As the spring market becomes more active, sellers will have to work hard to make their homes stand out among the rest. While some markets are stabilizing, others continue to face challenging conditions.
Millions of existing homes are sold each year, and while each transaction is different, every owner wants the same thing- the best possible deal with the least amount of hassle and aggravation.
Unfortunately, home selling has become a more complex business than it used to be. Market conditions are different, and buyers are thinking differently. The result is a frustration on the part of many sellers when it comes to getting their house sold.
The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It's necessary for sellers to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.
Sellers should ask themselves- If I were buying this home, what would I want to see? The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers- and as much demand - as possible.
Here are some tips to get you on your way to getting your home sold.
1. Hire a Professional. This is no time to be navigating the rough waters of the real estate market on your own. If your realtor asks to bring in a professional stager, you should agree. There are lots of things that realtors can do- and some staging is easy. But bring in furniture and accessories is not easily done, and you will need someone who has the items at the ready.
2. Be Available. Actually…I don’t really mean you, but I mean the house. Be sure to make your home available for showings. Your realtor spends considerable time and effort to advertise, qualify prospects, show the property and ultimately negotiate the sale. Try to accommodate requested appointments whenever possible.
3. Be Realistic about Pricing. It is much wiser to price a home correctly from the start of the selling process than to have an overpriced home sit on the market for months only to have to do a price reduction. You get much more traffic on a well-priced home and newly listed home.
Statistics show that when a home is priced right from the start, they obtain a higher percentage of the asking price. Once a home has had a price reduction, buyers think they can negotiate even more. For instance, if a property could have sold for $800,000, but listed at $950,000 instead, chances are when the sellers come down to $800,000, it will still sit on the market. More price reductions will probably have to take place before it sells.
4. Detach Emotions. This isn’t personal, its business.
When conversing with real estate agents, you will often find that when they talk to you about buying real estate, they will refer to your purchase as a "home." Yet if you are selling property, they will often refer to it as a "house." There is a reason for this. Buying real estate is often an emotional decision, but when selling real estate you need to remove emotion from the equation.
You need to think of your house as a marketable commodity. The goal is to get buyers to see it astheir potential home, not yours. The first step in getting a home ready to sell is to "de-personalize" it.
Sellers may have the inclination towards adding sentimental value to a home. They see the memories and work they’ve put into a property and think every buyer should recognize this. This kind of attachment will make it harder to make smart and timely decisions about offers.
Put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick knacks and souvenirs. Do not just put the boxes in the attic, basement, garage or a closet. Part of preparing a house for sale is to remove "clutter," and that is the next step in preparing your house for sale.
5. Don’t Hover. Sellers can put a lot of heart and soul into staging and getting a home ready for the market. They might want to hang out during an open house. Resist the urge. This makes it very uncomfortable for buyers. So, during showings of any kind, be sure to make yourself scarce.
6. Be Flexible. It’s no secret that today’s market can be challenging for many sellers. Some markets have seen sharp price declines and shallow buyer pools. This means you need to be flexible on both price and terms. Don’t compromise on your bottom line, but understand that you must be willing to negotiate.
7. Positivity. Focus on the good in today’s market. Pull your attention to the feedback you get from your agent and prospective buyers! Most of all, don’t get discouraged. You will find a buyer!
Selling in today’s market can be a tough. So, whether you’re selling to move up, downsize, avoid foreclosure or are following a job, be sure to keep these tips in mind for smooth sailing.