In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want.
The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market, and the property's worth. The key is to get many people checking out your property at a fair price instead of having no buyers because your price is set too high.
Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure that your home looks ready to be sold. Fix any defects (peeling or faded paint, cracks, stains, etc.) Condition alone can sometimes prompt fast buying decisions. Not only should you fix any defects, but consider upgrading your home by making major repairs and cosmetic improvements before selling. A nice looking home triggers the emotional response that can lead to a financial response.
Learn how to negotiate the best terms for all parties involved. Terms are another factor which may be adjusted to attract buyers. If you insist on getting your asking price, think of what you can offer to the buyers, for example, improvements you've made, or even offering seller financing at a lower than market interest rate on a portion of the sale price. Convince them why they should be paying the price you have set.
Lastly, get the buzz out about your home. List your house with a hot agent that ensures your house is listed on the MLS and on the Internet. On your own, get the word out. It should be visible to passerby’s that your house if for sale, whether it be signs, local advertisements or you telling friends, family, and acquaintances.
Thoroughly preparing your house for sale makes a great first impression on prospective buyers!
The message buyers receive is "this house won't be on the market long, if we want it, we had better put an offer in NOW!" Makes buyers want to move in, not on.
Prospective buyers make a decision within a few seconds of walking through your front door. They will spend the rest of the tour confirming their impression whether it is favourable or not. It is important to appeal to the widest range of people previewing your house, buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your house, because buyers only know what they see not the way it is going to be. A property needs to be presented in a very different way than how you live in it.
It doesn't matter why you are selling the house, it needs to be marketed as a product. If your product is damaged, or doesn't meet the standards of other products being sold for the same price, then your product will sit on the shelf until the "clearance sale". Think of your house as a product and like any other product it needs to be presented in good condition, well packaged, it's benefits highlighted and distractions minimized.
How you present your home determines how long your house will sit on the market, and how much money you will make from it.
Why Should Realtors, Homeowners and Builders Stage?
When Realtors Stage® they:
Sell listings faster and for more money.
Build a reputation for showing the best houses, and selling them FAST without price reductions.
Learn to convince all their sellers to prepare their home for selling.
Have an advantage over competing houses on the market in the same price range.
Have beautiful photos for print and internet advertising, creating more traffic at showings and thus receiving more offers.
Let home inspectors and appraisers know that the home is taken care of, to receive positive evaluations which will result in higher offers.
Show the home owner that you go above and beyond the normal listing procedures, creating the opportunity for their client testimonials and instant referrals to friends and family.
When Homeowners Stage® they:
Sell their homes faster while securing the equity in their home
Find Realtors like a prepared house and will end up with more showings, more traffic and more offers.
Can market their home for less money, when the home sells faster the advertising investments are lower.
Reduce the stress of getting their home on the market
Eliminate price reductions and buyers who chip away at the asking price
When Builders Stage® they:
Receive their initial investment and more profit quicker, turning assets into cash.
Show a buyer the functions of the rooms they have built,
Help buyers mentally move into their home. Buyers only know what they see, not the way it was going to be.
The investment of time, effort & dollars to get a property fully ready for sale usually is less than reducing the price on your home after it sits for a few weeks or months.
Occasionally, one can see "For Sale By Owner" signs, and some owners think that selling their own home will not only save them money, but believe they have an advantage over the sellers that have their home listed by a reputable Real Estate sales professional. Before you decide to take on this very important and legally complicated process…remember not even most Real Estate Lawyer's recommend selling your own home yourself in today's market. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. You are limiting your exposure to potential buyers (less than 10% of what a good real estate broker will generate) which theoretically means your home will take ten to fifteen times longer to sell on the market.
2. The longer a home is on the market the lower the selling price is. Why? Because most buyers think that if the home has not sold after this long... there must be something wrong with the home.
3. The selling/buying process begins AFTER the buyer leaves your home. Most sellers think that all it takes is for someone to see their home, fall in love with the great decor... and the offer automatically will follow. Remember that the buying process begins after they leave your home. If a real estate sales representative does not represent the buyer, and they are looking on their own…they usually leave the home and start to talk themselves out of the buying process. Real estate professionals are trained on how to overcome buyers remorse--a very common occurrence.
4. Because of the limited exposure you will very likely end up with a lower selling price. Remember, in order to generate the highest price possible for your home… selling means exposure. You need the maximum exposure possible, to generate the highest price possible.
5. Most buyers find it extremely awkward to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore avoid FSBO properties.
6. Lack of negotiating experience and lack of pertinent information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits.
