing Your Home Locally

Use these tips to tell local home buyers your house is for sale:

Work with a Local Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent who works in your neighborhoods knows what sells there. They can:

  • Accurately price your home based on similar sales. This was covered above.
  • List your home so it gets maximum exposure to buyers.
  • Give you insider advice on making your home appealing.

Leverage Your Networks

Tell friends, family, neighbors and coworkers you are selling your home. Ask them to help spread the word to their own networks. Post on neighborhood Facebook groups and too.

This taps into local social circles and reaches more potential buyers.

The more buyers that know your home is available, the faster it can sell. Marketing to people in your immediate area is key.

Negotiating Well

When you get an offer on your home, you will likely need to negotiate on price or contract terms. Here are tips for negotiating smoothly:

Understand the Local Market

The real estate market in the Triangle area is competitive. Buyers have a lot of options, so they negotiate hard for good deals. It is common not to get your full asking price.

Avoid Taking it Personally

Don't get upset if buyers make low offers or ask you to replace the roof. They are looking out for themselves, just like you are. Stay calm and flexible so you can find mutual agreement.

Focus on Your Main Priorities

Decide what really matters to you before negotiating. This may be getting the highest price or selling quickly with fewer hassles. Stick to your main goals and be willing to compromise on other terms.

Following these negotiation strategies helps you successfully close the sale in a tough market.

Being Patient Pays Off

Selling any home takes time, even when demand from buyers is high. Avoid getting stressed when:

  • You don't get showings right away.
  • Buyers try to lowball you on price.
  • Inspections uncover problems.

Stay the course if you've priced your home right and made it attractive through upgrades and marketing.

The Triangle market is still an anomaly when it comes to national housing trends, so the right buyer will come along, especially if you are flexible on negotiating terms.

With preparation and patience, you will sell your home smoothly and successfully!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to sell a home in the Triangle area?

On average, homes in the Triangle sell in around 30-60 days if priced correctly for the market. Higher priced homes may take longer.

Should I get a home inspection before listing?

Yes, getting a pre-market inspection can identify issues upfront so you can make repairs before buyers inspect. This prevents offers falling through later.

When is the best time of year to sell a home?

Spring and early summer see high buyer activity. List around February to catch buyers looking before school starts.

How do I determine my home's listing price?

Look at recently sold comparable homes in your neighborhood to gauge home values. Also get a comparative market analysis from one of our agents.

Should I hire a real estate agent or sell my home myself?

Hiring an experienced local agent is best to ensure maximum exposure, informed pricing, expert negotiations and a smooth sale.

What repairs should I make before listing my home?

Focus on cosmetic upgrades like painting, flooring and landscaping. Also make necessary repairs like leaky roofs, faulty electrical and HVAC issues.

Should I stage my home before selling?

Staging can significantly increase your home's appeal and sale price but may not be necessary unless it's a luxury home.

Remove clutter, rearrange furniture and decorate to help buyers envision living there.

How important are online listings and photos?

Listing on MLS and real estate sites with high-quality photos is critical to reach the most buyers. Photograph your home professionally.

What are the most popular neighborhoods in the Triangle for home buyers?

Popular areas include Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, North Raleigh, Morrisville, Wake Forest, West Cary and Chapel Hill.

How can I be competitive in a bidding war offer situation?

Move quickly, bid competitively, be flexible on terms, waive contingencies and provide earnest and due diligence money.

Tim M. Clarke

About the author

17 years as a Realtor in the Research Triangle, Tim seeks to transform the Raleigh-Durham real estate scene through a progressive, people-centered approach prioritizing trust & transparency.

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