Sellers: 5 Ways to Make Your Home Stand Out In Today’s Market

Amid a changing housing market, buyers are starting to have more options. Consider these tips for helping a listing get noticed and sold.

As the latest monthly RE/MAX National Housing Report suggests, the years-long seller’s market is starting to wane and more signs of balance are emerging.

This begs the question for sellers: What will it take to make a listing stand out now that there’s more competition to sell?

RE/MAX agents agree that now and in the months to come, sellers will have to put more effort into attracting attention and wowing potential buyers.

“It’s really about sellers getting back to the basics in this market,” says Justin DuChemin, an agent with RE/MAX Professionals in Stillwater, Minnesota. “Gone are the days where sellers could just list the property without doing much to bring it to showable condition.’”

He adds, “Buyers are watching inventory grow and terms sway back in their favor for the time being – and they are taking advantage.

Consider these tips for making a listing stand out in today’s shifting housing market.

1. Make renovations big or small

Nick Bailey, RE/MAX President and CEO, believes the U.S. could be on the cusp of a home-remodeling boom due to the fact that many people bought fixer-upper homes, sometimes sight-unseen, in recent years amid steep competition among buyers.

“We had over 125 consecutive months, as of this summer, of a run-up in pricing. And we have a lot of folks out there who paid a lot of money for that shag carpet [and] those panel walls…[But] they got a lot of equity in return,” Bailey said on a recent episode of his live show, Keepin’ It Real.

Depending on a seller’s budget and the current state of their home, there are some renovations – simple or sizable – that may be worth completing to possibly increase return on investment.

“High-use spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor living areas are all places that can yield a high ROI, but you can also enjoy the updates prior to selling,” DuChemin says.

“Consider completing any maintenance items that need to be done, as well as any updates that will help it show as a move-in-ready home,” he says. “On the interior, things like fresh paint, new flooring and new fixtures really bring a fresh look to outdated spaces, without breaking the bank or extending the timeline.”

DuChemin shares that larger projects, like finishing a basement or fully remodeling a kitchen, can potentially yield an even higher ROI, but would require more funds, time and energy.

2. Improve curb appeal

In today’s market, real estate agents are conducting house tours and hosting open houses. This means that as prospective buyers tour multiple listings, the exterior of each home will help shape their initial impression – and hint at the current status of the interior.

“The front entry is crucial to the listing,” says Dusty Rhoton, an agent with RE/MAX Fine Properties in Flagstaff, Arizona. “While the agent is opening the door, the potential buyer is waiting patiently – and at the same time, is looking over the curb appeal of the home. Make sure the front of the home looks great from the road.”

Maintaining and sprucing up the home’s exterior ensures the property appears well-cared for and welcoming. Mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs, raking leaves, plucking weeds, washing windows, clearing gutters, and touching up chipped paint are a few simple ways to keep the outside looking tidy.

Plus, placing flowerpots, swapping out external light fixtures, and updating patio furniture can make the entrance look revitalized.

3. Stage

Staging a home is an effective way to help prospective buyers visualize themselves living in the space. And staging with trend-conscious items can help a simple – or even dated – space look more current.

“We are back to a market where, to sell a property and especially to get top dollar for it, you really need to focus on how you present and then market it,” DuChemin says.

Before staging, it’s essential to clean the house, purge clutter, create space, and depersonalize it from photos or mementos.

“No matter the updates your home has, a thorough, deep cleaning goes a long way. Things like dust-laden fan blades, curtains and baseboards gross buyers out, often leading them to think about what else was not maintained in the home,” warns DuChemin. “Wash windows, cabinets and floors to make them shine and show buyers you are a serious seller.”

He continues, “A professional home cleaner might be the right solution. Then stage the house using a professional stager and consult a REALTOR® who has an eye for the current trends and knows how to make the most out of your rooms.”

4. Choose professional photography

In today’s digital world, most homebuyers are beginning their real estate journeys by looking for homes online. The quality of photos used to promote the listing can determine whether a consumer wants to visit in real life.

“Professional photography is super important as that is what buyers see first when they are searching online,” Rhoton says. “Whenever possible, add drone footage to show the wonderful views [or] mature landscaping.”

She continues, “The best photos have bright lighting and have wide shots mixed in.”

High-quality photography presents an opportunity to showcase the best features of the home with clear quality, bright color and ample natural light.

5. Hire a real estate agent for marketing and guidance

“I believe if you have done the updates and staging – coupled with a solid price and strategic timing – your listing can stand out,” DuChemin says.

For guidance on factors like setting a price – as well as advice, knowledge of the local market, access to financing resources, and top-tier marketing practices – DuChemin advises sellers to work with a qualified real estate agent to secure the best return for their home.

“A professional, savvy agent can help expose your home to many more potential buyers, as well as help you manage the transaction from front to back and all the people involved,” he says. “In the end, the right agent could help you net [more money] in any market because they bring the experience, education and vision to navigate the path in your best interest.”

Article originally appeared on RE/MAX.com.