When it comes time to sell – are you ready? Here’s a few hints that can help.
Selling your home isn’t just throwing a “FOR SALE” sign in the yard and waiting for the right buyer to pull in the driveway who might be ready to buy your home. While it may seem like an easy process that requires little effort on your part, the truth of the matter is that it takes time and energy to sell a home. Equally as important is that studies have shown that FSBO’s (for sale by owner) home sales generally net substantially less money than when a licensed real estate agent helps with the sale. If your home has been on the market for a while and it just doesn’t seem to be selling there could be a few different reasons and we’ve got the tips to help you fix them.
Set a Price that’s Right from the Start
Don’t be overconfident. More often than not, a homeowners’ idea of the value is greater than the real value. Just because you absolutely love your home doesn’t mean that it’s actually worth a lot more money, you need to be realistic from the very beginning about the value of your home and what you can expect to get from the sale. Even in a seller’s market your home may not fly off the market. Work closely with your agent to determine the value and set a price that’s reasonable and fair. Your agent should be able to analyze the current market and the current supply and demand that will impact the sale of your home. They will also know of all comparable properties in the area and will be able to guide you in setting a price that is competitive without being viewed as overpriced or underpriced.
Complete Needed Repairs and Updates
Just because you are selling the property doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a little work and some money into it to get it ready for the sale. You don’t typically need to do complete renovations and break the bank; you just need to add a fresh touch to the property. Add a coat of paint, new faucets, a new ceiling fan in the kitchen; simple things like this can make all the difference in giving a room new life. While you’re at it you should take a look at your appliances to make sure that they are all somewhat up to date, this also includes the HVAC and water heater. The reason for this is because if appliances look outdated, it could lead buyers to think the home is also outdated. Again, there is no need to break the bank.
Since you’re making the home look fresh you should also make sure that it smells fresh too. Take a few walks through the home, and have a friend or your agent do the same checking for any odors that might be lingering that you’ve become immune to over time. Typically you can remedy any such smells with a candle, potpourri or baking cookies; if the smell is more like mold, mildew or smoke you need to find the root of the issue and deal with it quickly.
Always Use Professional Photographers
Since over 90% of home searches start online you will have to make the best impression possible very quickly. Most potential buyers will just skim a large number of listings online while they are beginning their search, this means your listing has to grab their attention. This starts with the pictures of the home and the property. A good photographer can really make a non-photogenic home look pretty amazing. Photos that are blurry, cluttered or taken in poor light can lose a buyers interest immediately. Be sure to clear away all clutter, organize the entire home and hire a professional photographer that will come in, stage the home and take the best possible photos for your listing. Experts suggest that the use of a professional photographer can actually increase online views by more 118 percent and sell your listing 50 percent faster than listings that use photos taken by the buyer.
Clear Up all Title Issues
Run a title search on your property to be sure there aren’t any issues or liens that might stop a sale. Title issues that you should look for include:
- Conveyance without recorded deed (When property is exchanged between family members)
- A paid mortgage still showing a lien
- Other liens (ex: filed by a contractor)
Most of these issues can be resolved fairly easily but keep in mind that they can take time to clear up so be prepared for paperwork and time. Contact your title company to find out what you need to do to resolve these issues and follow their instructions exactly, your agent will be able to help you navigate this process so don’t panic.
Hire the Right Agent
If your home is still stuck on the market after looking into each of these reasons maybe your issue is with the agent. One of the most important steps in the selling process is finding the right agent that cares about you and the sale of your property. Since your agent will be your first connection to potential buyers, it’s important that they have the marketing experience needed, knowledge and experience with working with sellers and a great personality, social skills and a knack for selling help as well. Experts suggest that if you can’t see yourself inviting your agent to be part of a large dinner party then they may not be the right agent for your sale.
So remember, it’s not just about the sign in the yard and hoping the right buyer stops in. It will take effort and time on your part. With these tips and the right agent on your side you’ll be ready to face the possible issues that may come up during the process of selling your home.