#294 - 11 TIPS TO SELL YOUR HOME FOR TOP DOLLAR
Buying and selling a home is one of the largest and most important transactions a person makes in their life. This is not the kind of transaction that a person performs very often, therefore, frequently results in mistakes that could have been avoided by careful research or by hiring a full-time professional real estate agent.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression. “A HOME HAS 60 SECONDS TO MAKE A LASTING FIRST IMPRESSION, SO MAKE IT A GOOD ONE.”
Buyers first get attracted to a house based on the way the exterior looks, which is called “curb appeal.” Curb appeal is the first look potential buyers take at a home’s exterior from the street--as well as the property’s location and neighborhood. A home with good “curb appeal” has better chances of being seen from the inside.
Once inside, today’s homebuyers look for homes with certain characteristics. Here are some of those characteristics that will help you sell your home for top dollar.
11 TIPS TO SELL YOUR HOME FOR TOP DOLLAR
1. Pay attention to the “curb appeal,” the landscaping and front exterior. Trim back trees and shrubs that block windows or views. Plant colorful flowers in the front yard. Paint the exterior if needed. Pay special attention to the front door, front windows, and garage door. Be sure that the front yard is cut and trim.
2. Clean it up. Builders set up a model home with just enough furniture to make the rooms appealing. Look at your own home. Remove large-scale furniture when possible. They make rooms appear smaller. Open up tight traffic flow areas, and highlight key areas with lighting to accentuate the charm of your home.
3. Make it nice, spacious, and bright. Replace the light bulbs to the maximum wattage allowed by your fixtures. Open all shades, shutters, and drapes. Organize your closets. Have extra hangars in the entry closet – room for coats. When replacing worn or dated carpets, re-carpet everything the same throughout the house, however, keep in mind that some people prefer hardwood floors to carpeting, so don’t overspend. If painting the interior, use white or very light shades of color. This creates an “empty canvas” for the buyer to work with.
4. Appeal to all of the senses. Make sure your home is free of offensive odors. Use room fresheners to create pleasant aromas. Nothing turns off a buyer more than odors. Good aromas include fresh baked breads and cookies. A trick that works well is to place a few drops of vanilla on aluminum foil and place it in a low temperature oven. Turn on soft music, and turn the TV off.
5. Stay out. When prospective buyers are viewing your home, give them the privacy to discuss your home freely among themselves. They need to feel at home in your home. I have seen many beautiful homes that could’ve sold quickly stay longer in the market because of a “chatty owner.” Another fast way to lose a buyer is by making them feel as if they are intruding--interrupting your dinner, your ballgame, or whatever. So, take a walk or visit a neighbor while the buyers are touring your home.
6. Be sure your home gets proper exposure to potential buyers. It is true, the more potential buyers that tour your home, the greater the chance that you will obtain top dollar for your home. Be certain that the marketing plan for your home includes plenty of advertising and marketing. Make sure that your property is being marketed locally and worldwide on the internet, using multi-media methods, virtual tours, as well as, professional flyers, brochures, and professional “for sale” signs. Hold open houses for agents and the public. Suggestion: List your home with a top real estate professional who is experienced in all these methods!
7. Time your sale! Some homes have a better chance of selling at a better price if they are shown at the right time of the year. For example, a home with a pool will show and sell better during the hot summer months when it can be fully appreciated. Always sell based on supply and demand: When there are more buyers than homes for sale (sellers market), sellers are able to obtain better prices and terms; when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, sellers may have to reduce their prices and perhaps make other concessions in order to sell their home. Also, keep in mind that it is easier to sell in a low interest rate environment when more buyers can qualify for a home loan.
8. Don’t let your listing get stale! Be sure your home doesn’t stay on the market too long. If your home has not sold in a reasonable period of time, call your real estate agent and analyze together why the home has not been sold yet. Review the marketing plan and price. It may be wise to take it off the market and try again later. A house that stays on the market too long will go “stale,” and stale listings generally sell for a lower price!
9. Price it Right! DON’T UNDER PRICE, BUT DON’T OVERPRICE IT EITHER. If you can back up your price with recent comparable sale prices for similar homes, then you need not reduce your asking price. You can negotiate from a position of strength, knowing that another buyer will be willing to pay such a fair price. You may even end up with multiple offers, thus creating a bidding war. Remember, overpriced homes scare away both agents and buyers. A good way to have an idea if your home is overpriced, is by asking real estate agents that had shown or previewed your home their opinion.
10. Disclose. This is the time for the seller to beware! It is the law to disclose, accurately and completely, everything about your home!
11. Hire a top professional agent--one who enjoys a sound reputation and has good credentials, one that will develop a Marketing Plan and a Plan of Action for selling your home, and one who has the staff to carry out such plans to a successful conclusion. Be sure your agent is a strong negotiator and will close your transaction without compromising the seller’s position in order to obtain a commission.
For more information about selling your home, please do not hesitate to contact me