What you need to know when selling your home.
My goal is to help you get the most amount of money for your home in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of inconvenience to you. This can be done by pricing your home competitively, marketing your property effectively, and by preparing and showing your property correctly.
Pricing Your Home Competitively:
The single most important factor in getting the best price and selling your home quickly is pricing it competitively. If you price it too high, it will sit on the market for so long that when a buyer does make an offer, it will likely be far below the asking price. If you price it too low, you may sell it for less than what it is worth potentially costing you thousands of dollars. In order to price your property competitively, you need to look at competing homes (active listings) homes that have sold (comparable sales) and homes that didn't sell because they were over-priced (expired listings). The best way to evaluate the market is with a CMA, (Comparative Market Analysis), prepared by a real estate professional. This report will help you evaluate the market conditions and determine the price range that your home is most likely to sell.
Marketing Your Home Effectively:
There are a limited number of people looking for homes like yours in your area at any given point in time. The best way to ensure that you sell your home quickly and get the best price is to make sure the maximum number of interested buyers have available information on your home. While putting up a For Sale sign and creating a good flyer/brochure are a must, the majority of buyers will find out about your property either from a full-time Realtor, through the MLS, or from a real estate Internet website.
While running classified ads and/or print ads are still effective, they are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Over 70% of all home buyers start their search for homes on the Internet, so it is important that your home is listed on all of the major Internet sites. In order to maximize your exposure and reach as many ready, willing, and able buyers you must list your home on the local MLS, (Multiple Listing Service). By doing this, you not only expose your property to the potential buyers of every real estate agent that participates in the MLS, but you get important listing Syndication to Internet sites such as Realtor.com, Homes.com, HomeSeekers.com, MLSHomes.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc. By listing your home on the MLS, your home will also be searchable on MLS participant's websites, like this one, to thousands of potential buyers worldwide.
Never underestimate the power of a good salesperson In today's market, you need a real estate agent that knows your home and can help potential buyers see how it fits their price range and needs. Most out of town buyers will work with a Realtor, and when your home is promoted to the other Realtors in the MLS, it is much more likely to sell than if you try it alone.
Preparing Your Home To Show:
Many sellers underestimate the importance of preparing your home to show. As surprising as it may seem, many buyers are influenced by emotions and feelings as much as they are hard facts. If they are distracted by pictures on the wall or messes in the kitchen, they may not be getting the "buying feelings" they might otherwise have. Before the first potential buyer ever walks through your door, you should: clean up, box up, and fix-up as much as possible. Following are some helpful tips for preparing your home to show:
___ Box up and place in storage as much as possible
___ Check electrical (lights, doorbells, appliances, etc.)
___ Clean appliances thoroughly
___ Clean blinds and curtains
___ Clean handrails, light switches, etc.
___ Clean out closets
___ Close garage doors.
___ Make sure all beds are made.
___ Make sure all rooms are clean
___ Make sure garbage cans are out of sight and empty.
___ Open blinds and curtains.
___ Park cars on the street or around the corner.
___ Pick up all toys, tools, bikes, etc.
___ Remove/replace old furniture (extra clothes from closets, toys, nic-nacs, etc.)
___ Repaint or touch-up walls
___ Repair or replace faucets fixtures (if needed)
___ Repair or replace the old molding
___ Replace burned-out light bulbs
___ Replace old bedspreads
___ Set thermostat to a comfortable level.
___ Shampoo carpets
___ Turn on all lights.
___ Turn on some soft music.
___ Vacuum the floors.
___ Wash windows and mirrors.
___ Wash/wax floors
___ Mow lawns, trim hedges, sweep sidewalks.
___ Paint siding and trim.
___ Remove anything that doesn't add to the curb appeal of the property.
___ Repair/or paint all rain gutters, fences, railing.
___ Seal driveway and clean any oil stains from cement (if possible).
___ Weed lawn shrubbery, replant (fertilize) any bad spots in the lawn.
___ Ask your agent to create a virtual tour of your property.
___ Give your house a good smell with air freshener or home-made cookies or bread.
___ Meet the agent who will be showing your home, get a business card, and then leave if possible.
___ Ask your agent to walk through your home and offer additional ideas and suggestions.
___ Prepare a Binder Home Books with property information including Information Sheet (flyer) on Home,
list of upgrades, appliance /or home warranties, floor plan (if available), current property tax receipts, paid
utility bills, and information on community and schools.
The 10 Most Costly Home Selling Mistakes, And How To Avoid Them
- Not Hiring A Professional To Sell Your Home, Trying to sell your home by yourself is sheer madness. You need the expertise of a professional. The numbers also don't lie home sellers who try to do it themselves often end up taking longer to sell and sell for far less than homeowners who work with an agent.
- Mis-Pricing Your HomeOver-pricing or under-pricing is a huge money-losing mistake. It's so critical to know your market and get familiar with comps of similar homes currently for sale (and those that have recently sold) to understand exactly what price tag your home needs. Neglecting Necessary Repairs Prior To SaleYou will lose money if you don't take care of repairs before the house goes on the market. It's always going to cost you less out of pocket to fix things ahead of time, rather than have buyers see your house in disrepair. I promise they'll offer less or ask for a credit back for the work that needs to be done before the deal closes.
- Refusing To Remove Your Clutter And Junk Prior To The SaleClutter eats equity and kills deals. One of the least expensive improvements you can make to your home is to declutter and create a sense of spaciousness throughout, from the kitchen countertops to the overstuffed closets to the trophy-lined shelves in the den. It costs you nothing to get rid of all that stuff, yet it reaps big rewards.
- Selling Your House EmptySelling an empty house makes buyers feel the same way: empty. I'm a firm believer that a home should be dressed or staged. Don't worry, you won't need to go out and buy new furniture and accessories. Chances are, you have plenty to choose from already; in fact, that's usually the problem (see tip four, above). Editing out items and lots of them may just leave you with the perfect amount of furnishings for a simply staged home (space is your friend, after all). If your furniture is already in another house or taking a cross-country trek, I highly recommend making the small (but mighty) investment in a local stager to give the for-sale home a new look that will charm potential buyers.
- Letting Your Ego Get In The Way When NegotiatingToo many sellers take negotiating personally and lose out on creating a win-win deal. Remember, this is a business transaction perhaps the biggest one of your life. Take your ego out of the equation and put your head back into it.
- Failing To Complete A Full Set Of Disclosures Prior To ClosingI've watched too many sellers pay big bucks because they didn't reveal it all. Being upfront and forthcoming about any of your home's issues will save you lots of money and time, especially if the buyers end up uncovering problems themselves. And they will.
- Mis-timing The Sale For Maximum Tax Benefits Even a sale miss-scheduled by one day can cost you tens of thousands in extra taxes. Don't be left a day late and many dollars short. Make sure you talk to your accountant to find out if any long term capital gains tax breaks apply to you, and check your calendar to determine when they come into play.
- Overlooking Junk Fees And Extra Expenses At ClosingHome sellers throw thousands away by not requesting and confirming a list of fees and expenses long before closing day. Make sure you and your real estate agent review estimated closing cost statements long before it's time to hand over the keys. Because the closing table on sale day is way too late to be fixing costly mistakes or asking for discounts and credits.
- Using Lousy Photos This is my pet peeve. I do segments on several TV shows, and I'm always looking for great houses to showcase on-air. I can't tell you how many awesome homes have horrible camera phone photos in their sale listings. Now, more than 90% of all buyers start their home search online, so you'd better make sure you and your agent nail your homes close up! You won't ever get a second chance to make the perfect first impression.