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What Are The Most Important Things to Consider When Selling Your Home?

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

If you're planning to sell your home in Traverse City, Leelanau County, or Benzie County, Michigan, understanding the local real estate market and preparing your property effectively are crucial steps. This article provides a detailed guide on the most important factors to consider, ensuring you're well-equipped to secure a successful sale.

Understanding the Local Real Estate Market

The real estate market in Traverse City, along with Leelanau and Benzie Counties, presents unique dynamics that are essential to understand for anyone looking to sell their home effectively. This area is renowned for its natural beauty and vibrant community, factors which greatly influence real estate values and appeal.

Current Market Dynamics

Analyzing the current market trends is crucial. For instance, Traverse City often experiences a seller's market, where demand surpasses supply. This can lead to shorter days on market and higher selling prices. Conversely, certain times of the year might see a dip in activity, influencing how long homes stay listed. Tracking these trends via local real estate reports and market analysis tools can provide a clear view of the best times to sell and what prices to expect.

Average Listing Prices and Days on Market

Understanding the average listing prices in the region helps in setting a competitive yet realistic price for your home. In areas like Leelanau County, where waterfront properties are highly sought after, prices can be significantly higher than the more inland properties in Benzie County. Similarly, days on market (DOM) is a critical metric. A lower DOM typically indicates a strong market favorable to sellers, whereas a higher DOM might suggest a need for adjusted pricing strategies or improved marketing efforts.

Importance of Local Insights

The significance of local knowledge in real estate transactions cannot be overstated. Each neighborhood within the Traverse City area, including the counties of Leelanau and Benzie, has its own unique selling points and challenges that can affect the real estate process.

Neighborhood-Specific Demands

For example, waterfront properties in Leelanau County are exceptionally popular during the summer months as they offer direct access to water and recreational activities, which can drive up demand and prices. On the other hand, historic homes in Benzie County appeal to a different type of buyer, one who values heritage and design over modernity. Understanding these preferences and highlighting these features in your marketing materials can attract more targeted and interested buyers.

Impact on Marketing Strategy and Sale Price

Tailoring your marketing strategy based on these local insights can significantly influence the final sale price. For waterfront properties, marketing efforts might focus on lifestyle and leisure opportunities, while historic homes might be marketed with an emphasis on community heritage and architectural uniqueness. Employing a local real estate agent who is deeply familiar with these nuances can leverage this knowledge to your advantage, positioning your home in a way that resonates with the right audience, ultimately achieving a successful sale at the best possible price.

​By diving deep into these local market characteristics and utilizing comprehensive local knowledge, sellers can strategically position their homes in the market, enhancing their visibility and appeal to prospective buyers. This approach not only ensures a smoother transaction but can also maximize the return on their real estate investment.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Preparing your home for sale is a critical step in the real estate process, particularly in the visually-driven markets of Traverse City, Leelanau County, and Benzie County. A well-prepared home can captivate potential buyers, leading to quicker sales and potentially higher offers.

Staging Your Home

Staging is a powerful tool in real estate, especially in visually-driven markets like those in Michigan’s northwest. Simple improvements, such as decluttering, repairing, and neutralizing décor, can make a substantial difference in how potential buyers perceive your home.

Decluttering and Cleaning

Start by removing personal items and clutter. A clean, uncluttered space looks bigger and more inviting, allowing buyers to envision themselves in the home. This includes tidying up both indoor and outdoor spaces.


Addressing minor repairs before listing your home can significantly impact the perception of care and maintenance. Fix leaky faucets, patch holes in walls, and replace broken light fixtures. These small tasks can prevent buyers from being distracted by minor issues and focus more on the home's potential.

Neutralizing Decor

While your personal style might be specific, neutralizing your home’s décor can help attract a wider range of buyers. Neutral colors and simple decor make it easier for potential buyers to imagine personalizing the space without having to undo too much customized styling.

Enhancing Curb Appeal

First impressions are crucial. Simple enhancements like painting the front door, planting flowers, or even just keeping the lawn well-trimmed can make a significant difference.

Creating Emotional Appeal

Use staging techniques to create an environment that buyers connect with emotionally. For example, setting the dining table or arranging cozy seating around a fireplace can create an inviting scene that buyers find appealing.

Professional Photography and Quality Images

Once your home is staged, capturing it in the best light is essential. Professional photography plays a crucial role in this phase of the selling process. Professional photographers use high-quality equipment and have an eye for the right angles and lighting that make your home look its best. They can highlight the key selling points of your property, from spacious layouts to unique architectural features.

