Wednesday, December 04, 2013
4 tips to help your home sell quickly
Many properties that have been on the market for a long time must have hidden problems, is often what buyers are thinking. And that could lead to unnecessary price reductions. This specific property online looks great, except for some graffiti on the walls in the children’s room. The homeowner was not stupid, he was taking good care of the home and knew buyers could easily see past a little spray paint. Except that he was wrong. Most buyers do not want to do painting/ fixing at all. There are homes for sale that are in better shape, so compare with the competition in your area. Maybe this home is not ready, but the one down the street is. In the end, this seller not only lost time, he lost big in the math. Had he followed the advise of his real estate agent and spent the $1.000,- to repaint some rooms, it is certain he could have sold the home quickly for its asking price. Leave it to the pros. Welcome to the world of home sales, where a little stubborn behavior can be costly. But there is a solution that can be summed up with two basic points: • Find a seller's agent who you like and trust. Make sure you interview other agents that focus on your area, and then realize that you're hiring a professional who knows how to do this. Listen to that agent. The key is to separate the emotional qualities of your home from the basic functional qualities of the house. To start with; your house is unique, and so is everybody else's. Everybody thinks that their house is unique. Get over it. If the goal is to sell, and to sell fast, then you’re better off trusting the expert, even if his/ her advice, like the paint on a couple of walls or undercutting the price. To get a sense of what we mean, see the 4 tips below, all from experienced agents who say these are areas where home sellers often need some persuading. Price it right; price it low. You can never price a house too low, because the market will take care of it. An agent recently listed a home for $535,000 even though it had been appraised at $560,000. The house sold within weeks. The low price drew quick and competing bids. Had she listed the home for $560,000, she's certain the sale would have dragged and brought in even less than the valuation. If you start high and start lowering it, you will never get to the number that you will get to by starting low and going up, because when you start lowering the price, people will start wondering what's wrong with the house...and if it's been sitting for a while, people will try and make a lowball offer. Some sellers will say; Let's put it 20% higher, then during negotiation we'll have room. No. The rule of thumb is you should go where the last (comparable home) sold for, or right below that. Too high, and your buyers will be scared off. 2. Try a fresh sales approach. In one case we got a condo listing that had been on the market for 2 years with another agent. We immediately placed a large advertisement in a local newspaper. The following day we received over 10 phone calls. Within a week, we had two offers on the table. Sellers think that you need to have ads in the newspapers and an open house weekly, but that has nothing to do with the value of real property. If you have priced it right and cleaned it up, you don't have to do any of those things. 3. Don’t try too hard to fight the market. A beachfront home had been on the market for 3 years. When it finally did sell, the seller got half of his original listing price. He had all kinds of Realtors working for him. "It was hard to sell big houses on the water." Interested buyers either couldn't sell their own homes or had trouble getting financing. Eventually the seller had to accept a loss. Sometimes a seller has to accept that there's only so much an unfriendly marketplace can offer. 4. Remember, renovations aren't a magic bullet. "The Realtor walks through and says, 'If you do these 10 things I can sell your house for this amount,'" But without lowering price, renovations alone often aren't enough. The owners of a beachfront house spent $75,000 on renovations with the expectation that the improvements would put them over the hump needed to fetch a $1.7 million sale price. At the height of the boom, the home easily could have sold for more than $2.5 million. The owner has to get about $1.6 million for it (to satisfy the bank) but the reality is they aren't going to get more than $1.4 million for it. They've got nothing but lowball offers. My advice: be flexible with price. "Price is still what's moving." And if you want the house to move, find an agent willing to be brutally honest. Some Real estate agents want to give an owner a high number to get the listing, but they can't make that sales price indication too high because they're going to have absolutely no chance to deliver on that promise.