A strong seller’s market and Fixer Upper fame make it a great time to sell your house fast in Waco. Can you master the farmhouse style buyers love? —-
It’s a great time to sell your house fast in Waco, Texas, thanks to rapid economic growth in industries like health care and education and a cost of living 9% below the national average. However, with the city being home to renovation duo Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper fame, Waco tends to attract homebuyers with lofty visions for their new abode.
“It’s crazy busy here, but the buyers have such a high expectation of the products that you’ve got to be spot on if you’re going to compete,” says Greg Clark, a top local agent who sells homes 56% faster than the average. Not to worry — this guide will help you achieve the perfect farmhouse style and take advantage of the Waco housing shortage to sell quickly.
What sellers should know about the Waco real estate market
There’s no debating it: Waco’s real estate market is as hot as grease on a skillet. According to a report from Texas Realtors, the number of homes sold in Waco grew 7.9% from 2018 to 2019, a higher jump than in previous years.
Jobs and attractions throttle Waco economy
Buyers flock to Waco to take advantage of the city’s low cost of living and economic opportunities (moving in next to Chip and Jo is a fun bonus).
Waco’s largest employer, Baylor University, draws in career hopefuls and permanent residents. The school’s recently constructed McLane Stadium, built along the scenic Brazos River, attracts large crowds each year and has prompted the construction of new hotels, restaurants, and shops. As the city expands, the housing market follows suit, with new buyers eager to settle in a thriving area.
Affordable homes are icing on the cake
Coupled with these economic perks, Waco homes sweeten the deal. The median price for a house in Texas is $240,000, but in Waco homes are roughly 20% cheaper, at an average of $189,000.
These affordable options are especially appealing to Waco’s large number of first-time homebuyers, many of whom come straight from one of the town’s three local colleges. “Your brand-new, first-time homebuyers don’t ring the bell at $400,000,” says Clark.
With price as a primary attraction, Clark says a home’s age is essential for Waco buyers, who don’t mind purchasing a house with a little history. Homes built in the 1950s experience the greatest demand, at a median price of just $122,000. These older properties are more prevalent in the center of town — “west I-35 and north of highway 6,” Clark adds, “in ZIP codes like 76710, -07, and -08.” These trends give the heart of Waco a significant portion of total home sales.
While Waco’s budget-friendly homes have grown in popularity since 2010, the supply of available properties is struggling to meet demand. “It’s a severe housing shortage. We have about 1.85 months of inventory,” explains Clark. To put this figure in context, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University estimates that a balanced housing market equates to roughly 6.5 months of inventory.
Get your home up to FHA standards
While this certainly bodes well for those looking to list their homes, Clark warns sellers to proceed with caution, as rising prices can rule out first-time buyers in need of options like down payment assistance or FHA loans.
“Debt-to-income is usually an issue with first-time homebuyers, so we’re limited on the types of lending we can go to,” he shares.
“If you have FHA as your audience — and that’s kind of how we focus our efforts — conditions matter. Your house is going to have to shine a little bit better than maybe for a conventional loan.”
FHA (i.e., Federal Housing Administration) loans require minimum property standards for a home’s safety, security, and soundness.
Emulate “Fixer Upper” interior design
Joanna Gaines has been a catalyst for trends like distressed wood and repurposed antiques. According to Houston Agent Magazine, vintage is a leading design style across the country, but especially in the Lone Star State. Stage your home with some rustic charm, so you can attract choosy buyers, beat out the competition, and sell your Waco home fast.
Incorporate neutral colors
In many ways, farmhouse style embraces the eclectic, mixing older, vintage pieces with more modern touches. But when it comes to paint, simple and neutral works best. “You have to be really conservative, cause you want to reach the masses,” advises Clark. “Pick up that more classic gray, and use soft tones on the interior paint with the white crown molding and baseboards.”
Keep decor casual and minimal
Carry the neutral color palette into your furniture and fabric selection, as well. Dress up your couch with some casual, textured accents, like this Soft Corded Pillow and Throw set from West Elm. You can also include some minimal decor from your neighborhood Magnolia Market, like this Carina Mango Wood Vase or a tiered set of Oren Pillar Lanterns on your coffee table. Finally, use a jute area rug, like this one from Pottery Barn, to tie the room together.
Replace carpet with natural wood
Texans are drawn to natural, aged woods — especially if you’ve uncovered an original hardwood floor under your ’70s shag carpet. If you need to update existing flooring, Clark suggests floating laminate with a barnwood look, an option that’s both affordable and easy to install. Consider options like Marigold Oak or Golden Rustic Oak from the Pergo Outlast collection. Averaging around $2.50 to $3.00 per square-foot, Pergo’s laminate flooring can give your home a warm and inviting feel for a reasonable price.
