Making the decision to sell a home is probably the easiest part of selling a home. The hard part is what occurs in the days following the decision to sell. Not only do you need to get the house ready to sell, but you also need to market it, deal with the terms of the offers you’ll receive, and navigate the closing requirements. And all this while you may be riding the huge emotional rollercoaster that usually comes with selling a home.
If you are serious about selling your home, Higgins Group Real Estate has put together a list of their best tips to help you with this process.
1. Know Your Goals
Understand what your goals are – why are you selling your home. Do you have to sell your home? Are you downsizing? Need more room? Are you underwater? You need to know your intentions and feel comfortable with your decision. Then you need to find a REALTOR to help you determine how to approach selling your house based on your goals.
2. Choose the Right Listing Agent
Not all real estate agents are qualified to sell your home. This is why Higgins Group Real Estate has over 350 agents throughout 12 offices. Some agents specialize in luxury properties, while others are more experienced in selling condos or rural properties. Make sure you find an agent that matches your particular selling needs.
3. Price Your Home Right
As you know when it comes to real estate, price is everything. The most action on a listing is during the first 30 days. The biggest mistake a Seller can make is overpricing your home which discourages buyers more than any other factor. If your home is overpriced, you put it in competition with homes that are likely to be newer, larger or have more features/amenities. In other words, you help the competition sell their home, which leads to more days on the market, costing you more money in the long run.
Be sure you receive pricing guidance from a real estate professional. They will evaluate your home’s location, recently sold data, current market trends, and special features that set it apart from competitors. A professional appraisal by a licensed certified appraiser can be very helpful with price adjustments and may be recommended.
4. Be “Buyer Ready”
A home that is in poor condition or needs much repair, does not attract and excite buyers. Instead, a buyer will look at it as a work project and money pit, a headache. Showing your home in great condition will significantly increase your chances of a sale at top value. Remember buyer ready homes sell the fastest!
Curb Appeal: Most buyers drive by the homes they are interested in before making an appointment to view. If your home’s exterior is attractive and well-maintained, it will get more attention and positively more showings. Fixing the smaller things to increase your home’s curb appeal will make a great difference.
Outdated, Dark Homes Don’t Sell:Buyers like updated, light and bright homes. Dark carpets, paint, and curtains are often buyer turn-offs. Walk through your home and remove clutter; touch up and update paint, countertops, and carpets. Open your home up and make sure the sun shines in. Offensive odors from pets and smoking are also huge turn-offs to most buyers. Rid your home of offensive smells by burning scented candles and create a pleasant aroma. The most important rooms to concentrate on are the living room, family room, kitchen, and master bedroom. Your entire home’s atmosphere is set off by these rooms.
Don’t Over-improve: Get your home in good showing condition, but don’t overdo it. Huge projects such as complete remodel of kitchens, adding decks, and expanding room sizes may not pay back your investment. Before you jump into a huge improvement project, get some good advice from a real estate professional.
Pro tip: Consider getting a home inspection. Most people consider this aspect of the buying and selling process the responsibility of the buyer. However, sellers should never underestimate the value of a home inspection. Knowing what potential problems may reside in your home will keep surprises to a minimum and allow you the opportunity to fix these problems before your home goes on the market.
5. Be Financeable
Bad roofs, exterior paint, or structural problems may make your home un-financeable. The wider the scope of financing that your home can qualify for, the higher the overall market value. Remember — government programs like VA and FHA will be the pickiest.
6. Market Exposure
Hiring a HIGGINS GROUP REALTOR® will help you get your home priced right, and will also get you started with the best fix-ups. A strong agent will get your home exposed to the largest number of potential buyers. Paying the agent fee is often the least expensive part of selling your home. Trying to sell your home yourself can be costly. Most ‘for sale by owner’ homes close for less than comparable homes listed with an agent, and you have no representation.
7. Marketing Your Property
Selling your home is so much more than hanging a sign in front of it! Your HIGGINS GROUP REALTOR® will create a marketing plan to put your property in front of the world. HIGGINS GROUP Real Estate is your local expertise with global connections, which is what sets us apart from our competition.
8. Don’t Be Present During Showings
When your home is being shown, go for a drive or a walk. Take yourself, your family, and pets and let the agent and their clients have the freedom they need. An agent can always do their best job of showing your home when you are not underfoot. Buyers are more at ease and much more likely to spend time looking at your home’s features and benefits.
If there is ever a good reason to have a veteran agent working for you, it’s during the negotiation of your home sale. A good negotiator can mean thousands of dollars to you and will protect your interests. Don’t let your emotions run wild during negotiations. Try to separate your emotions from your business side. Remain cool and calm during this time.
10. Act Fast With Offers
Be realistic when you do get an offer on your home, evaluate it, and act quickly. Letting offers sit around without acting can be a huge mistake. Things can change quickly in the mind of prospective buyers. Acting quickly while the excitement and interest level are at a high point can be very important. Typically, a buyer’s motivation level decreases with time. Buyers’ remorse can even set in. Acting in a timely manner is essential.
11. Not Enough Action
Discuss with your agent what you will do if the house is not getting showings during the first 30 days. After 30-45 days on the market, consider dropping the price slightly. This will increase the attention to your property and it might bring in buyers who could not afford your original list price.
Real estate is a complicated business – and often the stars need to be aligned for transactions to move forward, but remember, be patient – your HIGGINS GROUP REALTOR® is working to sell your home and to help you through this process.
For more seller’s tips and resources, contact Higgins Group Real Estate. You are not alone in the home selling process!