“Could we try listing it at a higher price to start and then we can always come down later?” This is a common mistake that sellers make. Pricing your home right the first time is the best move you can make in today’s market. Too many sellers chase down the market and later end up selling their property for less than market value. When a property sits on the market for too long, it causes the seller to lose most of their negotiating power.
Every home maxes out in value based on its square footage, location, and several other variables. Be sure you don’t, as I call it, “overdress” your home when preparing for sale. I like to make a list with my clients who are selling and prioritize what should be done prior to me placing the home on the market. One of my responsibilities when working for you is to earn you the most money possible, and I remind my clients that it doesn’t make sense to make improvements where you won’t get your money back when a successful sale goes through. Keep in mind, there is a difference between spending money to make the property more desirable and spending money to make no gain to its saleability factor.
Prior to listing your home, it is essential that I give you suggestions of how to improve it’s saleability. Sometimes small improvements will mean more green in your jeans in the long term. Sometimes watering the grass, painting the front steps, or shampooing your interior carpets will give the buyer a stronger reason to pay more money for your home.
Once I have presented you with an offer to purchase from a qualified buyer, time is of the essence. This buyer could potentially have three other properties that they are waiting to bid on and therefore we don’t want to waste time. The seller and buyer both want the same thing – a successful sale. My responsibility is to alert you of any red flags I see and negotiate on your behalf so you as a seller are happy with the terms and conditions determined by the contract.
Sometimes during negotiations it’s easy to lose focus and become emotional towards the buyer and the offer(s) they make you. Remember the reason you are selling and remain logical about the details of the offer to purchase. It is important to look at all offers strictly from a business standpoint.
First impressions are everything! Most of the time when showing properties, I see the buyer’s decision is made prior to entering the house. In the summer months, keep the front lawn in good order and mowed regularly and see that the walkways are clear of debris and tripping hazards. Planting flowers or touching up the stain on window trims or front verandas shows that you’ve put the “extra touch” into home maintenance which pleases and reassures the potential buyer. In the winter months, keep all walkways and driveways clear of snow and maintain a neat exterior of the home. Our goal is to peak the buyers interest before they’ve exited their vehicle and then to maintain their interest when approaching and entering the home.
Trends are always changing and tidying the interior of your home will show pride of ownership to the buyer when viewing. A clean, tidy, and organized interior will always help the buyer remember your house over the “not so clean” house down the street that’s for sale. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware on the kitchen cabinets, or cleaning the furniture is a few things that make a great first impression on a buyer.
When viewing your house for sale, the buyers will be imagining their family and friends socializing in the kitchen or enjoying a family dinner in the dining room. If your house in not presentable condition, this imagination by the buyer will not happen and the buyer will not feel connected to your home. Properly stage your home, make improvements where needed and removal personal items from the showing areas. The buyers will have to able to “picture” themselves living there prior to them making an offer to purchase.
Would you hire a football player to perform surgery on your knee if required? Most would answer “no” to that question. So why wouldn’t you hire a true professional to sell your home? I help people every day in the fast paced world of real estate. This is what I do. I know what buyers are looking for and I know what it takes to sell a home for top dollar. I look after all the steps needed for a successful meeting of the buyer and seller. There is no doubt that hiring a professional realtor comes with a fee for service but I’ve also heard that the only thing more expensive than hiring a professional is hiring an amateur. So interview your realtor to ensure you feel comfortable with them and see what they are going to do to meet your real estate needs and goals.