7. The majority of qualified buyers are working with experienced real estate professionals.
8. Many serious buyers will pass by a FSBO home merely because they recognize that it is not in the real estate mainstream, this can some times make them wary.
9. As most local buyers now retain an experienced real estate sales person to represent them as their buyer-agency, you will probably be negotiating against an experienced professional.
10. Expected savings in broker's fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate sales representatives to bring potential buyers.
11. If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer, then your lawyer's fees will be considerably higher.
12. Only real estate sales representatives have access to the up-to-date market information. News reports cannot approach the timeliness or specificity available to real estate sales people. Further, real estate sales representatives are involved in home sales much more frequently than the average homeowner is. This familiarity leads to a degree of expertise that provides an edge on negotiating and successful selling.
13. You only pay the commission to the real estate broker, if they successfully sell your home at the price you are happy with.
14. Accepting an offer is one thing, ensuring a safe and successful closing is quite another. Real estate transactions usually always have problems on closing. At times, expecting the Buyers and Sellers Lawyer's to fight it out or resolve the problems, can sometimes mean the deal is lost. This is the time that your experienced real estate professional, can be the most important. Your Real Estate professional can act as a great mediator. Lawyers MUST act only on their client's instructions and are not paid to negotiate.
Pricing your home is both an art and a science. Achieving the optimal price is the result of objective research into comparable properties and a feeling about your property and the current market.
The Right Price Should:
• Attract buyers
• Allow you to earn the most money possible
• Help you sell as quickly as possible
The simple fact is, price is the number one factor that most homebuyers use to determine which homes they want to view. It's important to remember that, although the price is set by you, the value of the home is determined by the buyer.
Overpricing is a common mistake that can cost you in the end.
The Importance of Proper Pricing
• Faster sale and less inconvenience
• Exposure to more buyers
• Increased realtor response
• More advertising/sign calls
• Attracts higher offers
• Means more money to seller
• Avoids Appraisal Problems
• Fewer potentially qualified buyers will respond.
• You might help sell similar homes that are priced right.
• You could lose money as a result of making extra mortgage payments while incurring taxes, insurance and unplanned maintenance costs.
What really matters is how your home compares to others currently offered for sale and recently sold in your neighborhood. Buyers will be comparing.
Common Reasons for Overpricing
• Purchasing in higher priced area
• Original purchase price too high
• Lack factual data
• Bargaining room
• Move isn't necessary
• Assessed value
• Emotional attachment
• Opinion of family and neighbors
Dangers of Overpricing
Most of the activity on your home will occur in the first few weeks. Pricing a home properly and then creating immediate urgency in the minds of agents and buyers is critical.
Buyers who have seen most available homes in their price range are waiting for the "right house" to come on the market.
Don't start with a high price and the assumption that you can reduce it later. By the time you decide to lower the price, it may be too late, as interest will have already waned.
A major cause for concern is appraisal problems; overpricing can lead to loan rejections and lost time.
Even if your home is nicer than other homes in the same area, your house won't be picked for viewing if you set the price too high.
Buyers and agents become aware of the long exposure period and often are hesitant to make an offer because they fear something is wrong with the property.
The Role of a Real Estate Agent in Pricing
Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA), a comparison of the prices of recently sold homes that are similar in terms of location, style, and amenities. A CMA is performed by comparing previously sold homes in the area, and currently active homes to know your competition.
There is no "exact price" for real estate
I don't tell you what I think your home is "worth"
The market determines value…together we determine the price
You determine the price based on the factors you control:
• Marketing time
• Financing alternatives provided
• Exposure method
**Keep in touch with market trends and current market activity of comparable homes
**Estimate your net proceeds
**Help to determine offering incentives
An agent has NO control over the market, only the marketing plan and NEVER select an agent based on price they suggest.
1) Analyze why you are selling - If you understand your motives, you will be able to better negotiate and to get what it is that you want, whether it be a quick sale, high price, or somewhere in the middle.
2) Prepare your home for the buyer - Maximize the strengths of your property and fix up it's weaknesses. You want the buyer to walk away from your home with a lasting good impression.
3) Find a good real estate agent that understands your needs - Make sure that your agent is loyal to you, and can negotiate to help you achieve your goals. In addition, they should be assertive and honest with both you and the buyer.
4) Be prepared for negotiation - Learn and understand your buyer's situation; what are their motives? Can you demand a big deposit from them? Try to lock in the buyer so that the deal goes through.
5) Negotiate for the best price and the best terms - Learn how to counter offer to get more from every offer.
6) Make sure the contract is complete - Be honest with your disclosures; you do not want to lose the deal because you were lying or diminishing your home's defects. Insist the buyers get a professional inspection. This will protect both you and the buyer.
