For whatever reason, you've decided to list your home for sale By doing so, you'll be inconvenienced by complete strangers walking through your home, open houses and the exhausting task of keeping your home "show ready" every waking minute of every day until your home sells. This process can literally suck the life out of you or it can be relatively painless. You are in control of your destiny and if you make some wise decisions at the forefront; you will eliminate a lot of grief and maybe even make or save some money.
As a seller, you control three very important factors that determine how quickly your home will sell: Choosing the right Realtor, condition and price.
First and foremost:
Start your decision by interviewing a Realtor who specializes in your neighborhood. Please do not agree to list your home without first reviewing a thorough Comparative Market Analysis and a comprehensive marketing plan that makes sense. If a Realtor walks into your home and wings it with a notepad, offers a discount on his commission while lacking the necessary credentials; run away! You need to be certain you're in good hands. This Realtor will be advising and representing you throughout the sale of your biggest asset, your home.
Were you born in a barn?
First impressions are everything. I truly believe that while pulling into the driveway of a prospective home, a buyer has already made up their mind if your home is in contention or not. "Can I be proud of this home?" "Will my friends and family be excited to see my new home when they come to visit?" If the answer is "yes", good on you and continue on to the next paragraph. If you think the answer may be "no", get to work and improve your curb appeal! You can improve your landscaping over the weekend. Pressure washing and/or roof cleaning is relatively inexpensive. Clean off the cobwebs, bugs, weeds, repair rot and everything else that's not supposed to be there. This is time and money well spent; trust me.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly:
To sell today, you must be priced to be the next home to sell. If you're truly motivated to sell quickly, price your home 5%-10% lower than the selling prices of other homes in your area. What your neighbor's home is on the market for is irrelevant. It hasn't sold! This goes back to hiring a Realtor who is a specialist and is familiar with your neighborhood. They can make or break you. Think about your goals. Can you hold out for the highest price you can get, or do you want to move on quickly? If you've overpaid and need to net more than the market will bear, consult with a Realtor who has experience with short sales. Or, wait until the market improves. Otherwise, you'll just be sitting on the market while more attractively priced homes sell out from underneath you. You'll become bitter quickly because you're putting forth a lot effort for nothing. A successful Realtor is also a savvy business person. They will not spend their marketing dollars on an overpriced property that will never sell. Be wary of the Realtor who will list anything at any price. Is that a good business decision?
Forget about salvaging your equity and price your home aggressively against the competition. Overpricing keeps many buyers from even seeing your listing. Today's buyer is educated more than ever before. The Internet has become the preferred research vehicle of prospective home buyers. They'll see lower priced homes as a better value and dismiss your overpriced home without thinking twice. They don't care about the 60" widescreen HDTV that conveys as a "bonus" for buying your overpriced property.
If you follow these three steps from the get go, your home will attract the attention of other agents and qualified buyers by means of the savvy marketing provided by your carefully selected Realtor. They will be proud to call your home their own because it's been well maintained and stands out. Lastly, they will recognize your home as a good value because of the attractive asking price. You've now got the upper hand over your competition and set yourself up for offers and ultimately, a sale.
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