If you’re looking to sell your Salt Lake City home fast, market trends are on your side. With a booming tech industry, world-class outdoor recreation, and family-friendly vibe, Salt Lake City is growing, and its real estate is heating up.
Still, you’ll need to put some work in if you want your home to sell faster than the competition. We talked with local real estate experts and analyzed recent transaction data to bring you six tips to speed up your home sale.
Salt Lake City is the next Silicon Valley: Tech boom brings families to the area
Data compiled by the National Association of Realtors confirms what many residents and business owners already know: the Salt Lake City metro area is growing in leaps and bounds. Salt Lake City’s burgeoning tech industry is a big reason why so many millennials call the city home.
Founded by two BYU graduates, billion-dollar analytics firm Qualtrics was the first tech firm to set up shop in Salt Lake City. Many well-known companies were quick to follow, drawn to the wealth of talent and the entrepreneurial spirit Salt Lake City has to offer.
The tech boom in what Inc. Magazine calls Silicon Slopes increased the demand for single-family homes with plenty of space for growing families. The housing market is growing yet remains affordable compared to its West Coast antecedent.
According to the U.S. Census, the current median price for owner-occupied homes is $314,500. For some perspective, consider comparable owner-occupied homes in the Bay Area sold for $1.1 million on average in late 2020.
LinkedIn reports that in 2020, Salt Lake City had the second-biggest gains in new arrivals to the area (+9.6%), just behind Jacksonville, Florida. That growth is impressive in itself. And when you consider that this urban metro significantly grew amid a pandemic, the numbers are even more monumental.
Salt Lake City’s growth is great news for homeowners interested in selling quickly. Here are our top tips to prep your Salt Lake City home inside and out for a quick sale:
1. Winterize your home
Salt Lake City residents are fortunate to experience all four seasons. And while winter gets fairly cold, it is not as cold as some who’ve never visited might expect. Winter highs generally fall below freezing, though the temperature rarely drops below zero degrees.
The Salt Lake Valley climate produces what’s known as “the greatest snow on earth.” But heavy snow and colder temps wreak havoc on a home’s interior and exterior.
Winterize your home to prevent costly damage that can stall the inspection process and hold up a quick sale:
- Properly insulate the attic.
- Add weather stripping to windows and doors.
- Clean gutters of leaves and debris to allow proper drainage.
Check out this link from Lowe’s for more recommendations on winterizing your home to increase insulation and protect structural materials.
2. Capitalize on the views
Nestled between the Wasatch Mountains and the Oquirrh Mountains, there is no shortage of breathtaking views in Salt Lake City.
According to Kristy Wiser, a top Salt Lake City real estate agent, those stunning views are a huge selling point. Working with 85% more single-family homes than her peers, Wiser knows precisely what buyers want.
“Many of the clients we help are looking for mountain views in areas that offer good commuter access to downtown,” she shares.
Here are a few ways to highlight Salt Lake City’s mountain views in listing photos and for walk-throughs. First, avoid covering windows with large pieces of furniture. Unobstructed windows open up the room and encourage buyers to look outside and enjoy the scenery.
Next, install curtain panels that hang stationary to the sides of the window. This style of curtain gives the room a finished look without blocking the view. Finally, clean the windows before home showings using a dry microfiber cloth and a natural, streak-free glass cleaner.
3. Add a fire feature
Balance winter wonderland views with a cozy interior and heated outdoor living space. If your home doesn’t have a traditional, wood-burning fireplace, installing one probably isn’t worth the return on your investment. A new fireplace can cost upwards of $30,000 while only increasing your home’s value by around $1,000.
Fortunately, there are many stylish electric fireplace options to make your home more inviting for a fraction of the cost. Some come with a built-in mantle that you can stage with flameless candles. Other designs, like this electric fireplace, have a more rustic, cabin feel and don’t take up a lot of floor space.
Outdoor fire pits are a growing home decor trend sellers should consider adding to their home. In HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Report for Q4 2020, agents ranked fire pits as buyers’ most-wanted outdoor feature. A toasty fire pit allows buyers to enjoy the crisp Utah air and take in the magnificent mountain views available all year long.
4. Install a whole-house humidifier
Salt Lake City has some of the driest air in the country. Research shows that, at times, the air in town is drier than that of the Sahara Desert. Low humidity is a problem in the home because it creates the ideal environment for the flu and other viruses to thrive and spread. Dry air also causes sore throats, nosebleeds, and dry, cracked skin. Just as dry air affects the body, it negatively affects the bones of a home. Dry air can dry out plaster, paint, wood floors, and upholstered furnishings.
To make the atmosphere of your home more comfortable, install a whole-house humidifier. Because humidifiers attach directly to the HVAC system, you don’t have to change the water or clean a whole house humidifier daily, like you would with a portable, single-room humidifier.
Moreover, a whole-home humidifier improves your home’s energy efficiency. It helps you feel warmer at lower temperatures, allowing homeowners to lower the thermostat and save big on energy bills. And energy-efficient features do make a difference for buyers. According to a report from the National Association of Home Builders, buyers will pay nearly $9,000 upfront to save an average of $1,000 per year on energy bills over time.
A high-quality whole-home humidifier generally runs a few hundred dollars, plus a few hundred more for installation. That’s a relatively small investment to attract more buyers to your home.
5. Boost curb appeal with climate-friendly plants and flowers
More than 94% of the nation’s top real estate agents agree a home that makes a positive first impression from the outside is more likely to grab a buyer’s attention and command a great price.
Salt Lake City family-owned business Millcreek Gardens has been a staple in the community since 1955. Owner LaRene Bautner and her team have learned what works best in the unique Salt Lake City climate.
She shares that you don’t need to spend a fortune to boost your home’s curb appeal. For just a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, you can make your home the most appealing on the block.
“Start by driving by your home and seeing it just as a prospective buyer would. Trim overgrown shrubs and remove dead branches and debris to make a tired yard look new.” Bautner adds that color always sells. “Add bright, quick-growing flowers like zinnias, snapdragons, and cosmos for cheerful pops of color.”
“Every yard should have a few focal points, as well. Consider setting colorful pots filled with a variety of hearty plants and flowers to the driveway or by the front door.”
She also recommends low-maintenance dwarf shrubs with longer bloom times for a simple, budget-friendly way to add depth and texture to a garden. Sellers can head to a local nursery like Millcreek Gardens for expert advice on native plants.
6. Consult a top Salt Lake City real estate agent
These updates are great first steps to sell your home fast. But without the right agent, a beautiful home can get lost in the fast-paced Salt Lake City real estate market. To ensure your home receives the exposure it deserves, partner with a trusted Salt Lake City real estate agent.
Before signing on the dotted line, remember that not all agents are the same. HomeLight’s transaction data analysis reveals that the top 3% of Salt Lake City real estate agents sell homes 21 days faster than the average agent.
You need a real estate agent with a track record of selling homes fast who knows what sells in your local area. Plug your property details into HomeLight’s Agent Finder, and we’ll match you with the three top agents for your home sale.
Header Image Source: (Tanner Crockett / Unsplash)