The housing market has changed. Not too long ago you could put a home on the market and it would sell in a reasonably quick time. This is no longer the case. Now more than ever, you must follow these steps to understand the market if you want your home to sell. You need to do your homework.
Disconnect Your Emotions: When Realtors work with home buyers they often refer to the property as a home. When they work with sellers they refer to it as a house. The reason being, you buy homes based on emotion. When you sell you need to look at the house as a marketable commodity. It is real estate. You need to get others to see your house as their potential home, not yours.
Understand your reasons for selling: Your reasons for selling affect everything from setting a price to how much time and effort you will invest in preparing your home for sale. You need to understand what is more important: the length of time your home is on the market or the amount you walk away with? Your motivation will dictate the sales strategy.
Research the market: Your real estate agent should do this for you. Find comparable homes that have sold in the last three to six months. Also check into where current comparable homes on the market are priced. This is what potential home buyers will do and you need to do this before setting your price.
Price your home based on the market: This step should not be taken lightly. In setting your price you are stating this is the maximum a buyer needs to pay for your home. Pricing too high and pricing too low are equally dangerous. An average home buyer will look at anywhere from 15 to 20 homes as they shop. Your home needs to compare favorably with the competing homes available. If your home does not compare favorably to the others available, you will create the wrong impression with buyers and their agents. This will cause your home to sit on the market longer than average. As your home ages on the market, buyers will begin to think there is something wrong with it.
Get a good Realtor: Many home owners will tell you that they wouldn’t use the same Realtor who sold their last home again. Often this is due to poor communication and lack of feedback. Make sure that everyone understands the communication expectations from the beginning. On my website you can get a free report on the 10 questions to ask before hiring an agent.
Make your home shine: Appearance is a crucial element in any home sale. Corporations spend billions of dollars every year in packaging products and skipping this when selling your home would be a huge mistake. Major changes may not be financially feasible, but do everything possible to improve the appearance. Make sure that you prepare your home for showings by cleaning like you have never cleaned before, straighten, pick-up…
Provide easy access to good information: When home sellers are first asked what they feel is going to be most effective in selling their home most answer with an open house. Less than 1% of homes are sold because of an open house. Nowadays home buyers value their time just as much as you do. They want information and they want it now. Be sure that your Realtor offers a 24 hr recorded hotline that allows buyers access to information about your home. With this tool as many as 3 times more buyers will call for information. More buyers can create an auction like environment for your home giving you a position of strength.
Know who the buyer is: Motivation is a key element of the negotiation process where the objective is control. Does the buyer need to move quickly and can they pay asking price? Key information like this can give you the upper hand through negotiations.
Put it in writing: Sellers that understand the process will go above and beyond to disclose all the properties defects to the buyer in writing. If a problem is disclosed properly the buyer cannot come back to sue later. All the terms and responsibilities should be spelled out in writing and abided by both parties. Resist the temptation to make unnecessary last minute changes.
Sell first and move later: Vacant homes look forlorn and are more difficult to sell. The home has a forgotten, vacant feeling. Moving before selling could also cost you thousands during negotiations. Buyers will think you are highly motivated because you have already moved on. This will give the buyers the negotiating edge.