The Home Selling ProcessThe right way to maximize your sale...
Use Every Advantage
Once you decide to put your house up for sale, things can get out of control pretty quickly. This should certainly not be a spur-of-the-moment decision; don’t call a REALTOR up one day and stick a sign in your yard the next. Selling your house requires (or SHOULD require) planning. Real estate agents who push you to list quickly are most likely looking out for their interests, not yours.
As I have tried to show on my blog page, there are several steps you should consider before selling your house. The more of these steps you can incorporate, the more likely it is that you will sell your house quicker, and for more money.
Step 1: Interview More Than One REALTOR
REALTORS come in all flavors. Some are experienced, some are not. Some hang their license with large brokerages, others with a mom and pop outfit. Some sell over a hundred homes a year, others just a few. None of these alone are reason to, or not to, hire an agent to sell your house. Believe it or not, real estate is very personal. You are going to be in partnership with your agent. So, meet with a few and, beyond what they say they will do for you and how much it will cost to handle the marketing and negotiations, don’t underestimate the importance of “clicking” on a relational level.
Step 2: Become a Prepper
Not that kind of prepper (unless you already have your own bunker). What I mean is, make sure your house is fully prepared to sell before you put that sign in your yard. If your house is more than 5 years old, consider having it inspected. At the very least, you will know your property’s current condition, which is very important when disclosing this to potential buyers (required by law). This also gives you a chance to make some repairs ahead of time, so some defects are not an issue for buyers.
Consider also getting the advice of a professional stager. Even if you do not hire one to stage your home, a consultation can go a long way in helping you see your house through the eyes of a buyer, and will give you many suggestions on improving its look, both inside and out.
Step 3: Set a Realistic Price
Just because your house is special to you doesn’t mean it will hold the same magic for others. Which is more reason to implement the above steps in order to give it every advantage over similar properties. Pricing your house before it’s been fixed, cleaned and polished is sure to put it at a disadvantage to others for sale.
Look at it this way. When you take an old car in to a dealership for trade, they’re going to do a valuation on it. If you just roll onto the lot with no forethought – no maintenance in awhile, the car hasn’t been cleaned, etc., you can figure that you probably won’t get a trade in quote the same as if you had upkeep done and the car washed and detailed.
Appraisals are good and can give a decent baseline, but basing your house’s “for sale” price off of one is looking at value in the rear-view mirror. Now sometimes, if you own a pretty unique property, an appraisal is the only really viable way to get a handle on price. But normally, price is determined by comparison to competition in the here and now.
So make no mistake… you are in direct competition with others homes on the market at the same time, and yours needs to stand out.
Pricing your house against the competition, with no forethought to disclosures, repairs or appearance will lead to a price which can be substantially lower than if if it’s been inspected, repaired and spruced up. The REALTOR in me won’t need to tell you this – the buying public surely will by how they perceive it.
Go to my blog page for the posts linked to here and to others about getting ready to sell. They are well worth the read.