According to Peter Stoller, Director of Communications and Government Affairs with the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, the median sales price of homes sold in Monroe and the 11 counties surrounding it in 2010 was $119,900. This is a 3 percent increase from 2009. Stoller also stated that there were 4 percent fewer homes for sale in 2010. That is only a 5 percent difference in completed sales from 2009 to 2010. Those are facts. Be an optimist about today's real estate market.
My personal experience, although it may be different from other agents, is that when researching comparable sales, homes are selling for less than during the tax credit period. To me, that says one thing. In order to get the best price for any property, it needs to look better than all its competition on the market. Interest rates are still great. Robert Everhart, Mortgage Consultant for First Rochester Mortgage, www.roberteverhart.com, states recent rates still allow you to get financing in the high 4% range. I have been telling sellers that they may make as much profit, but they can make out well purchasing a home and getting a lower interest rate.
Do you want to sell your house quickly, have a smoother transaction, and get the most money for it? If yes, it takes some money and definitely preparation. As a realtor and co-owner of professional home staging business, Stage It List It Sell It I recommend several steps you can take to simplify the home selling process. Do the obvious repairs needed such as holes in walls, chipped paint, and things around the house that aren't working. Get your carpets cleaned. Have your furnace and chimney cleaned and inspected. Having receipts readily available for buyers gives them a good impression. Documentation of warranties, proof of recent upgrades such as windows and roofing, as well as recent utility bills are a big plus for you. Be proactive and have a pre-sale inspection done. The price on this will be approximately $125 according to John White at Integrity Inspections. You will learn of any hidden issues that need to be addressed that may arise from a buyer. If you don't have changes to your home such as sheds, home additions, swimming pools, and finished basements documented with a certificates of occupancy, a "C of O" from your village/town, get one. Have your agent pull up your tax records on line. Be certain that everything listed is accurate. Many times they are not. Upon completion, have your house professionally staged and professionally photographed. In addition to the photographs, insist on a virtual tour. If your agent is not willing to invest in these things that absolutely promote your home, get a different agent.
Don't think because you are a regular viewer of HGTV that you alone can stage a house. Don't think your agent can stage your house. No matter what your listing price is, staging is imperative. You need a professional home stager. I don't want to hear one more person tell me that baking cookies before showings and de-cluttering is home staging. No kidding. Really, that's news to me. There is a lot more to home staging than just common sense. Leaving out a dirty litter box, getting clothes off the floor, removing dirty dishes from the sink, keeping a toilet lid down, and getting globs of toothpaste out of the bathroom is a given. You are selling a house, not getting a quote from a house cleaning service.
The efforts you put into preparing to sell your home may cost some money, but it will be well worth it. Never list a vacant house. These preparations will save you money in the long run and give you some peace of mind. They need to be done no matter what your house is going to be listed for. As always, if you have any questions or a request for a future article from me, let me know.