It’s being called a “seller’s market” right now. Is it? Kind of. It’s also a buyer’s market right now, too, since there is more inventory. Are you paying a bit more than four years ago? Yes, but there is more to choose from and interest rates are good.
No question about it, homes are selling right now. If you are thinking of putting your home out there, here are some things to consider so that you can ask and likely receive top dollar for your home.
First and foremost, be realistic about pricing. Don’t be greedy. Listen to what your agent has to say. He or she has access to all the comps of what has sold, what is under contract and what is active in your neighborhood. Many folks are under the impression that realtors just want everyone to list low so that it will sell quickly. Not the case at all. Realtors are paid on commission, based upon sales price. The goal is to make a splash when your listing first hits the market. An overpriced home will not get nearly as many looks as a well priced home. Potential buyers don’t care how much you paid for the home; they care about what it’s worth in the current market.
Second of all, don’t remodel the entire home. There is no need to put that kind of money into something you are just going to sell. Do some basic deep cleaning and some minor repairs. Clean the carpets, have the windows cleaned, have the landscaping done. Touch up paint.
Declutter the home. Less is more. It will show better if there is less to be distracted by. It will also help you deal with stress during your move. Throw away, recycle and even make donations to your local charity and keep those receipts for tax time! Make sure your closets don’t look cluttered. Empty half of them out and then organize neatly what’s left behind. If you have a lot of personal family photos, remove them. Make certain you showcase all the natural light that your home has.
Make sure you hire an agent that will use a professional photographer. There are a million examples as to how much quicker the home will sell and how much more likely you are to get top dollar. Many real estate agents use an IDX feed that will push the listing and its photos out to multiple sites. You want the best photos possible pushing out to these sites. More than 90 percent of homebuyers begin their search on the Internet. You have one chance to grab the attention of that homebuyer; don’t waste it.
Be available. As human beings, we want what we want. Yesterday. Keep the home in “go and show” condition. If you have animals, make arrangements to have them removed for showings.
Enter into the listing and negotiation process knowing that it will be an emotional time. It’s stressful preparing for strangers to come through your home. It’s exciting to have that offer come in, but that comes with a lot of its own worries. Know your bottom line. Know what you are willing to sell for and where you’ll draw the line. Don’t enter into any negotiation that you simply aren’t willing to walk away from.
Make sure you’ve hired someone you can trust. Make sure your agent is living up to what he or she promised you. If not, say something. Make sure your agent is communicating with you and doing everything possible to protect and represent you throughout the process. FBN
By Sherri Monteith , Sotheby’s International Real Estate