Know the New Rules of Selling a Home in 2024

In 2023, many homeowners who hoped to sell decided to hit pause on those plans. And for good reason: High interest rates had pushed many buyers to the sidelines—and created a “lock-in” effect dissuading would-be sellers from giving up their current low-interest home loans.

With both buyers and sellers feeling stuck, many of America’s real estate markets slowed to a near standstill.

But now, mortgage rates are finally subsiding a bit and house hunters are slowly returning—some with a vengeance. And with this pent-up demand finally coming down the pike, this year might be the perfect time to sell your house.

But a lot has changed since last year, so if you’re hoping to sell your house soon, you’ve got to educate yourself on the most recent market trends. Read on to learn about a few old, outdated home-selling rules that no longer apply in today’s real estate market—plus some new, improved guidance that will help you make the most of what is shaping up to be a busy year in real estate.

Old Rule: Sellers Will Be Lucky To Find Any Buyer
New Rule: Buyers Are Back—And So Are Bidding Wars

In 2023, many buyers couldn’t afford both high mortgage rates and high home prices. As a result, many buyers gave up—and the few buyers who were out there prioritized affordability with an eye toward discounts. And with such little demand, many sellers were forced to oblige.

But with mortgage rates heading south, more buyers are coming out of the woodwork, and many might not be so strict with their budget. In fact, experts are already seeing sellers getting more competitive bids.

Old Rule: Your Home Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect
New Rule: Sellers Have To Work Hard To Make Their House Stand Out

In 2023, with so few homes for sale, buyers couldn’t be picky about a dated kitchen or an unfinished basement. Even the ugly ducklings and fixer-uppers drew plenty of interest, so some sellers let their prep work slide when listing their properties.

But lower rates mean more buyers are entering the market—and more sellers are willing to give up their current mortgage terms and make a move. With more houses for sale comes less leverage for sellers, so they might need to invest in renovations before listing.

Sellers need to make sure that they are putting their best foot forward with the home, you want your house to be the absolute best version that you can make it and focus on the things that matter the most.

Some updates that deliver the most bang for your buck include refreshing the landscaping, switching out flooring, and replacing light fixtures.

 Old Rule: Sellers May Have To Slash Their Price
New Rule: Patience May Be Key To Getting A High Offer

Last year, home sellers’ lofty expectations often took a haircut as their homes lingered on the market. Many were forced to reduce their price.

This year, however, sellers might not need to lower their expectations as quickly as they did in the past.

Old Rule: Sellers Couldn’t Negotiate Much
New Rule: There’s More Room For Haggling

Sellers didn’t have much wiggle room with cash-strapped buyers last year. But things are set to change in 2024: More buyers in the market means sellers have some room to negotiate.

So if an offer rolls in that isn’t as high as you’d hoped or lacks some elements that are important to you (like a long closing date), don’t hesitate to counteroffer rather than simply accept what you get.

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