2023 Q1 Sellers Survey – Realtor.com News

Home sellers are facing new market dynamics this spring after two red-hot selling seasons in 2021 and 2022, during which prices soared and inventory fell. As of February 2023, home prices were still up 7.8% compared to the previous year, though price growth fell for the eighth month in a row. To understand how sellers are navigating the new environment,  Realtor.com surveyed more than 1200 recent or potential home sellers in February 2023.
The top reasons potential sellers are considering selling their home are the money-making potential, changed family needs and new preferences. However, motives differ for the youngest owner generation as more than half of Gen Z potential sellers are considering selling due to affordability concerns, hoping to find a less expensive home option. At the other end of the spectrum, Boomer homeowners are considering selling to downsize.

Whatever the motive for sale, with the selling season rapidly approaching, it is important for sellers to give themselves enough time to prepare their home. It took 80% of recent sellers between 2 weeks and 6 months to prepare their home for sale. About one-third (32%) of recent sellers took between one and three months to get ready. 

The top actions sellers took to list their home included finding a seller’s agent, making repairs to their home, cleaning and decluttering, having photos taken, and publicly listing the home for sale. The most common repairs/updates made by sellers were minor cosmetic updates, carpet/floor replacements, and landscaping.

Getting started as soon as possible will pay off for sellers and allow for flexibility. The time required to prep and list their home for sale was longer than originally expected for more than half of sellers (56%). Older sellers (aged 50+) tended to have the best understanding of the amount of time it would take to sell. Younger buyers tended to have more optimistic expectations of home sale prep time. Older buyers are more likely to have sold a home before, which would help with their expectation accuracy.
For sellers hoping to put their best foot forward in today’s market, it is important to offer a well-maintained, well-priced home. Though the market this spring will be affected by ongoing affordability challenges, buyers will be eagerly looking for move-in-ready homes at a fair price point. As the Best Time to Sell approaches, sellers can get into the market early and attract buyer attention as new listings remain scarce relative to last year. 
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