New York has long been known for its aggressive real estate market. Because of new technology and search capabilities that are available to savvy buyers, there is little transparency for a seller. For example: If you listed the property previously, if you bought it several years ago, if you got behind on the payments, or switched mortgages, or applied for construction permits… even up to your tenants and whether or not they are registered voters; these types of information is up for public access. That is not to say that all buyers have accessed the information; but knowing what the full picture of your property and what it may look like online to a buyer is something to consider if you want to sell your home and DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!
So how do you make your home stand OUT, and in a GOOD way? How do you find the Right Buyer? Is there a best way to market your home? These are all good questions to ask, and to find the answers for when thinking about selling. Looking at the myriad of real estate websites can also be daunting, and some infamous sites will try to put a value on your home, which may or may not have any validity. Most buyers begin their search online, and will look at hundreds of listings on the screens of their phone for weeks before actually setting foot in a property. How your home looks on that tiny screen is very important to first impressions. You must GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.
Some brokers are selling homes in your area for wholesale prices, which will eventually affect the value of your home. Don’t be one of those sellers that doesn’t do their homework, or get the assistance of a professional that can bring the knowledge of what the market is doing and how it will relate to your property. I know, you live there and know all the foibles of your house. You see all the defects that need some TLC, and know how much some of it will cost (which could be a reason you want to sell and start afresh) You think to yourself, ‘I would never in a million years pay that much money for a house like mine’ and that thinking may be the low-ball factor that leaves thousands of dollars on the table.
Don’t leave it to your gut, using a real estate professional is the best bet in determining value. It isn’t what you think the house is worth that matters, it is what the market says it is worth that matters.
So-- what should you expect from a Real Estate Professional when you decide to get some help?
When you meet with an agent, your first impression of them and how you feel about them is also indicative of how buyers and other agents will feel when they come to see your marketed home. If you don’t like your agent and how they communicate with you, chances are the buying public might not either. This person is going to have a great deal to do with the success of your sale, and the capture of every penny of equity you can get from it. Be wise.
Secondly, how well does that agent LISTEN to you? Is the conversation all about them? How many properties they have sold? How great their marketing is? Etc, etc…Those are all great things to know, but most important is for them to know what YOU want from the sale, and what YOU need from the sale, and WHEN you need it to happen. WHY? When an agent knows your BIG WHYS they can protect them, they know the best type of negotiations that will help you get what you need. They are in sync with you and your needs. They are your advocate.
Thirdly, once the agent knows what you need, they should be able to reassure you that they know how to get that result for you. Whether through their online presence, their targeted advertising, and featured ads, their Open House protocols, their pool of buyers, their collaborative relationships with other agents in the market, and most importantly, the commitment to making sure you feel like you are their ONE THING.
Some of the nuts and bolts things that will reassure you that the agent knows their stuff:
1. Photos are professional and HD finishes. Online advertising is the first impressions, so it needs to be consistent, compelling, and cover all the places buyers are looking. The right photos will attract the highest level of exposure online. There is an art to real estate photography, a style and attention to line and contrast that makes your home look perfect.
2. The property information needs to be correct. There is nothing worse than someone who guesses, or estimates important numbers, like whether there is 1000 square feet or 993 square feet total. It is important that they know how and where to gather the best information, and then how to word it in the advertisement to protect you from misrepresenting the property in any way. Being able to see the property through a buyer’s eyes is another way to showcase what is going to bring them to your door and not to the one down the street.
3. Unique features should be highlighted, and if they need a little TLC, a good agent will show you ways to enhance them so your sale goes RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, remember it is those first impressions that are important.
4. Outdoor space? Laundry in the unit? Tax abatement? Gym in the building? Pets allowed? Soaking tub? Huge kitchen windows? These kinds of details should be something that gets your agent excited on the marketing possibilities. If you need some work, do they have a buyer vision they can sell to those that are coming? Do they have an idea of design, or renovation opportunities? Ways the new owner could maximize their investment potential?
5. If you have a floor plan of the home, make sure your agent gets a copy. Any improvements, make sure they have a clear idea of what value you have added. Remember how everything is online? If someone is looking at your listing and they research it and find that five years ago it sold for 455k and now you have it listed for 950k, they will want to see what you have done to add to that value beyond just market price increases.
6. The agent should know about the area, the neighborhood and why there are reasons to move there. If you have any tidbits about neat stuff that you like about the area, please SHARE. Make sure your agent has every advantage in making your home stand out.
Remember, YOU MUST GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. So, why does that matter?
Buyers and agents follow DOM (days on market) If a home is overpriced, it will sit on the market; buyers might be excited at first, but if it is too much work to fix it up, or too much money for the area… you won’t get offers, unless they want to low ball you. If that happens, you will get offers below the price that your even your house should be for the market.
Pricing it correctly THE FIRST TIME is the way to keep up the momentum and get qualified and ready buyers in the door. It is better to have several options to choose from, than try to beat up the price from the first and only low-ball offer. Once your house sits on the market longer than the average DOM, then you will be lowering your price, and the offers will continue to low ball, thinking you are now desperate to sell. This is where many sellers find themselves when they are NOT careful with whom they choose to assist them.
It doesn’t matter if it is your husband’s business partner’s wife, who is an agent, or your neighbor or friend from church… if they do not provide the above-mentioned professionalism, it is OK TO SAY “NO THANKS, NO HARD FEELINGS”, and get a professional to help you. It is your hard earned and paid for equity that matters, and you need to find someone who can really help you DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.
The Castle Group at KWNYC Tribeca strives to provide the customer experience that will get your home sold RIGHT, THE FIRST TIME. We listen, we prepare, we present, we advertise, we negotiate, and we keep all the moving pieces together so that the result in the end is the best price, the best terms and in the shortest amount of time for our clients.