After a sweltering summer, homeowners in Houston and throughout Texas start thinking about relocating to cooler climates. Have you been considering a change?
Sellers are definitely motivated by the environment, but Houston is a still a booming housing market, and the metroplex is rapidly expanding, attracting buyers from all over. Homes throughout Texas, but especially within the city boundaries of Houston, are seeing a significant spike in popularity as more people come to the area for jobs, easy access to Houston's downtown area, and Houston's relatively low cost of living compared to other popular metroplexes across the country.
Houston’s East End is a diverse part of the city with an evolving food scene, a bustling nightlife, and easy mass transit connections to the greater Houston area. If you're selling your home in the area, there's plenty of interest in the market. Follow this helpful guide to streamline the selling process and maximize your home's potential.
Get your home ready for the market
Before your home goes live on the market, there are a few crucial steps for preparing your property and ensuring you have the proper support for the journey.
1. Find the right agent
Involving a licensed real estate agent early in the home-selling process can help make it easier, more profitable, and less overwhelming. Look for a licensed realtor with experience selling homes in this and the surrounding neighborhoods. You can benefit from their knowledge of the housing market and curb appeal trends specific to the location, as these aspects can vary significantly between neighborhoods. A seasoned agent will maximize offer prices and provide expertise in evaluating offers and negotiating with real estate agents on the other side of the table.
Our team at Eastwood Realty
will help you from day one by informing you of local market and pricing trends so you can choose the right listing price for your home and marketing or home improvement strategies with a great return on investment (not every update will be worth the expense.) Pricing accurately from the start is a significant part of the home selling process.
2. Decide your home's listing price
Your listing price is one of the most strategic elements in selling your home, and choosing the right price shapes the entire journey. The average list price in the East End real estate market
is in the mid- to high- $300Ks, and the entire area is seeing a revitalization movement that encompasses the historic districts and parts of the East Side. However, knowing the average is just one part of your decision. Your agent can generate comps (reports of what comparable properties were listed as) — and what they sold for. The initial list price is important but the journey of the final selling price tells the whole story.
3. Make potential upgrades that improve your home's selling potential
As mentioned, not all updates are lucrative, but some remodeling projects have a return on investment that can outstrip the project's cost. Both minor changes, such as installing cabinetry hardware in your kitchen and major upgrades in bathrooms and bedrooms, can drive up interest in your property and increase either the offer prices you receive or the speed of the home sale. The National Association of Realtors releases an annual report of the highest-performing remodeling projects
, and you can decide whether you want to make upgrades, keep your home as is, or make it move-in ready.
4. Pick the perfect time to sell your home
Real estate markets, like many things, have seasons. Generally, you'll see more families moving and buying homes during the summer when school is out, making it a great time to put your home on the market. However, waiting until a slower season can also help you face less competition. Either strategy can be the right fit based on the unique features of your property and your timeline for moving and finding a new home. Your agent can help you consider all angles, as well as current interest rates, which could impact your selling experience.
5. Stage your home, take photos, and get your listing ready
Before your listing goes on the market, you can prepare your home to make a great first impression. While good ROI home improvements are one part of this, there are other strategies around prepping your home. Good photography of the listing (that many prospective homebuyers will check out online before scheduling a showing or visiting an open house) is super important. Your agent can also help you determine if staging is a good fit for your property. Depending on your strategy, you might leave your home staged for open houses, just for photos, or virtually. Staging can include bringing in entirely new pieces of furniture or decluttering your existing home and adding a few smaller touches, like art or rugs.
Your home is on the market: What to expect when selling a home in Houston’s East End
Now for the exciting part! Your listing price and the particulars of your home's listing are ready to go live. Here's what to expect throughout the rest of the process.
1. Your agent will activate your home's listing
Only licensed real estate agents have direct access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database of coming soon and active homes on the market. Buyers' real estate agents and third-party home listing sites pull from this database, so it's a vital first step for this stage of selling your home. In addition to the MLS, a good agent will have connections to potential buyers to expose the home to. Often times, there is marketing strategy around releasing the home as a pocket listing prior to publicly listing, to drum up excitement.
2. Allow open houses, virtual tours, and showings
Depending on your agent's selling strategy and the amount of interest your home gets on the market, you might schedule an open house or an opportunity for multiple people to stop by and see your house in person. Alternatively, allow showings, in which a licensed real estate agent brings their buyers to tour the property privately. You can also have a professional photographer shoot a virtual showing and add it to your listing profile. This makes your home more appealing to out-of-state buyers and definitely something to consider in Houston.
3. Compare the different offers with your agent
Soon, you'll start to see offers roll in for your property. You may receive multiple offers all at once. Some will offer prices under your list price but may offer to pay certain fees or waive certain buyer protections. Other offers may be at or over the list price. Your agent will present all of the offers to you and help compare the different offers; the highest price isn’t always the strongest offer. Ultimately, the choice of which one to pick is yours but having a trusted and well-versed advisor with you can help you consider all options.
4. Managing the closing stages
Once you accept an offer, your home is “under contract.” This is an approximately month-long period that encompasses the following:
The buyer's option period — where they can have professionals inspect the property and back out of the contract without losing their earnest money.
The appraisal — where a third-party appraiser evaluates the value of the property. Mortgage lenders will not provide a loan for any property worth less than the appraisal.
The closing — when all of the final paperwork is signed. The escrow agent will also transfer funds to your bank account, and the house sale is complete.
Final thoughts on selling a home in Houston
The home selling process can be overwhelming. In a popular area like Houston’s East End, market factors, prices, and negotiation trends are always changing. Turn to the expert team at Eastwood Realty
for support. Our agents can help you create your pricing and marketing strategies, put your home on the market, and negotiate the right offer for your home.
We also have home cooling tips if you’re staying local!