Your friend sold her home the second day it was on the market. Your cousin had multiple offers on his home – some above listing price. Your co-worker had interested buyers for her home – and it wasn’t even listed for sale.

So if homes are in such demand today, why do some stay on the market for months – or longer?

While buyer demand is outpacing the number of homes for sale at many price points, that doesn’t mean buyers aren’t particular.

“Most buyers today are looking for move-in ready homes that have been updated, repaired and in excellent condition. Buyers simply don’t want to do the work. Even something as simple as paint color can cause a buyer to choose a different home,” said Angela Kalamaras, branch leader of the Allen Tate Realtors® Winston-Salem Cherry Street office.

Kalamaras offers the following tips to sell a home quickly at a fair price in today’s market:

Price to sell. Many sellers make the mistake of initially pricing their home too high, thinking they can reduce it later. Your home will receive the most exposure within the first week of listing. If the price causes a potential buyer to turn away, you might not have a second chance.

Keep your home updated. Today’s buyers are not looking for yesterday’s trends, designs or colors. Modern appliances, fixtures, countertops, and carpet are expectations – not just luxuries – for many buyers. Even if you are not looking to sell for a few years, start making updates today so your home will be ready when the time comes. Important: Talk to a Realtor for advice before making updates.

First impressions matter! Make sure your home has excellent “curb appeal.”

Stage to sell. You want a potential buyer to imagine themselves living in your home. Create a neutral environment that is extremely clean, decluttered and free of personal items like photographs. Remove excess furniture to make rooms appear larger. Don’t forget that buyers will also open closets and peek in cabinets. Add a fresh coat of paint throughout and repaint all rooms to a neutral color. If you’ve already moved, invest in some staging furniture to make your home more appealing.

Modern appliances, countertops and fixture are expectations for today’s homebuyers.

Create a spacious atmosphere with neutral colors, tasteful accessories and well-placed furniture.

Negotiate a fair offer. Today’s buyers are willing to move quickly, but only for homes priced fairly for the market and condition. And buyers are likely to make more demands with a higher offer. Your Realtor can help you price your home by looking at comparable home sales and market conditions.

Use a Realtor. A professional Realtor has the expertise, knowledge, and connections to help you price and market your home, evaluate and accept an offer, and most importantly, get to closing without difficulty or delay.

“Even in a seller’s market, it’s not easy to sell your home without the help of an expert. Accordingly to the National Association of Realtors, the typical FSBO (For Sale By Owner) home sold for $190,000, compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales,” said Kalamaras.

Allen Tate Realtors is the No. 1 real estate firm in the Carolinas and is ranked No. 4 in the country among independent real estate brokerages. Allen Tate has 47 local offices in North and South Carolina, including two in Winston-Salem at 147 South Cherry Street, Suite 100 and 3884 Oxford Station Way (Hanes Mall Boulevard).

To contact an Allen Tate Realtor in Winston-Salem, call 336-722-0331 or 336-722-0331.

The Chamber’s Keep it Local initiative promotes community support for local business ventures. Spending locally creates a strong economy and a sense of place which gives our town its unique lifestyle. The Keep it Local campaign will feature a different segment of businesses each month in 2018. May is Real Estate Month.