Getting ready to sell your house in Utah? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!
Updated on March 18, 2020
Now is a good time to be selling a house in Utah! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Beehive State rose 4.85% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 3.76% over the next year.
Of course, even the best Utah properties will struggle to sell if you don’t price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don’t know how to handle the negotiations.
Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Utah!
JUMP TO SECTION
1. Finding a Utah realtor
Selling a home isn’t easy. It’s a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you’re looking to sell your Utah home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.
The best Utah listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They’ll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.
In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $342,975 home — the median home value in Utah, according to Zillow — that’s a premium of $113,182. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.
2. Deciding when to sell
Nationwide, the best time to sell is the first half of May, as you could get a $1,600 price premium on your home’s selling price. It’s also the best time to sell a house in Utah because you can count on decent weather for showings.
But remember that larger economic factors such as unemployment will impact your home’s value, but you should also look at local trends when deciding when to list.
When the Federal Reserve raises its borrowing rate, it impacts mortgage rates. The higher the interest rate, the fewer buyers will want to lock themselves into a payment at that rate. Keep an eye on interest rates if you’re trying to decide when to sell your home.
Best time to sell a house across the U.S.
Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center
Best time to sell a house in Utah
|Best Month to Sell for Speed in Utah||May||18 days on market||12 days faster than average|
|Best Month to Sell for Price in Utah||June||$329,000 median sale price||4% faster than average|
Unemployment in Utah is around 3.0%. A growing population and more jobs increase demand for housing and drive up home values. Utah topped the nation in job growth several months in 2018 and has continued to add jobs into 2019.
Families prefer to move before school starts rather than force their kids to move during the school year, so spring and summer are hot buying seasons. Bad weather and lower inventory on the market causes the market to slow in the late fall and winter.
Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Utah
3. Pricing your home
Pricing your home to compete with other local properties is crucial for a fast sale. If your property takes too long to sell, potential buyers might worry that it has hidden issues. You want to avoid a situation where you have to lower your price to sell.
Picking a competitive price for your home increases your odds that interested buyers will want to schedule a showing. If your price is widely outside the range of the prices on comparable properties, buyers might not even tour your home. When you work with a Clever Partner Agent they’ll prepare a free comparative market analysis to help you pick the best price.
A Comparative Market Analysis takes all the data from recent real estate transactions in your neighborhood and summarizes and analyzes it to identify trends. It looks at recent sales, including foreclosures, but also includes information on how quickly those homes sold and if the sellers had to lower their asking price.
4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home
Build at least two months into your schedule for repairs and preparing your house to go on the market. After an initial visit, your agent will suggest repairs and improvements to make prior to listing. While they’ll address quick fixes, such as touching up the front door’s trim, they’ll also suggest more costly repairs that would help your home sell faster and for maximum value.
After your home is ready to list, your agent must market it properly. They could suggest that you hire a staging company, and they should have a professional photographer take pictures for the listing.
The listing description should be written to emphasize items that appeal to your target buyer, whether it’s the local school system or the neighborhood’s walkability. In Utah’s climate, buyers are concerned about drainage and dry rot, so make sure you’ve addressed any of these problems.
Technology has gained importance when selling homes and can matter more than word-of-mouth. Ask potential realtors how they market online and what tools they use. MLS and social media, listing portals and realtor websites, what do they do to increase your home’s visibility to target buyers?
There are basic rules once you reach the stage of open houses and showings. Keep your home clean at all times. Check that the key in the lockbox works. Above all else, listen to feedback after showings and make adjustments.
Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House
5. Fielding offers and negotiations
Once an interested party is ready to make an offer, their agent will likely talk to your agent to see if you’d be receptive to the price they want to offer. If your realtor thinks it’s an acceptable price, the buyer’s agent will prepare the paperwork and send over the earnest money check.
The dollar amount is an offer’s starting point. Buyers often specify which appliances are to be left with the house or ask for a certain move-in date. Negotiations may take a while, and while you’ll hopefully reach an agreement there could be a deal-breaker that stops the potential sale.
If everything is agreed upon and nailed down, the buyer’s agent will write it up in a formal purchase agreement.
Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette
6. Appraisal and inspections
Unless you live in an incredibly hot seller’s market and a buyer is willing to take their chances, the offer will likely have an inspection contingency. Buyers pay for independent home inspectors to examine your property for any current or future problems. Depending on what they find, they can either cancel or revise the offer after the inspection.
In Utah, inspectors often find homes that have old Polybutylene pipes, which have low bursting pressure and deteriorate faster than copper. They’ll recommend replacing them. Ductwork and leaking air is another concern, given the extremely hot summers in some parts of Utah.
The buyer will have time after the home inspection to review its results and come back with requests. They may ask for you to fix some issues before the closing, they may want cash back at closing to pay for a major repair, or they could request that you lower your price. It helps to prepare for a home inspection and know what the inspector will look for, but it’s extremely common for there to be negotiations after a home inspection.
7. Paperwork and required Utah disclosures
Seller disclosures are forms that you complete that tell a buyer about any known issues and problems in your house.
The only disclosure required by law in Utah is if your home has been used to store or manufacture methamphetamines. Sellers still often chose to, and should, disclose more information to protect themselves. Any known issues with a major system; electrical, heating, plumbing, should be disclosed. Also consider telling the buyer apart major repairs, outstanding liens against the property, or any current or past pest infestations.
You’re required by law throughout the United States to include information on potential lead-based paint in your home. If you haven’t had lead abated, or don’t know if your home contains lead-based paint, the buyer can request that your house be tested. If you’ve had the testing done or the paint remediated in the past, just include the certificate in your documents.
If you have any questions when filling out your seller’s disclosure or gathering any other legal documents, talk to your realtor or attorney. It is not a good idea to lie on your seller’s disclosure. If your buyer finds a problem that you concealed, either shortly after moving in or years later, it can lead to lawsuits.
Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Utah
8. The closing process
Closing dates depend on the title company’s availability, whether or not you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, and if any problems are found with the title. Expect to have a closing season further out if you’re closing during the spring and summer.
A day or two before you close the buyer will walk through the home and confirm that you’ve made any repairs agreed upon after the inspection. In Utah, the seller pays for the policy of title insurance.
There is a lot of paperwork and administrative details to track you close on a house. If something isn’t signed or initialed properly, or you miss a deadline, the whole process can stall. It’s part of your realtor’s job to monitor all the moving pieces and keep your home sale on track.
Learn More: How Much Are Closing Costs for the Seller?
Next steps: Sell your Utah home and save thousands
Whether you’re looking to list your Utah home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it’s never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.
Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.
Top ways to sell your home in Utah
- Discount real estate agents in Utah
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Utah
- Flat-fee MLS companies in Utah
- iBuyers in Utah