Selling your home is a major
undertaking. Following these 8 steps gives you the tools you
need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce
the stress that comes with the home selling process.
- START WITH A PLAN:
reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything
from setting a price to deciding how much time and money
to invest in getting your home ready for sale. It's very
important to set out in writing the reasons that are motivating
you to sell your current home. Every decision you make,
and every step you take is crucial in helping you get what
you want, in the time you want, with the fewest hang-ups
possible. What's more important to you: the money you walk
away with, or the length of time your property is on the
market? Different goals will dictate different strategies.
As the saying goes, "If
you don't know where you're going, how will you know when
you get there?"
Make sure not to discuss your motivation
with anyone else (other than your Realtor®), or they
could use it against you at the negotiating table. If someone
asks you why you're moving, simply say that your housing
needs have changed.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE SETTING
Settling on an asking price shouldn't
be done lightly. What's the best way to make sure that
your home sits on the market? Overprice it. Make sure
to ask for more than any home has ever sold for in your
neighborhood. By setting the price too high, you turn
away the best prospects for your home. An overpriced
property will not sell, and will most likely become devalued
over time as it becomes stale on the market! Once you've
set your price, you've told buyers the maximum they have
to pay for your home, and pricing too high is even more
dangerous than pricing too low. Understand that the average
buyer is looking at 15 - 20 homes at the same time they
are considering yours. This means that they have a basis
of comparison, and if your home doesn't compare favorably
with others in the price range you've set, you won't
be taken seriously by buyers or agents. As a result,
your home will sit on the market for a long time and,
knowing this; new buyers on the market will think that
there must be something wrong with your home. We can
do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), and help you
set the best price for your home.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT AGENT:
75% of homeowners claim that they wouldn't use the same
sold their last home. Their dissatisfaction is mainly due
to poor communication by the agent, which results in not
enough feedback, a lower sale price (if it sells at all!),
and a strained relationship. Don't list your home with an
agent just because they say that they can get you a higher
price than anyone else, because they sent you a Christmas
card every year since you moved in, or because you used them
when you bought your home 20 years ago. Agents who promise
to get you a higher price are just trying to "buy" your listing.
They'll tell you what you want to hear, just to get your
business. Another FREE report we provide, called, "10
Questions You HAVE to Ask Before You Hire an Agent," gives
you the no nonsense questions you should be asking when
you interview agents who want to list your home.
- PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE:
year, corporate America spends billions of dollars on product
and packaging design. Appearance is crucial, and it would
be foolish to ignore this when selling your home. In the
competitive marketplace, you need to show your house at
its best. Your home should be in "move-in" condition from the
first day it's listed. Buyers love homes that are bright,
fresh and clean (and they will often pay a premium for a
home that is already in great shape before they move in)!
We live in our homes one way; and market and sell them in
another. Picture model homes in a new development. They are
professionally decorated by high priced Interior Designers.
Builders spend all that money to create an atmosphere that
appeals to all the senses, and allows Buyers to feel "at
home," and imagine themselves living there. We need to
create a similar atmosphere.
You may not be able to change
your home's location or floor plan, but you can do a lot
to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home
generates more of an emotional response than any other
factor. Clean like you've never cleaned before. Pick up,
straighten up, declutter, scrub, scour, and dust. Fix everything,
no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your
home to get a "wow" response from
Allow the buyers to imagine themselves
living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based
on emotion, not logic. Buyers want to "try on" your home,
just like they would a new suit of clothes. If you follow
them around pointing out improvements, or if your decor
is so different that it's difficult for a buyer to strip
it away in their mind, you make it difficult for them to
feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves as the owner.
- MAKE IT EASY FOR PROSPECTS TO
GET ACCESS TO YOUR HOME:
If people can't get in
to see your home when they want to, they'll never make
an offer. Using a lockbox has been shown to increase
the number of showings by over 30%. You should give your
agent nearly free reign to create a timetable of showings
that will meet the needs of most buyers. Flexibility
is the key, and while that means you'll have to stay
on top of the housekeeping, you will probably sell your
home faster. Remember, the more buyers you have competing
for your home the better, because it sets up an auction-like
atmosphere that puts you in the driver's seat.
- DON'T MOVE OUT BEFORE YOU SELL:
show that it's more difficult to sell a vacant home, because
it looks forlorn, forgotten, and simply unappealing. It
could even cost you thousands of dollars. If you move,
you're also telling buyers that you have a new home, and
are probably highly motivated to sell quickly. This, of
course, will give them the advantage at the negotiating
- LEARN THE BUYER'S MOTIVATION:
negotiations, your objective is to control the pace and
the duration of the process. What is the buyer's motivation?
Do they need to move quickly? Do they have enough money
to pay your asking price? Knowing this information gives
you the upper hand in the negotiation, because then you
know how far you can push to get what you want.
is worth responding to, even if the buyer is several thousand
dollars below your asking price. The message you send back
is encoded in your counter-offer. If you come back even
$100 lower, you suggest to the buyer that you're willing
to entertain a serious offer, but that the current offer
won't cut it.
By not responding at all, you risk annoying
the buyer by not playing the game, and they might just
move on to the next property. What is a good offer? An
offer that either comes within spitting distance of, or
exceeds, the minimum price you'd be willing to accept for
your property. Recognize that, and you've come a long way
towards selling your home.
- MAKE SURE THAT THE CONTRACT IS
For your part as a seller, make sure
that you disclose everything. Smart sellers proactively
go above and beyond to disclose all known defects to
their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem,
they can't come back with a lawsuit later on.
Make sure that all terms, costs, and responsibilities
are spelled out, in writing, in the purchase contract,
and resist the temptation to stray from the contract. For
example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing,
just say no. This is not the time to take any chances of
the deal falling through.
When you put your home on the market, you want to maximize
your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that
comes with the home selling process. By taking these 8 steps
you're practically ensuring yourself of sales success. For further
help or questions please feel free to contact us at South
Shore Real Estate.