Gaining An Edge In Selling Your Home
The first thing to examine when thinking about selling your home is your own attitude. Have you adjusted it to accept that the real estate market is not what it once was? The value of your home is elusive and as valued as it is to you, it may not be worth that to others. You would be wise to know what is on the minds of today’s buyers. Hopefully the list below will help you to gain an edge in today’s marketplace.
- Sales Price: They call it a buyer’s market for a reason. All buyers are looking for and expecting a deal or at least the perception of one. Where location used to rule, sales price has risen to the top of a buyer’s priorities and in general there are a lot of deals out there. Even if your home is in a desirable neighborhood, if it is priced over other comparables in the area the buyers will not be interested. Most properties priced just below others in their neighborhood will sell first.
- Location, location: Having dropped slightly in the buyer’s top ten, location is still important and deserves boasting rights. Use the fact that your home is in a prime, desirable location in all your marketing. This can attract the buyer’s attention, but couple it with the right sales price and you have a sure edge.
- Curb Appeal: First impressions are important in life and in real estate. You only get one chance at this so make the most of it. Take yourself out of your own shoes and into those of a perspective buyer and look at the exterior of your home with a new set of eyes. Is your yard and landscaping neatly kept, does the outside look well maintained? If not, take some time and/or spend a little money to give it a fresh, neat look and then maintain it.
- Condition: Fact is because of market conditions the number of renovators and flippers has diminished significantly meaning the segment of the buying population looking for fixer uppers has diminished too. Those homes that are move-in ready condition enjoy quite a competitive edge over those that are not. Simple things like cleaned carpets, freshly painted rooms, and power washed exteriors have a big impact.
- Staging: A buyer wants to be able to picture him or herself living in your home. If there is too much of you everywhere, this makes it difficult. Tone down the expression of you by removing collections of anything, whether it is family pictures or your display of shot glasses from around the world. You don’t want to distract the buyer. Clutter is out so out with the clutter! They want a sense of well being in your home achieved by open, well lit spaces, up to date furnishings, appliances and cabinets in good condition and a house free of noticeable odors.
- Livability: Buyers do not want to “commute” to enjoy amenities. Today’s buyer wants convenient, enjoyable living in or very close to their neighborhood. They want the choice of being able to walk to the things they enjoy doing. Again, if your neighborhood boasts close location to parks, restaurants, theaters, etc., highlight this in your marketing.
- Competitive Advantage: So who is your competitor? Don’t think it is just the house for sale down the street. Past area sales and foreclosures are two of your closest competitors so you must be mindful to take these into consideration when deciding on your sales price. Know your competition. Do the houses you are competing with have updated baths and kitchens, well designed and maintained landscaping. A perspective buyer may know so you should too.
- Kitchens: A kitchen is the heart of the home and quite frankly it sells homes. If your home has a modern, updated kitchen then be sure and market that point. If not and you do not want to remodel before putting it on the market consider that your perspective buyer is going to want to and give that consideration in your sales price.
- Marketing: DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the power of the internet in marketing your home. It is a powerful tool and brings your home to the attention of millions of perspective buyers. You should insist on a very strong marketing plan from your agent.
- Agents: You definitely want an agent to represent you but it is important to have the right agent. Before choosing, consider attending open houses. Not only will this give you an idea of what is on the market but will allow you to observe the agent and to meet before he/she is making a listing presentation to you. It is important to find someone with whom you have an easy rapport but who is also knowledgeable and understands the latest market trends and is enthusiastic about having the opportunity to sell your home.