Virtual Walkthroughs

Alongside still photography, consider adding virtual tours or video walkthroughs to your online listings. These tools allow potential buyers to get a more detailed and immersive view of the property, which can be especially appealing to out-of-town buyers or those who prefer to do their initial screenings online.

Setting the Right Price

Accurately pricing your home is a crucial aspect of the real estate selling process, especially in the competitive markets of Traverse City, Leelanau County, and Benzie County. Setting the right price from the outset not only attracts serious buyers but also helps in avoiding the pitfalls of a listing that lingers on the market for too long, which can lead potential buyers to speculate that there might be something undesirable about the property.

​To ensure your home is competitively and correctly priced, consider the following strategies:

Conducting a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA):

A CMA is an invaluable tool used by real estate agents to determine the optimal selling price. It involves analyzing the prices of recently sold homes that are similar to yours in location, size, condition, and amenities. By comparing your home to similar properties that have sold recently or are currently on the market, you can set a price that is competitive yet fair.

Understanding the Local Market Conditions:

Market conditions can vary significantly, even within the same county. For example, a home in downtown Traverse City might be priced differently from a similar home in a more rural part of Leelanau County. Factors such as the local economy, the level of inventory (number of homes for sale), and buyer demand must be considered when setting your price.

Pricing for Online Search Ranges:

Many home buyers search for properties within specific price ranges. If your price is set just above a common cutoff point, you may miss out on a significant pool of potential buyers. For instance, pricing a home at $405,000 might exclude it from searches set to max out at $400,000. Strategic pricing ensures your listing appears in as many relevant searches as possible.

Adjusting the Price Based on Feedback and Market Response:

After listing your home, it's crucial to remain flexible and responsive to market feedback. If your home has been on the market longer than similar homes in the area, or if initial buyer feedback consistently points to the price being too high, it may be necessary to adjust the price. Keeping your pricing strategy adaptable allows you to react to the real-time market conditions and buyer perceptions.

Utilizing Psychological Pricing Techniques:

Setting a price slightly below a round number can have a psychological impact on buyers. For example, listing a home at $399,000 instead of $400,000 can make the price appear significantly lower, even though the difference is minimal. This strategy can make your property appeal more attractive to potential buyers looking for a "deal."

​By employing these strategic pricing tactics, you can effectively set a price that will attract buyers while also ensuring that you receive a fair market value for your property. The goal is to strike a balance that will not leave money on the table, yet still ensure a timely sale.

Marketing Your Home

Effective Online Marketing

Utilize online platforms effectively by showcasing your home on various real estate listings and social media channels. Tailored online ads targeting local buyers in the Traverse City Area can increase visibility and attract more potential buyers.

Utilizing Local Real Estate Agents

Local agents bring invaluable expertise and resources. They understand how to market properties effectively within specific communities and have networks that can bring in buyers who are looking for homes just like yours.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Understanding Local Regulations

Each county may have specific regulations affecting the sale of property. It’s important to be aware of these to ensure a smooth transaction. Consider consulting with a local real estate lawyer to navigate any potential legal hurdles.

Preparing for Closing

Be prepared for the closing process by organizing all necessary documentation in advance, such as your property deed, recent tax assessments, and any home warranty information. This preparation can expedite the sale process and help avoid last-minute hurdles.

Ready to Sell Your Home

Selling your home in the Traverse City, Leelanau County, or Benzie County areas requires attention to numerous details, from staging and professional photography to pricing strategies and market timing. With a well-prepared home and a competitive price, you are set to attract serious buyers and achieve a successful sale. However, navigating the complexities of the real estate market can be challenging without expert guidance.

​If you're ready to take the next step in selling your home, or if you need personalized advice on any aspect of the home selling process, don't hesitate to reach out. Sander Scott is here to help you with all your real estate needs, ensuring you have a knowledgeable partner every step of the way. Contact Sander today to start your journey towards a successful and stress-free sale.

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Hi, I Am Sander

Full-Service Realtor & ADTV Host

I am a full service realtor and local real estate and lifestyle expert for American Dream TV.

Through my affiliation with American Dream TV and my expertise in target marketing I help drive exception value to my home seller clients.

For my buyer clients, I provide special benefits to my buyer clients that no other realtor provides.

Follow me on social media to stay updated!

Sander Scott
​Realtor License #6501423608

231-499-0165, Net Real Estate 2632, Crossing Cir #1099 Traverse City, MI 49684