If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light. A good first impression can influence a buyer into making an offer; it influences a buyer emotionally and visually. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price.
A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. Don't show your property until it's all fixed up. You do not want to give buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as means of negotiation.
Ask around for the opinions others have of your home. Real estate agents who see houses everyday can give solid advice on what needs to be done. Consider what architects or landscape designers have to say. What you need are objective opinions, and it's sometimes hard to separate the personal and emotional ties you have for the home from the property itself.
Typically, there are some general fix ups that need to be done both outside and on the inside. As a seller, you should consider the following:
*Landscaping - Has the front yard been maintained? Are areas of the house visible to the street in good condition?
*Cleaning or Redoing the driveway - Is your driveway cluttered with toys, tools, trash etc.?
*Painting - Does both the exterior and the interior look like they have been well taken care of?
*Carpeting - Does the carpet have stains? Or does the carpet look old and dirty?
If you know exactly why you are selling, then it is easier for you to set the right plan of action to get what it is that you want.
If you are a seller who needs to close a sale as quickly as possible, then you should know that getting the highest price possible is not one of your priorities. It does not mean that you won't or cannot get the highest price, but it means that the price is not the deciding factor. A buyer who can give you a quick closing time will appeal much more to you than a buyer who can offer you more money but the negotiation and closing time drag on.
It's always good to know how low you will go, in terms of selling price. This will help to eliminate some of the offers that you find simply offensive or ridiculous. Even though you should consider all offers seriously and take into consideration the terms of each offer, sometimes, if you know the bottom line and are strict about it, you can save yourself time.
Once you know what your limits and reasons are, discuss them with your agent so that they can help you set your goals realistically. If you decide to list your home on your own, make sure you do research on the current market, and you get the proper advice you need in terms of legal issues, etc. The key is to be realistic and to know what your goals are so that they can be met.
Setting the Price
The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.
Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a CMA. The CMA will reflect the following:
*houses in your price range and area sold within the last half-year
*asking and selling prices of houses
*current inventory of houses on the market
*features of each house on the market
From the CMA, you will find out the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.
Also, try to find out what types of houses are selling and see if it applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price.
Always be realistic. And understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.
It has been said that clean, well staged homes sell faster than other homes. It's true! Why do you think that builders keep their model homes both clean and beautifully decorated?
Here are the ten secrets fo selling from Marelen Wharmby, a successful home stager:
1. Freshen up the home by painting walls a light, neutral color, such as antique white. Lighter colors appeal to a wider range of buyers and make each room look larger.
2. Take a close look at the floor coverings in each room. If you have hardwood floors under the carpet, you will always make money by removing it, even if the floor is not in perfect condition.
3. Allow as much light as possible to enter the room. Open up or remove all draperies, blinds, shades or other window coverings.
4. Removing the clutter of everyday life - all utilitarian items, stacks of paperworks, toiletries, kitchen utensils, electronic equipment and television sets.
5. Remove furniture from each room that does not go with the decor, such as items that stand out too much and items that are worn or of an unappealing color.
6. Place the remaining room furnishings in a way that makes best use of the character of the space. A room should be balanced so that people do not focus on one particular piece of furniture.
7. Now that you've removed the clutter from your home, adding some nice but inexpensive accessories will greatly elevate the perceived value of the home.
8. Clean, clean, clean. Every crevasse within the home should be spotless and gleaming. Even your normal weekly cleaning can not come close to the quality of clean you need.
9. You can't over spend on fresh plants and orchids, elaborate floral arrangements and landscape plants. All these provide a strong addition to the ambience you want to create.
10. Go on vacation! The houses that sell for much higher prices are homes that do not have the slightly disheveled look which comes with showering in the morning and cooking dinner in the evening. Being gone also will lower your level of stress and make the house easier to sell. Think of it this way: Your vacation will actually make you money.
These 40 Free or inexpensive tips can make your home show better, sell faster, and put more money in your pocket at closing.
1. Be sure your lawn and shrubbery is kept trimmed at all times. Consider
removing overgrown trees and shrubs that hide the house from the street.
2. Keep the garage doors down at all times.
3. For a touch of color, have seasonal flowers growing in beds and containers.
4. Make sure your driveway is in good repair. Pressure wash concrete drives
and walks to remove stains and car drippings, and put a fresh coat of
sealer on asphalt drives.
5. Make sure patios and decks are clean and in good repair. Replace any
rotten wood and nail down loose boards on decking or steps; pressure wash
6. Garage sale time! Clear out everything you don't intend to keep and tidy
up what's staying. Make sure garage doors and openers are in proper
7. Check all railings and fencing to make sure it's in good repair and
8. Pay special attention to the area around your front door; make sure your
doorbell works, clean all cobwebs, leaves, and other debris that may have
accumulated there. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint if needed;
paint is one of the most cost effective fix up items you can do.
