Today with the current real estate market more than ever we need to use every advantage possible to sell our homes. It is possible to gain an advantage when selling. Here are some things I’ve learned about selling homes both as a home owner and a Realtor.
It is usually best to hire a professional to market your home. A Realtor can reach a much larger group through their office and multiple listings. In any sales situation the best way to make a sale is to answer objections. A real estate agent is comfortable with handling the details once there is a contract, but more important an agent is not as intimidating to a potential buyer as a homeowner might be when it comes to discussing a home’s shortcomings.
To gain the optimum advantage when using a Realtor you must do your homework, setting the stage-or home- and choosing the right Realtor to market it. Keep in mind before your home sells to a buyer it has to sell to your Realtor. True, a Realtor should work diligently on all listings, but human nature comes in to play. A home that is in open house condition when you interview sales agents will get you off to the right start when marketing your home.
Here are the steps to maximize the potential for selling your home:
Step 1. Study your competition. Attend open houses in your area. Make notes about what impresses you, what ideas could you use, does the house measure up to your home in condition and size, does its price seem too high or two low compared to other houses in the area. This research will also give insights on Real Estate agents: what kind of an agent would do the best job for you?
Step 2. Gather and dispose. Remove family pictures, dated accessories, and collections, packing them away to enjoy in your new home. Your goal should be to make your home look as neutral as possible so that potential buyers will be able to picture themselves living there. This also goes for removing extra furniture; the less furniture in a room the larger the room appears. That said, don’t remove all accessories, your goal should be to make your home feel welcoming.
Step 3. Look at the outside. Curb appeal is very important. A house may be well priced and beautiful inside, but your buyer won’t get that far if the outside turns them off. Again, remove clutter, including toys, patch driveways, keep grass mowed and bushes trimmed. Make sure the windows sparkle. Wash the house to remove any mildew or dirt and paint or touch-up walls and trim. Your front door is the first impression a potential buyer has of your home; make sure it’s a good one. Finally, it is always a good idea to have flowers to add color.
Step 4. Interviewing Realtors. Now that your home is presenting itself in its best light, you need to find a Realtor you’re comfortable with and one who will do the best job selling your home. Not only are all Realtors not created equal, they like the rest of us have likes and dislikes. While your best friend may tell you about a negative in your home, a sales agent’s goal is to get your listing. A Realtor who is sincerely excited about your home is going to be excited when he is showing your home to a perspective buyer.
Once you have your home ready to show and have chosen a Realtor read over the listing information the Realtor compiles on your home: even the best Realtor can make a mistake. A friend of mine had his home on the market for over a year with no offers. In reading over the listing information it showed that his three bedroom home was just over 500 square feet when the township lists his property on their tax rolls at over 1,300 square feet. If you keep in mind that 10 by 10 is 100 square feet, it could mean that you would have three very small bedrooms and a living and kitchen area 10 by 20-with an outhouse. This same listing information said that the house was a ranch style when the living area was on the lower level and the bedrooms upstairs.
What does this mean to you and the sale of your home? When a Realtor pulls information from their Multiple Listing Service for a client, or when a prospective buyer goes on the Internet they are searching for criteria that fits their need for size, price, and location. When listing information is not correct you can lose a potential buyer before they even have a chance to see your home.
Even with our slow economy people are still buying houses. Focus on what appealed to you when you first saw your home, update outdated areas, create curb appeal, and price competitively.