4 Keys to Selling your Home Quickly and for Top Dollar.
In my experience there are four keys to selling a home in the least amount of time for the top possible price. By hitting each key point and nailing it, you will have a great outcome. These keys are all in relation to your competition currently active on the market. Your home must be the Best Looking, Best Marketed, Easiest to See, Priced Appropriately.
1. Best Looking. Start with the view from the road. Is your sidewalk and driveway neat and clean? Is your roof covered with moss, leaves or debris? Does your home need paint? Are there toys, bikes, tools or a car in the front yard? The general message here is clean it up. The time and money you spend here can come back many fold when it comes to attracting a buyer.
Inside, consider that less is more. Clean up messes, put away personal things, remove unnecessary furnishings. I did a blog post on preparing for Staging. Whether you hire a stager or attempt to do it yourself, my post Preparing for Staging, The three D’s will really help. You need to Declutter, Depersonalize & Disassociate.
2. Best Marketed. A great agent will ensure this. From my standpoint this means many bright clear color pictures for flyers and multiple websites. Inviting descriptions which relay facts but also engage the senses to create an atmosphere a buyer is drawn in and can envision themselves there. It means posting your home on multiple websites for maximum exposure to the greatest possible audience 24 hours a day 7 days a week. For us it means holding a public open house to introduce your home to the market and a broker’s open to allow other agents to preview and provide critical feedback.
Best marketed also means adjusting things as we go; updating data, considering new competition, listening to and considering feedback. It is an ongoing process that is heavily front loaded, but may also take some adjusting to get things just right.
3. Easiest to see. As an agent with active buyers nothing causes more difficulty than a listing with showing limitations or difficulties. Ideally every agent will give 24 hours notice and come on time, in reality some will call from your driveway and want to show your home right then. If you have tenants, pets, kids with toys strewn everywhere this can be difficult or impossible. If you can anticipate surprises and have a plan in place, you may beat your competition for the buyer. Once your home has been properly staged, part of the process will include a “panic plan” as to where to put things in a hurry when you have a surprise showing. The more buyers that can see your home the more likely you’ll get an offer.
4. Priced Appropriately. Let’s be fair, if you nail the first 3 keys and missed this one, it won’t matter. I’ve never had a buyer ask to see a house and overpay to buy it. If a home is not perceived as a good value, no amount of staging, marketing or access can overcome this.
Pricing is the most commonly discussed item by agents and is still the most commonly mis-applied. Overpricing, hoping someone will come along and “make an offer” only works in a seller’s market with rapidly inflating prices and even then it’s not the best strategy.
Pricing with an eye on two factors is what I recommend; the most recent comparable homes sold and the active competition. Recently sold homes may be the cap of what you can get because most offers contain a contingency upon appraisal. If the buyer is financing and the home appraises for $10,000 less than the offer, something has to give. The active competition will regulate the question, why your home and not theirs.
I could write chapters on each point, and break them down in great detail as to how to maximize your position, but I save some of my best stuff for my clients. I do have more posts on the subject so feel free to explore this blog.
My goal is always to be worth more than I get paid and earn my clients respect as well as their business.