What’s the Fastest Way to Sell a Home in St. Louis?
No matter why you’re moving or where your new home is, there’s one thing every seller wants—to find a buyer fast. Sure, it’s partly luck, but there are some things that can speed up the process.
So how is selling a home in St. Louis different? Certain aspects of homes and homeownership in our region are important to know when placing a house on the market. St. Louis realtors at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties are well-versed in what buyers are looking for in the region—and what turns them off. Making the most of St. Louis’ unique real estate traits can help you sell your house faster.
Looking Good Sells Homes Faster
Face it. Homes that look good are probably going to sell faster. Make sure potential buyers see your house at its best, rather than relying on them to uncover its “hidden potential.”
First impressions matter, so pay attention to curb appeal. An unkempt, rundown exterior will turn off some buyers before they even walk through the door. But tidy landscaping, a new roof, or inviting outdoor living spaces can get them excited to see what’s inside.
Getting rid of clutter and repainting will freshen up the house’s interior. If you have the budget for it, invest in updating floors and countertops, if necessary. You may also want to consider having a professional cleaning crew and staging experts prepare the space for showing.
Make any needed repairs and make sure the house is up to current codes. If major remodeling is called for, focus on areas that appeal most to buyers: kitchen, bathrooms, and master bedroom.
Getting to the Bottom of Basements
St. Louis loves its Cardinals baseball, gooey butter cake, toasted ravs, and apparently, its basements! Basements are common in all types of St. Louis homes, as they are in much of the Midwest. They offer additional living space, storage, and shelter during stormy Midwest weather.
The tricky thing about a basement is that it can be a big plus or a huge negative. Adding family living space with a finished basement is a growing trend in St. Louis. However, a leaky, musty basement with foundation problems can be a deal-breaker for many buyers.
Unfortunately, basements can be a problem area in many homes. Variations in our local temperatures throughout the seasons can cause cracks in a house’s foundation. So can settling, in older homes. Many basements in St. Louis have sump pumps to handle drainage issues.
It is best to get ahead of inspectors and find the problem areas and fix them. Drainage problems in the yard can sometimes be corrected with gutters or French drains. Small cracks and seepage in the basement walls may be repairable with waterproof masonry sealers or vinyl concrete patching products. More serious problems with the foundation will need to be either fixed or disclosed to potential buyers.
What to Expect From Inspections
Your home will have to pass a buyer’s inspection, but it’s wise to have your own inspection done before you put the house on the market. You’ll be able to sell your home faster when you can assure buyers that the house is move-in ready.
Typical areas of inspection are:
The inspection process in St. Louis has a reputation for being strict, so be prepared for inspectors to point out things that weren’t even on your radar. But problems that you don’t address will give potential buyers reasons to chip away at your asking price.
Most buyers prefer not to move into a house that needs a lot of work right away. Use the inspector’s list of issues as your to-do list and start making changes and repairs that are necessary. You’ll sell your home faster and make back the investment in the higher offers you’ll receive.
Selling a Home in St. Louis: Tout Your Tudor or Brag on Your Bungalow
Buyers usually have a vision of the type of house they picture for their family. St. Louis is filled with classic architecture. Our post “The Top 5 House Styles in St. Louis” describes some of the most popular home designs. Certain neighborhoods are known for the specific types of homes there, such as the regal Victorian houses in Lafayette Square, or cozy bungalows in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood.
If your house is one of these iconic types (or others, like a Cape Cod or Mid-Century Modern), that’s something that can help sell a home in St. Louis. Your St. Louis realtor will be able to tap into the list of potential buyers searching for that specific style. They will know how to leverage the special features of these homes and show them off to their best advantage.
St Louis Weather: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Midwest weather is a mixed bag. St. Louis gets hot summers, cold winters, and everything in between. Believe it or not, if you're trying to sell a home in St. Louis fast, weather can play a part.
Any features of a home that can either increase the enjoyment of good weather or lessen the misery of bad can be a factor in selling a house fast.
Patios, decks, and other outdoor living spaces can be inviting for our long summer days. A pool can be just the thing to beat the humidity.
Features like thermal-pane windows, attic insulation, and heated flooring will appeal to buyers thinking about cold winters. A garage, even if it's unattached, can be a huge selling point, especially in St. Louis neighborhoods where they’re not common.
A smart thermostat system and energy-efficient HVAC system will be a welcome money saver for potential buyers for both summer and winter. Sunrooms or four-season rooms can increase the appeal of a house any time of year.
Whatever features your house has that address St. Louis weather can work in your favor to sell your home.
Finally, in many parts of the country, summer is the prime time to sell a house. Although you might not think so in January, St. Louis has a pretty mild winter compared to other regions. There’s no need to wait until spring to put your house on the market. Sales can happen all year long.
When Selling Fast Doesn’t Pay
When you put together the projects listed above, it can seem like a lot of work. That means time and money spent just to get your house sold. That might tempt you to sell “as-is” to a home investment company.
You’ve seen the signs: The St. Louis area is loaded with roadside signs promising to take your house off your hands for cash. Keep in mind these aren’t real estate companies but investment companies looking to make money flipping homes. A company that accepts homes as-is can be appealing, saving you the trouble (and cost) of making repairs...
The downside is that the selling price from these companies is typically only 60% to 70% of what the home could be worth. They will fix up the home and resell it for a profit. Meanwhile, you’ve saved some time and money but have less to use as a down payment on your next home.
We get it, selling a home can seem to drag on forever...but patience can pay off with a higher selling price. Reviewing comps (comparable properties in your area) can be eye-opening if you’re tempted to settle for a lowball offer. St. Louis realtors know the value of homes in the area and can help you find buyers willing to pay a fair price.
A qualified real estate agent can also offer advice on what projects will give you the most “bang for your buck,” help determine your asking price, and show your home to the most promising house hunters. Your home is likely the most valuable thing that you own: Be careful not to undervalue it!
Know Your Region
St. Louis geography is unique. The region is made up of dozens of municipalities that all call themselves St. Louis, but the actual city is pretty small. Taxes, schools, and even crime statistics vary widely from one municipality to another. Imagine how confusing this is for people from other parts of the country!
Knowing as much as you can about your specific area, and communicating all the positives to potential buyers, can help sell your home faster. If your neighborhood has something that makes it special, be sure buyers know about it.
Remember what attracted you to the neighborhood in the first place. But also remember that things that don’t matter to you might be important to a potential buyer. You may not think much about your proximity to the airport, if you don’t fly often. But for someone who travels for work, your location might be exactly what they’re looking for.
Is your home in a walkable neighborhood? Is there a shopping center nearby? Is it close to Forest Park or a popular entertainment district like the Central West End or Macklind Avenue? How close is it to highway access—and which one? Any of these things could be at the top of a buyer’s must-have list.
A St. Louis realtor from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties can help you feature those unique qualities to sell your home fast. Contact us to see how we can sell your home faster!
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