Phyllis Lerner of William Raveis, Westchester County, NY has put together the top 10 on what sells a house. I would recommend both buyers and sellers take a look at this list and check off each item when in the market. Please leave comments on the original post, Happy Holidays.
Especially under today's real estate market conditions all sellers want to know the secret to selling their homes quickly and for the highest possible price. Unfortunately, there has never been a magic formula that brings on the perfect sale, even in better markets. However, while there is no "sure thing" in the housing market these days, there are factors which govern for how much and how quickly your home sells.
Here are the top ten items, in order of importance, you need to consider before even putting your home up for sale. See how they may apply to your own home, how that affects your marketing strategy, as well as what aspects of your home you should "play up" to garner better offers from buyers.
1. The Price: It used to be that location was the leading factor of whether or not a home sells. Today it is all about the price. Imagine this scenario. You have a very nice home located in a popular and sought-after neighborhood, but your asking price is tens of thousands of dollars over the competing homes for sale in the area. Do you really believe anyone will be interested?! However, your very same home priced slightly below the competition will attract showings and offers in no time.
2. The Location: Well, okay, of course location is still very important. But it has slipped to #2 on the top 10 list. Nevertheless, a home that sits on a busy street is less desirable than one that backs up to a lush golf course... and if your home has a great location you need to boast about it in your marketing.
3. The Liveability: This has become a very hot topic in real estate. Today's buyers are looking for neighborhoods that offer creature comforts and amenities such as golf courses, parks, restaurants, theaters and such. They want good schools, walkable neighborhoods, easy access to commute, and plenty of things to keep them entertained.
4. The Condition: There will always be a group of buyers that are renovators, flippers, and investors. However, you won't find as many of them these days. More often you'll encounter first time home buyers which are not eager to buy your run-down property even if it is in a great neighborhood. On the other hand, homes that are well-maintained or in move-in ready condition appeal to a broader range of buyers. Even simple fixes you do upfront, such as new paint, carpet cleaning, new door and cabinet hardware, can have a positive effect.
5. The Competitive Advantage: Please do not believe that you're the only one deal in your immediate area. Current listings, short sales and foreclosures in your neighborhood are your direct competition. You must take these comps into consideration when deciding on the asking price for your home. What amenities and upgrades do these homes have? Do these all have updated kitchens and bathrooms, new roofs or landscaped yards? In order to be competitive and price the same your home must have the very same things or have even better amenities.
6. The Curb Appeal: Curb appeal is the first impression your home conveys to any potentioal buyer walking up to it. Besides the exterior you must also keep the property it sits on in order, at all times. Your home has been judged by the buyers before they even set a foot into it.
7. The Staging: Once inside your home a buyer must be "wowed". They want to see and smell a clean home, touch cabinets and surfaces that are in good repair, hear peace and quiet, and of course "taste the good life".
8. The Kitchens & Bathrooms: It is no secret any longer, a "to die for kitchen" and "luxurious bathrooms" sell a house. Kitchen and bathroom remodels rank high among the list of top remodeling projects, with many owners updating cabinets, counter tops, backsplashes, hardware, appliances and flooring. Nobody wants an outdated kitchen and/or bathrooms. Consider what fixes are in your budget. If your kitchen is already spectacular, be sure you play this up in your marketing. The very same goes for show stopper bathrooms.
9. The Agent: A professional, accomplished and knowledgeable agent will be be your biggest ally and asset during the selling process since they know all of the the ins and outs... they have been there and have done it. They also know the latest market trends in your area and have built a network of agents and other contacts to whom to market your home to. Top agents have a vast arsenal of marketing tools available. Ranging from state of the art Web sites, MLS access, online property video tours to print materials such as brochures and ads... just to name a few. They are an integral part of exposing your home for sale to the market the right way.
10. The Marketing: Nowadays marketing has gone global. With the power of the "World Wide Web", your agent can showcase your home to millions of potential buyers. Let your agent develop and implement a solid marketing plan. This is one of the main reasons why you hired an agent to begin with.
The real estate market is no longer what it once was. Today, you must be realistic about what selling in the current market means. Yes, you still value your home, but it may not be "worth" as much today as it was yesterday, last month, last year, or five years ago. Please consider these top ten ways a home sells and make your home stand out from the competition.
Phyllis Lerner, Realtor
Broker / Owner
Westchester County NY - Real Estate Listings, Sales, Rentals & Services
Voted 2010/2011 FIVE STAR Real Estate Agent by Westchester Magazine
(Disclaimer: Any and all grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes located within my blogs and other content are purely for your amusement and entertainment. Some of my AR blogs are either copies of or loosely based on some of my newsletter articles found throughout my web sites and elsewhere. Others were exclusively written for my AR blog.)