Declutter and de-personalize
Be sure to keep your home tidy and clean before listing pictures or hosting an open house. A homebuyer needs to feel like your home could be their own. Remove excessive furniture and clutter from cabinets to create the impression of ample space and storage. Pack up your personal picture frames and paraphernalia and be sure to deep clean everything.
Consider a staging professional
If you’re working with a tighter deadline, delegate the task of interior design to a staging professional. On average, professional staging costs $1,215, but a good rule of thumb is $500-$600 per month per staged room. While staging can be spendy, nearly 83% of top agents agree a staged home sells faster than an unstaged one, making the investment worthwhile for homeowners who want their home sold quickly.
Talk with your real estate agent to see if staging would be an ideal option for your home. Your agent may even offer professional staging services as part of their commission. According to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey, 75% of agents have provided complimentary staging services to their clients.
Keep curb appeal simple and low maintenance in Waco
Heatwaves and drought make developing a lasting landscape in Texas is no easy feat. Nevertheless, 76% of top agents say that improving curb appeal is the No. 1 thing a homeowner can do to boost the marketability of their home, while 94% report that great curb appeal increases property value.
To help your home catch a buyer’s eye, keep your landscape minimal and functional. Incorporate hardscape elements, like flagstone pavers and decorative stone; these additions can make your landscape more drought-tolerant and less susceptible to erosion. Balance hardscape elements with organic softscape, such as succulents and flowers. Finally, add some ornamental grasses and shrubs proven to thrive in the Texas heat, like Dwarf Pampas Grass and Engelmann Prickly Pears.
Once you’ve channeled your inner green thumb, give your home a bath. According to Realtors, a good old-fashioned scrub can increase the sales price of some homes by as much as $15,000. Rent a pressure washer from Home Depot for just $39 a day, then tackle any built-up grime on your stucco and sidewalks.
Finish the shower with a thorough window cleaning. You can hire a professional window cleaner in Waco for an average cost of just $212. If you find chipping paint along the way, add a new coat to freshen up the face of your home.
Finally, wrap up your home makeover with some subtle farmhouse style. Dress up your porch with rustic seating, like this Demsey Classic Porch Rocking Chair from Wayfair. Or, take a more modern approach with this set of contemporary rockers, featuring the natural wood and neutral colors Waco buyers love. If you don’t have space for seating, consider some weathered decor, like this Enfield Yard Sign or this metal planter box.
Address maintenance issues common to Waco homes
Stunning curb appeal secures a great first impression, but if your home inspection comes back riddled with repairs, buyers will see your aesthetic improvements as lipstick slathered on a pig.
Waco real estate agents recommend cleaning your HVAC system before listing your property. Every nook and cranny of your home collects dust over time, but air ducts can house mold, debris, and even pests when ignored, making a clean system a key interest for homebuyers.
Additionally, an HVAC system is the most expensive appliance in a home, and a lack of maintenance decreases a system’s lifespan. To determine whether your unit needs cleaning, the Environmental Protection Agency provides a “consumer checklist” for homeowners, which recommends consulting three different providers for quotes before hiring a company.
In the past couple years, roof damage has presented another consistent obstacle for Waco sellers. The town has suffered through severe hailstorms, compromising the durability of their roofs — not to mention the appearance. The 2019 National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Report ranks new roofing as the No. 1 exterior project that appeals to homebuyers, and 33% of Realtors said new roofing has helped close the sale of a home.
Talk to your real estate agent about a roof inspection to accurately assess the condition of your roof. The average cost of a roof inspection in Waco is just $211, and your agent can provide a recommendation for a reliable local inspector.
This ain’t their first rodeo: Work with a top Waco agent
While Waco’s current housing market caters to homeowners, sellers who fail to address the particular interests of Waco buyers are burning daylight. To stand out among buyers, be sure to research and apply local trends, otherwise, your home will sit on the market — quite literally a day late and a dollar short.
Fortunately, a Waco real estate agent can help you understand your target audience and address their needs and wishes. But, don’t jump the gun just yet! There are hundreds of real estate agents in Waco, and the best ones can save you time and money. A top seller’s agent in Waco can sell properties 49.92 days faster than the average agent and make 5.7% more for the seller in terms of final sales price.
We’ve evaluated millions of transactions and thousands of reviews to help buyers like you find a top real estate agent to sell your home fast. In just two minutes, we’ll match you with three qualified agents to research and interview, so you can partner with the professional who meets your unique needs.
When you’re ready to list your Waco home, find a top real estate agent in Waco who can help you find a new fan for your fixer-upper!
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