Tips For Sellers
Today’s buyers are pickier and have more tools in their tool belts. Consequently, sellers may have to spend more time and cash making their homes camera-ready.
For first-time sellers who have never been through the process before, it’s a different world. One where the value of the house isn’t measured solely by the profit made on the sale, but in part by the enjoyment the owners had from living in the home.
Here are six things sellers should expect:
1. Your largest number of showings will occur in the first two to three weeks on the market. Many buyers are plugged in electronically. So the minute something new pops up that meets their criteria, they want to see it.
Take advantage of that sweet spot by pricing the house competitively right out of the gate. And how you style the price is important. One seller first marketed his home for $155,000. But lowering it to $150,000 meant the listing appeared within the computer search parameters that buyers commonly used in that price range, so he lowered it.
2. There’s no relationship between your assessed value, taxable value and the actual market value of our house. The truth is that your house is worth what buyers are willing to pay. No more. Your agent should show you comps for similar homes in similar neighborhoods so you can price your home for the market.
3. Reach your home’s target market. You have to consider who your most likely buyers are for what you’re selling and cater to that group of people. Don’t neglect the modern version of curb appeal: using lots of photos on real estate listings’ websites. However you market your house, you need a good number of clear, well-lit, professional-quality pictures that show your house at its best.
4. Keeping your house clean is important in every sale. But first-timers are likely selling smaller houses, and clutter can mean the difference between cozy and cramped. While some sellers believe their home would show better furnished, they also wanted to pare down all the nonessential pieces.
Kitchen and bathroom countertops are another hot spot that many sellers forget to clear. The same chaos that represents your normal routine makes your house seem messy, disorganized and uninviting to buyers.
5. The last thing a new homeowner wants is another to-do list. So get the home move-in ready before it hits the market so the buyer can start fresh easily. That means making all the repairs and replacements that you would demand if you were buying the house today. In other words, if you have to walk single file up the walkway, trim the bushes. From a presentation standpoint, you want them to feel it’s turnkey — ready to go.
6. If you’re looking to spend some money to make your house memorable, ask someone who knows what will improve the market value.
The best thing you can do for a house with the biggest bang for the buck is to paint and replace carpet. Recommendation: soft neutrals, which are easy on the eyes and have mass appeal.