Want to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar?
1. Clearly understand why you are selling your home.
The motivation to sell can affect the approach you take in selling your home. It effects everything from the price you set to the time an effort you spend in getting your home ready for marketing. Example, if you goal is to maximize the net value of your sale it may require more time, effort and money to prepare your home for sale, if your motivation is to make a quick sale and move on, another approach would be more beneficial.
2. Keep the reasons you are selling to yourself.
The reason you are selling will affect the way you negotiate your sale. By keeping this information to yourself you wont be providing any ammunition to the purchaser in their negotiations. Example: If the buyer learns you must move quickly, you will be placed at a disadvantage during the negotiation process. If asked, you would simply say “my housing needs have changed”. The reason you are selling is only for you to know.
3. Do your homework prior to setting a price.
The price you set tells the buyer the maximum price they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you want to get the most amount of money or closest to your list price as possible. On the flip side, if you start to high you run the risk of not being taken serious by buyers and agents and if you set your price too low, you run the risk of selling for less then what is possible.
4. Do some home shopping yourself.
The best way to learn about your competition and what turns buyers off is to check out some open houses. Make a note of floor plans, style, condition, first impressions, location, lot sizes, and asking prices. More importantly, note what price they are selling at. Remember if you are serious about getting your home sold do not price it higher then your competition. It can be difficult to really look at your home through the lens of how a potential buyer would.
5. Is getting an appraisal beneficial?
Some times getting an appraisal can have a benefit to your marketing efforts, it will show perspective purchasers your home is financeable at your selling price, however, appraisals do cost money, they have a shelf life, and it will not necessarily guarantee your marketing value is correct.
6. Tax value – VS – My homes real value?
Some people believe the assessed value is an accurate way to tell a homes value. The challenge with this thought is the assessed value is determined may have several different factors that don’t necessarily have any relation to your properties real market value. Assessed values are typically updated annually and in some cases can be 2-3 years old, if your market has changed recently this value can be even further from your actual market value. Bottom line: Tax Values have no bearing on your homes real market value.
7. The Realtor Decision: According to the National Association of Realtors, more then two thirds of the people surveyed, that sold their homes, said they would not do it again.
Reasons expressed were the difficulty of setting a price, marketing handicaps, security concerns, and time constraints. When deciding on a Realtor, consider interviewing several. Be wary of Realtors that quote higher prices. All Realtors are not the same, their knowledge, experience, and services can vary greatly. A great Realtor will know the market, have information on past sales, market trends, will have a detailed marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of experience, enthusiasm, personality, and their statistics. For more on this see my free report “Questions you should ask a Realtor before hiring them”. If you choose to sell your home yourself, you should still interview agents, many are more then willing to help you with paperwork, contracts, etc. and should problems arise, you now have someone you can readily call upon.
8. Room to negotiate Before setting you asking price make sure you leave yourself some room for negotiation.
Establish you bottom and top end prices, know the markets average List Price to Sale Price, and then set your price somewhere in that range depending on your priorities, do you have some time and want to maximize your net profit or do you need to price for a quick sale?
9. Appearance matters Do not fool yourself appearance does matter.
Purchasing a home in most cases is an emotional process, and a nice clean well-presented property will create a greater emotional response then any other factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, smell, hear, and feel.
10. Invite the opinion of others
The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to rely solely on your own judgment. You need to be objective and invite the opinion of others. Most will be honest to point out the good and the bad points to your home. Thankfully, a great Realtor will be eager to discuss the things that should be done to your home to make it more marketable.
11. Preparation of your home
Even if it seems insignificant….fix it. Scrub, scour, clean, tighten, and get rid of clutter. Attack dust, squeaks, water leaks, and be relentless. Any of these can be deal killers, and you will never know what turned the buyer off. Remember, not only are you competing with other resale homes but you are also competing against brand new homes.
12. Marketing to the masses
The last thing you want a prospective purchaser to feel is that they are intruding in someone’s personal life. You want them to be able move in their mind and see their furniture in the home etc. Make sure to de-clutter, decorate in neutral colors, and carefully add items that add warmth and character. Home décor magazines are great for ideas and tips.
13. More prospects is better
The more prospects your home appeals to that can easily visualize your home as theirs, the better chance you have of selling quickly and for top dollar. With several buyers, they will compete with each other, only one buyer they will compete with you.
