6 Characteristics of Home Sellers Who Sold Above Listing Price in 2016

Posted by Laine Smith on 10/23/16 9:49 AM

Topics: Home Buying Home Ownership

What’s the ultimate goal for home sellers? To sell for top dollar, at top-notch speed. In Zillow’s newest report on consumer housing trends, they found several distinct characteristics of sellers who received bids above listing price.


Hired a Reputable Agent

Ninety percent of sellers who sold their homes above listing price worked with an agent, with over half of those sellers enlisting an agent at the beginning of the selling process. While omitting the agent commission check at the end of the process may sound tempting, a real estate agent is well worth their cost with the above statistic alone.

Real estate agents will help you:

  • Appropriately price your home
  • Market it to prospective buyers
  • Negotiate any offers, counter-offers, etc.
  • Take care of necessary paperwork
  • Present your home in its best light with home staging, home improvement and curb appeal advice

Read our tips on finding an agent that will work best with your home selling goals.

Made Updates to Their Home

Millennials, who accounted for nearly half of today’s homebuyers, place a huge emphasis on move-in ready homes. Six in 10 Millennial buyers asked their sellers to make major repairs.

Sellers are taking note by tackling expensive or time-consuming renovations before listing their homes. Sellers who received offers above asking price were 50 percent more likely to modify their home’s floor plan or finish a basement and nearly 20 percent more likely to renovate their kitchen or repair a roof.

See our list of the best renovations and home improvements to complete before selling your home.

Got Online


Above listing price sellers also turned to the Internet to get their home as much digital traffic as possible. Over one quarter of sellers shared their listing via social media.

Staged Their Home

Sellers are placing a lot of emphasis on appealing to the desires of homebuyers. One in four home sellers had their home staged by a professional.

A study by the Real Estate Staging Association studied 89 un-staged homes that were previously on the market. On average, those homes sat for 166 days before the owners called in a professional stager. After those same 89 homes were professionally staged, they received their first offer in 32 days, on average. Home staging doesn’t necessarily require enlisting a pro stager. To learn more about the do’s and don’t of staging your home, see our tips here.

Researched & Planned But Acted Quickly

Nearly three of four home sellers turned to online resources like real estate websites, social networks and home pricing tools in preparation for listing their homes. On average, sellers consider putting their home on the market for 5 months before listing, but sellers who closed above listing price tended to spend 2.4 weeks less pondering their decision.

Opened Up Their Homes & Regrouped When Needed


Eight in ten home sellers who sold over list price hosted at least one open house. Surprisingly, one in four home sellers who sold above list price also took their home off the market at least once rather than letting it sit on the market for a prolonged period of time.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, download our free Upsizing & Downsizing Guide for everything you need to know about buying a home again.

Download: Upsizing/Downsizing Guide


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