9. Check for broken windows or leaking seals on thermo pane windows;
replace if necessary.
10. Clean all the cobwebs from around the front door. Make sure all
outdoor lighting (especially front porch) is clean and shiny; replace if
necessary. It is especially important that the entrance to your home make a
good first impression on prospective buyers. This sets the tone for the
11. Check your mailbox. Is it straight and upright? Neatly trimmed around?
12. Before you start indoors walk across the street in front of your house
and look back (like a buyer will see it). Does it present an appealing
13. Start by walking through the house and making a list. Do your carpets
need shampooing? Floors need a fresh coat of wax? Dust all ceiling fans
especially the blades and wash light
14. You're going to have to pack when you move anyway, so go through all
your closets and pack up everything you don't need for the next couple of
months. A closet with only a few neatly arranged items creates an
impression of abundant storage space.
15. Thin out overcrowded rooms. Ever notice the model homes sparse
furnishings? They make the rooms look larger. Consider renting a storage
facility to store excess lamps, tables, and large items that eat up space
in a room.
16. Go through and pack up most of your family pictures and collections of
model ships, stamps, quilts, or anything that might cause a buyer to stop
and look at your collections of stuff instead of your house.
17. Check all light fixtures to make sure all the bulbs burn. Use the
largest wattage bulb that you safely can to give off more light.
18. Wash all your windows and make sure window treatments are clean and in
good repair. Keep the window coverings open whenever possible to let in
19. With a good degreaser, wipe down everything in the kitchen so it feels
clean to the touch. Clean your stove and oven; replace stove eye pans if needed
20. Go through your kitchen cabinets and pantry to make sure they're neat
and tidy; give any food that you don't plan to use right away to the local
21. Make sure your sinks are clean at all times and free of dirty dishes and
22. Remove all excess items from your counters to give the impression of
lots of work surface.
23. Pleasing aromas add to the appealing atmosphere we're trying to
establish for your buyers; consider keeping a saucepan of potpourri on the
stove to give off an appealing scent.
24. Clean all light switch places by taking them off and washing with soap
and water; replace if necessary.
25. Make sure the bathrooms are spotless at all times with fresh towels,
decorative soaps, and all fixtures are shiny, scrubbed, and in good repair.
26. Check all faucets and shower heads to make sure they're spotless and
free of leaks and drips.
27. Repaint interior rooms if needed with neutral colors.
28. Don't forget your ceilings too; years of living in a home with cooking,
smoking, and other everyday activities can stain ceilings. Paint ages;
repaint if needed.
29. Don't have large, space eating house plants sitting around; give them
away or ask a neighbor to store them until you move.
31. The more light you can get into a room the bigger and more spacious the
room will appear. When you leave for a showing, turn on lights in rooms
that are normally darker than you would like and make sure the window
coverings are open to admit outside light.
32. An old decorator trick to bring in more light as well as make rooms
appear larger are mirrors; either hanging on a wall or on a stand.
33. Pack away and store out of season clothes. Get rid of extra hangars.
Straighten up your shoes (consider some inexpensive shoe racks from a
discount store like K-Mart or Wal-Mart).
34. When painting don't forget the interiors of closets and the closets
doors; make sure all closet and interior doors open and close correctly.
35. Check where ceilings meet wall and clean all cobwebs, this is a
commonly overlooked area when cleaning, along with tops of tall furniture
items such as hutches, entertainment centers, etc.
36. If you have a pet make sure there are no odors. You may not notice
odors since you live with your pet every day, have a neutral third party
give your home a "sniff" test for objectionable odors that may turn buyers off.
37. Also, when buyers come to visit, keep your pet under control, or better
yet, get a friend or neighbor to "pet sit" for you while the buyers are
38. It is important that you leave the house for all showings. Buyers feel
less inhibited if you're not around and will usually take a closer look in
closets and in kitchen cabinets, as well as voice any objections that your
agent can then deal with. If the buyers won't make comments because you're
following them around pointing things out then your agent can't deal with
any potential problems that may hinder making an offer.
39. If you have several vehicles make sure the spot closest to the door
buyers enter through is empty for them.
40. Freshly baked or even store bought cookies & little snacks along with
an appropriate beverage (hot in winter, cold in summer) along with a sign
saying "Please Sit Down and Enjoy a Treat While You're Here" will make your
home more memorable even if they don't take anything. Remember little
things can go a long way towards getting your home sold quickly for the