14. Odors are Killers
You may not realize but strange or different odors can turn a prospective buyer away. Food odors, pet, and smoke, are noticeable to people that don’t share that life style. These odors make them more aware and they will begin to look for stains, spills, and smell things that might not even exist. Don’t leave any clues.
15. Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure
Smart sellers will disclose all known defects to the prospective purchasers. This can reduce liability, prevent lawsuits, and build trust that can add strength to your transaction during the buyer’s discovery period. Something that should have been disclosed and then is discovered causes the purchasing parties to question if there are other things not being disclosed, this is cancer to a successful transaction.
16. Negotiations – Dont Trust Your Emotions!
Purchasing and selling a home is usually an emotional time. It is in your best interest to keep your emotions in check and to think logically not allowing yourself to take anything personal. During negotiations you will have an advantage over those that get caught up emotionally in the situation.
17. Discover the motivation of your buyer
The more you know about the buyer the better position you will have during negotiation, learn what motivates your buyer and use this during negotiation. Buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Example; does your buyer need to move quickly? Knowing this information puts you in a better position to bargain.
18. How much can they really pay?
As soon as possible learn all you can about the most amount the purchaser is able to mortgage,and how much is his/her down payment. If their offer is low ask their Realtor about the buyers ability to pay what your home is worth.
19. The Closing Date Strategies
The same goes for closing dates, knowing the buyer’s deadlines will help you in the negotiation process. Lets say they have to be out of their current home in 20 days, your ability to accommodate that may be worth significant value to them.
20. Purchasing Before you Sell
If you are not financially able to bridge this gap easily, do not close on a new home before having your current under contract other wise you could up being a seller under pressure (even desperate) to accept what ever deal comes along. You may want to consider a Realtor that has a guaranteed sale program.
21. Selling – Vacant or Occupied
It has been proven that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant then one that is lived in or decorated and staged, because the property can begin to look forgotten, distressed or not an appealing site. Buyers start to get the message that you could be motivated to sell.
22. Showing Flexibility
When selling your home plan to be flexible and inconvenienced. Remember, the goal is to expose your home to the largest number of prospects possible. Sometimes buyers are in town for short periods, they may have small windows of time to look in, and are trying to see several properties back to back. All it takes is one buyer to want your home, do everything you can to accommodate their requests to see your home.
23. Low Offers – Its Not Personal
Purchasers want the best property they can afford for the least amount of money. A low offer is not an insult, in most cases they are testing the waters to see how far you will go to sell your property and determine your motivation. Evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering price, sufficient deposit, down payment amount, mortgage amount, closing date and any special requests. A low offer is simply a starting point.
24. Emotions Checked – Convert that low offer
This is where having a seasoned, experienced Realtor can net you more money. A low offer means you have someone that is interested in your property. Your Realtors job is to sell the value of your property and help you determine the maximum amount that prospective purchaser is willing to pay to obtain your property.
25. Discover the Buyers Qualification
If you feel an offer is inadequate, now is the time to determine if the buyer is qualified to carry the mortgage necessary the deal requires. How did they arrive at their figure and suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood.
26. No Loose Ends – Complete the Contract
To avoid problems down the road, make sure every response is complete. Make sure all costs, responsibilities, are spelled out in the contract. It should include offer date, closing date, names of all parties involved, signatures, address, legal description, where deposit moneys will be held, date for loan approval, what personal property is included, as well as any contingencies that remain to be settled.
27. Complete The Contract as Written
Closely monitor the dates and the items to be completed, carefully completing time sensitive contingencies. Do not allow anything to potentially complicate or weaken the contractual obligation of the parties to perform. Resist if possible, deviations to the contract.
28. Changes Always in Writing Clearly Spelled Out.
Sometimes changes or additions to a contract are unavoidable during its life. Always document and clearly spell out in writing any deviations or changes.
29. Back ups / Continued Marketing
Today’s contracts are engineered with periods that allow buyers to carefully consider the property before they get real skin in the game; this also makes it easy for a buyer to back out early on without consequences. Consider obtaining additional contracts as back ups. A good backup offer will be ready to move in to place in the event the first purchaser walks. Keep in mind that continued marketing on a home in contract is typically a much slower process. The fact that your home is in contract will detour potential buyers from wanting to see it.