The real estate market in the Iowa City area is in great shape. Check out the market reports on this site and you’ll see that home prices in the Iowa City area are going up, homes are spending less time on the market and buyers are plentiful. In fact there are more buyers than homes to buy… So how come there are homes listed on the MLS just sitting there? What do sellers need to do before putting a house on the market to ensure their house doesn’t do just that and sit there?
The answer is pretty simple… Even in a hot market, preparation is still key to getting your home or condo in the Iowa City area sold in a timely manner.
Prepare to Sell Your Home Twice
What do I mean when I say you need prepare to sell your home twice? First you need to think about the external factors that will impact the sale of your home. Things you can’t do a thing about, since you can’t pick up the house and put it on a larger or smaller lot in a different neighborhood. After that you need to look at the house itself. It’s a combination of both that gives you and your agent the information you need to prepare a strategy to get your home sold in the Iowa City area.
Location, Location, Location
I think the title is self-explanatory. Location is still extremely important in the sale of a home. Below are questions to ask before listing a home for sale.
- What kind of neighborhood is the house or condo in? For example are there a lot of young families, or is it a low turn over neighborhood where homeowners have owned their homes for 10 years or more.
- Is there something special about the neighborhood? Is it in an historical district? Is it close to a sought after school? Or what’s even more important in Iowa City, how close is it to the UIOWA and UI Hospitals? (They are the largest employers in the area and have a huge impact on where potential buyers want to live).
- Is the house close to a bus stop?
- What amenities are close by?
- How well does a house fit into a neighborhood? Is it a small house surrounded by large houses or a large house surrounded by small houses?
- How about the yard? Is it small or large yard? Maybe it’s fenced, (which is really popular with so many dog lovers around). Maybe it’s a wooded backyard?
This list doesn’t cover everything, but gives you a general idea of what kind of things we need to look at before putting a house on the market.
Buyers Are Looking for Shiny Pennies
What are shiny pennies you ask? Those are the houses that stand out from the crowd. The houses or condos that look like they sell themselves. Except they don’t. Going back to what I said at the start of this article. Preparation is key to the sale of a home.
- Declutter & Clean: Your real estate agent’s two favorite words! These are the two most important things sellers can do before listing a home for sale. Buyers can look past some things, but if they haven’t got enough space for their “stuff” it’s game over.
- Has the house been updated to current trends? (Lack of updates is not as big a deal as in a slower market, but still something that might cause the house to be on the market a little longer).
- Lack of updates may not be the deal breaker, but general maintenance is. Buyers only spend a relatively short time at a showing and are quick to move on quickly if they think they have deferred maintenance to take care of when they move in.
- As much as buyers love their pets as much as anyone else, they don’t want any sign of them at showings.
- Decluttering and cleaning applies to the outside too. Year round curb appeal is not really possible in Iowa, but it is possible to look like the homeowner cares, just by keeping the outside clean and tidy.
It’s Not About Selling a House, It’s About Selling a lifestyle
As you can see from what I’ve written so far, before putting your house on the market, you need to know, it’s not just about the house. You’re not just selling a house. You’re selling a lifestyle. It’s important to look at the bigger picture as you work on that strategy of putting your house on the market.
The next logical step of course is to think about price. Pricing a home right is a critical step in the home selling process and can only be done properly by looking at all the facts. This is where a good real estate agent comes in. We do this 24/7 and in my particular case, I spend a lot of time watching the Iowa City area real estate market, so I can give sellers the best advice when they call me to list their homes for sale.
Are you getting ready to sell your home the Iowa City area? In depth knowledge of the Iowa City area real estate market means sound advice and guidance are just a phone call away. Located in Coralville, the areas I know best are Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty, (and just lately Tiffin). Give me a call at 319-400-0268 or drop me an email – I’m here to help!