Plenty of homeowners who’d been planning on selling their homes in 2020 decided to postpone when the coronavirus, and all the uncertainty it created, hit last spring. 

However, almost a year in and coming off a surprisingly strong year for real estate, many of those same homeowners are now deciding to take the plunge and list their homes in 2021. 

If you’re one of those homeowners, here’s some advice for a quick home sale this year. 

It’s a seller’s market, but many agents believe inventory will rise as the year goes on

While it’s likely that 2021 will remain a seller’s market for at least the first part of the year, 50 percent of top agents also believe that we’ll begin to see confidence rise this year, which will unlock more inventory. 

The reason? Because of the effect of the COVID vaccine on real estate

What that means for sellers is that while you should definitely make sure your house is sale-ready before listing, you may want to prioritize selling as early in the year as possible. This way, you can take advantage of the low-inventory, high-demand situation and get the best value possible for your home. 

Find a top agent 

With the market so advantageous to sellers right now, some homeowners may be tempted to go the FSBO—for sale by owner—route. 

The thing is, 2019 data shows that homes sold by real estate agents typically went for 40 percent more than homes sold by owner. That’s a serious chunk of change you could be missing out on by not engaging a real estate agent to help you. 

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To find a top agent, you’ll want to reach out to friends and family for referrals, search a database like HomeLight, and check out local reviews of agents in your area. 

Agents can be especially helpful during these less-than-typical times, advising you on things like whether you should host an open house, how to make sure your home stays clean and sanitized, and the best virtual tools, like video walkthroughs and 3D home tours, to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible. 

Focus on high-ROI improvements

When you’re deciding what improvements to make to your home in order to speed up its sale and increase its value, stick to the ones with proven positive ROI. 

Some of the best, according to Fortune Builders, are: 

  • Landscaping (and any other improvements that increase your curb appeal)
  • Window replacements
  • Minor bathroom remodel
  • Minor kitchen remodel
  • Attic bedroom conversion

It’s important to note that it’s the smaller projects that generally give you a better return—major remodels, like transforming your mid-range kitchen into a chef’s kitchen, can make your home out of step with others in your neighborhood, and likely won’t appeal to buyers as much as small, but important updates will. 

Things like removing a popcorn ceiling, updating your light fixtures, and updating your bathrooms are additional projects that will make buyers feel like your home has been well-maintained and kept up-to-date. 

Happy selling!