Sell your house fast in Flagstaff to nature-loving, first-time home buyers or second-home vacationers who will appreciate your mountain home with scenic views. —-
Living in Flagstaff, Arizona, has likely awarded you some amazing outdoor experiences, whether you’ve skied the state’s highest peak, hiked its dense forests, or stargazed at the Lowell Observatory.
But you’ve decided to sell your home in Flagstaff and need to do it fast. Perhaps your older downtown home is no longer a match for the space you could get in Doney Park, or you’re headed for a place with a big-city feel.
Fortunately, this four-season mountain town is one of the hottest real estate markets for nature-loving first-time buyers and second-home vacationers alike.
The city has historically maintained high demand with low inventory. This is mainly because it’s surrounded by national forest, limiting new development.
Follow these tips to sell your Flagstaff home fast and at the price it deserves.
1. Don’t inflate the price of your Flagstaff home
To get an idea of what your Flagstaff home is worth, start with a free tool like HomeLight’s Home Estimator, which will provide you with a price estimate for your property in under two minutes.
Follow up your DIY pricing research with the opinion of a top local real estate agent. Their knowledge of Flagstaff market conditions and buyer preferences can make all the difference in pricing a home just right.
Since 2012, Flagstaff’s median home sales price has climbed 45% from $260,000 to $475,000. Given these steep gains in value, you want to avoid underselling your home without inflating the price — a delicate balancing act.
Valerie Caro, a top real estate agent in Flagstaff, encourages sellers to keep the price realistic for the best outcome in the end.
“When you do that, you get all of the attention from buyers,” she says. “I would say 90% of the time, we are able to drive the property up through multiple offers after that.”
2. Mention any desirable location features of your Flagstaff home
According to data from NeighborhoodScout, the highest appreciating neighborhoods in Flagstaff since the year 2000 are those nearest Northern Arizona University, Cogdill Center, the historic downtown, and the airport.
Mention these desirable location features in your listing as well as any of the following descriptors that are true of your Flagstaff home:
Space for horses or livestock
Views of mountain scenery, San Francisco Peaks, or Sunset Crater Volcano
Private golf course access
Easy access to public transportation
Close to urban trail system
Minimal or no HOA fees
Access to recreation such as fishing or disc golf
Location off Highway 180
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3. Present a neat, finished product
To avoid a difficult sale, address any needed repairs around the house and make sure your curb appeal looks great.
“Buyers are most attracted and will pay the highest price for a property that is more turnkey that they don’t have to do a remodel on; that they can just move in and enjoy,” Caro says.
That has especially been true since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. On top of the long-standing shortage of skilled tradespeople to do the work, costs of materials remain extremely high, and home improvement activity is through the roof.
“The concern is, ‘When I get my house, am I even going to be able to turn it into what I want,’” Caro says. “So to have that done in advance is a huge benefit.”
A home’s first impression can have an impact as well. It may not be what seals the deal, but it can certainly get buyers in the door. Use these curb appeal tips to get started:
Unless you have a luxury home, stay away from high-maintenance lawns or exotic vegetation. “In Flagstaff, you can get away with natural landscaping with a low-water design,” Caro said.
Trim and clear brush so that the native plants and rock formations look cared for in their natural environment.
Add some low-upkeep flair to the front yard. Create a short pathway using pavers, build a small garden bed, or add some outdoor decor. Bird houses, benches, or metal sculptures match the Flagstaff aesthetic.
Apply a fresh coat of paint to your home exterior. Similar to the landscaping, colors that exist naturally in Flagstaff (i.e. browns, grays and wood colors) typically look the best, Caro advises.
4. Depersonalize and simplify the interior decor
If you’ve owned your home for more than a year, it likely appears lived in – it has your look, flavor and preferences. While you undoubtedly have incredible taste, the appeal may not be universal.
Kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most neglected spaces in Flagstaff homes during the staging process, Caro says. Buyers place a great deal of value in these spaces when considering a purchase, so putting in the extra effort to completely clean and clear them out can make a significant difference in how buyers feel about the home.
Give the impression of a fresh canvass with the following tactics:
Remove any clutter to make the home feel bigger and not distract the buyer from important home features.
Deep clean the house
Depersonalize by removing family photos, political or religious items, or refrigerator art. Hide any clothing and keep bathroom counters clear.
5. Anticipate inspection shortcomings
“Every potential buyer’s concerns are: Is the roof good, is the foundation good, and is the heating equipment in good working order,” says Bretton Austin, senior inspector and owner of Legacy Home Inspection Group in Flagstaff.
It’s unusual for foundations to have any significant settlement issues, he says, but when they do, it can cost an average of $4,000 to repair. Minor patching of small cracks can be as low as $500, but major structural adjustments can cost over $10,000.
With the moderate to severe blizzards Flagstaff experiences every year, roofs are more commonly a problem. It can easily cost $15,000 to completely replace a shingle roof on a standard 1,500 square-foot home, Austin says.
If your home has an old roof, talk to your real estate agent about how Flagstaff buyers are likely to perceive it. You may be able to note that the cost of roof repairs has been factored into the price, or invest in a new roof with a warranty as a selling point to help the home sell faster.
6. Advertise your home’s sustainability features
A housing trend that has gained momentum, especially in the last decade in Flagstaff, is sustainability.
The creation of the Coconino County Sustainable Building Program (CCSBP) in 2003 kicked off an effort to design and build more energy-efficient structures, as well as retrofit older ones.
Leaders of the program have also pushed for fair valuation of high-performance homes using the Appraisal Institutes’ Residential Green Addendum. This tool helps appraisers take into consideration all green building practices when calculating a home’s value.
To help you better market these home features and assist buyers in finding high-performance homes, there is also a Green Northern Arizona’s Multiple Listing Service. The addition allows real estate agents and homeowners to include all green aspects of a home in their listings.
If your home has high-performance features, make sure to mention these to your real estate agent so they can highlight those during the selling process.
7. Team up with a top real estate agent in Flagstaff
Working with a top real estate agent can save you significant time and money.
“Hiring a professional will get you a professional result,” Caro said.
Experienced agents with proven track records know how to better boost your home’s visibility, capture higher offers and work with the timeline you’ve set in your mind on when you wish your house to sell.
Flagstaff has over 350 active agents. According to HomeLight’s internal transaction day, the city’s top 3% of agents do 86.8% more deals yearly than the average agent and move homes off the market 46.1% faster.
To connect with one of these top agents, start with HomeLight. Tell us a bit about the home you’re trying to sell and when you need to sell it by, and we’ll match you with the top three agents for your home based on transaction data, including average days on market, average list to sale price, and client reviews.
8. Target summer for your Flagstaff home sale (but don’t shy away from winter)
Home sales in Flagstaff traditionally heat up every year with the weather. As the temperature rises in the spring and summer, so do real estate transactions.
Moving into a new home in the dead of winter can be daunting, so most people wait for the snow to melt before braving the transition. This makes May through September ideal months to sell quickly for a higher price.
Based on the HomeLight housing transaction data we have for Flagstaff, July is the best month to sell your home quickly in that market. It generally takes about 3 months to close on a home, so we estimate that if you list your Flagstaff home in April, you could sell your house 12 days sooner than if you listed any other month.
Conversely, our data shows that February is historically the worst time to sell your home, with homes taking 27 days longer to sell than any other month.
That said, since fewer homes are listed during the winter, the competition is reduced, which can benefit you as a seller when a buyer is looking at your home.
“What I find is that people in Flagstaff that are looking for homes in the winter time are more serious buyers,” says Caro. “You don’t go out and look at a house in the snow unless you have to.”
Header Image Source: (Richie Nolan / Unsplash)
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