DON'T LIST UNTIL YOU READ THIS!
You can greatly improve your chances of selling your home within a reasonable period by taking these five tried-and-true steps that have resulted in successful sales for millions of homeowners.
Price your home correctly. Price is the most important factor for a quick sale. If your home is listed more than 15% higher than comparable properties, it will be overlooked. And the longer it stays on the market, the less leverage you have in negotiation.
Clean, depersonalize, and declutter. I’ve had clients refuse to go through the door if a home is dirty or cluttered. Remember, the buyer wants to imagine how your home will look with her belongings in it—not yours.
Make your home easy to show. I understand; it’s a pain to keep your house show-ready, but buyers don’t always give us a 24-hour notice; they may only be in town for that day. So, if you want to sell it, make it available to see.
Work with your agent to ensure the photos and virtual tours reflect the special and unique qualities of your home. And while your pet is undoubtedly adorable, please don’t include him in the photos.
Consider having a pre-listing inspection done. That way, you can take care of any large issues that may cause your sale to fall through. And don’t forget about the little repairs. I’ve seen buyers walk away from a sale due to faulty outlets, minor cracks, or missing electrical junction covers.
Remember, your home will be one of many from which buyers have to choose. Most buyers in our area look at just 10-20 homes before making their final decision. Consequently, it’s imperative that you and your agent do everything within your power to dress up and market you home so that it stands out from the crowd.
TOP 10 STAGING TIPS:
1. Pressure wash exterior siding, patios & walkways
2. Clean entry lock set
3. Clean windows & replace damaged windows & screens
4. Repair dripping faucets
5. Lubricate squeaky doors
6. Replace burned-out bulbs
7. Re-caulk tubs, showers
8. Clean & stretch carpets
9. Maintain lawn & flower beds
10. Declutter & update
PRICING YOUR HOME TO SELL
Preparation is the key to a satisfactory home sale. Staging, decluttering, and cleaning are all essential to positioning your home for buyers. But, by far, the most important element is pricing.
Setting the right price is absolutely critical.
Unfortunately, both sellers and their real estate agents are often not realistic when setting your initial home price, and that can cost you—both in time and money.
Here are the common pricing mistakes and how you can avoid making them.
I paid $XX, I’ve invested $XX in upgrades, and my mortgage is $XX. I need to get at least that much out of my home.
The sad reality is that buyers don’t care. They base their offers on their need for houses that are similar to yours, and if those houses are priced less, yours will remain on the market while those sell. As to upgrades, some pay off better than others, but on average, most remodeling projects return a mere 62% of their costs to their sellers.
2. Buyers can always make an offer.
This tactic rarely works. 1) If priced too high, your home won’t even show up in the Realtor’s search. Most buyers tell their agents a precise price range for a specific size home. If your 2,000-square foot home is $30,000 higher than others of that size in your area, yours won’t even make the first cut. 2) If you’re significantly higher than similar homes, your price will scare buyers away. They will think if you are that far out of line, they won’t even bother to make an offer, as you probably won’t come down to their price range.
3, My neighbor got $XX for his home, and mine is much nicer.
If your neighbor’s home was a cookie-cutter version of yours (but not as nice), you may be right. Your agent will do a comparative market analysis to determine how your home stacks up. That analysis will focus primarily on “Sold” homes, as they are the arbiter of what you will ultimately receive for your home. And remember, those sold comparisons are also what the appraiser will use when evaluating your home for your buyer. You might consider asking your agent to show you similarly-priced homes to help you make your pricing decision.
4. I’ll reduce the house by $1,000.
In most cases, a small reduction will not boost interest in your home. If your home is not being viewed within the first couple of weeks of being listed, the problem is most likely the price. At the outset, you and your agent should discuss your strategy. If you decide to list a bit above market, realize that you will most likely need to reduce the price. It’s always better to make a decent price cut your first time, instead of doing a bit this week and a little more next week. If you don’t make a decisive cut the first time, your home could just sit there and become stale on the market.
Pricing is not a science; it is an art, but by getting the data and working with your agent, you can price your home for a successful sale.