An important piece of advice that I give to all of the home sellers that I work with is … Study Your Competition! Learn as much as you can about the other homes that are for sale in your area that are similar to yours in price, condition, location, amenities, etc. I assure you this will be a very eye-opening experience!
Studying what your competition has to offer will provide you with a great deal of information. It will help you prioritize what you need to do to get your own house ready to sell. It will help you determine your realistic asking price.
View properties online at websites like Realtor.com. Drive by these homes. Visit open houses. Ask you agent to arrange private showings if necessary. Look carefully at your competition with what we call “buyers’ eyes”. Be brutally honest when you ask yourself:
1) What did you find positive, negative, attractive or unattractive about each property?
2) How does MY house compare to others I've seen?
Be aware of the emotions you are feeling as you make these comparisons. Move beyond these comparisons and start thinking about your house OBJECTIVELY. Give careful consideration to the following question:
3) If I didn’t live in my house and love it (and the memories it contains) as much as I do, how would it really compare to each of the other houses on the market?
You’ll find evaluating other houses much easier than evaluating your own. Emotional attachment typically prevents us from seeing our homes the way buyers would.
As you are checking out the competition and writing answers to these questions, be sure to take time to acknowledge the various feelings that are probably creeping in such as happiness, fear and sadness just to name a few. This is quite common.
To make the process of preparing your house for market a lot easier, start to become more aware of the negative emotions that you may be feeling. When they creep in, acknowledge them, then … LET THEM GO. This might be the MOST difficult part of the entire process, especially if you have particularly strong emotional attachments to your home, neighborhood, community, etc.
Finally, don’t allow the love you feel for your house to cloud your judgment when pricing it. The market dictates what your house is worth and does not care how much money you owe or how much you need for a down payment on your next house. The market determines your home’s value - not you, not your agent. It is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it – and what a bank is willing to appraise it for.
This post brought to you by Karen Bernetti, Realtor & Professional Home Stager on behalf of North Star Real Estate in Soutington, CT. Call North Star Real Estate for all your real estate needs! 860-302-0333.