Go big or go home. Same goes to selling a 🏠. To help us prep for that major milestone is Merav Bloch (she/her), VP and GM at Opendoor. At Opendoor, “we’re building a completely new marketplace to make buying and selling houses as easy as buying airline tickets online,” she says. Um, we love that. And we love the following info that you can use ASAP or when you need it in the future.

Buying a new home is super stressful, so we can’t even imagine what selling a home must be like. What are some things sellers should expect when doing so?
First, it’s expensive, requiring you to manage stagings, do repairs on spec, and often involving either a double move or a double mortgage. It’s also uncertain, with nearly 20% of transactions falling through and requiring the seller to start over, but this time with “days on market” already on the clock. And it’s complex, taking an average of six people to get the deal closed. But regardless of how stressful the process is, people will always need to move.

In terms of what sellers can prepare for in 2024, I’d say that they should be flexible. There will likely be a smaller pool of buyers through the early winter months, which is in line with typical seasonality, but also due to elevated mortgage rates and resilient home prices. If you’re a seller who is motivated to sell your home quickly, you may want to consider offering incentives like a flexible closing date or a mortgage rate buy-down to close the deal.

Do you have any other tips on how to make the moving process easier?
Absolutely! Here’s what I suggest for sellers thinking about making a move in the next year:

1. Get the initial list price right. Data shows that mispricing a home increases the likelihood it’s delisted (aka pulled off the market) by more than 70%. The first two weeks of a listing are particularly critical, as that’s when you get the most traffic, so you want the home to present well and be fairly priced. If you don’t see offers in the first two weeks, that’s often a sign something isn’t matching buyers’ expectations and you may need to adjust the price to be more competitive.

2. Make home improvements you can enjoy before selling. According to this survey, 70% of buyers want a turnkey home. This reflects the busy lives we all live, as well as the pressure interest rates are putting on affordability: buyers are increasingly stretching to afford the home itself, and are less likely to have money left over for upgrades. If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, you may want to start making some cosmetic upgrades now. The earlier the better, so you can enjoy those upgrades before the next owner does. There are small but effective updates you can make that won’t break the bank, from replacing fixtures and lighting to giving the interior of the house a fresh coat of paint.

3. Don’t be paralyzed by regret. I meet many homeowners who need to move now—from accommodating a growing family to returning to office—who still kick themselves about not moving in 2021 or early 2022 when interest rates were more favorable. Hindsight is 20/20, but it won’t give you the extra space you need or a shorter commute. If you need to move and can afford the monthly payment, you can make the move knowing that if interest rates go down in the future, you can typically refinance and reduce your monthly payment.

4. If you’re also home shopping, see as many homes as you can. With the majority of sellers also being buyers, it’s important to feel confident in your next home purchase. So, browse homes online or through apps, go to multiple open houses or do virtual tours, and get a sense of the homes that are within your budget. The more homes you see, the more you’ll hone your preferences around home features and locations, as well as define the trade-offs you’re willing to make to stay inside your budget.

5. Explore all your options. Listing your home the traditional way isn’t the only way to sell a home. Companies like Opendoor will buy your house directly from you, even handling necessary repairs; you can close in a matter of days and move when you’re ready.