6 Rules To Selling Your Home Faster And For More Money
RULE # 1: CHOOSE A REALTOR WITH A PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF SALES
The single most important factor on the successful sale of your home will be your choice of Realtor. The right Realtor can make the process seem smooth and hassle free - even if it isn't. The wrong choice, on the other hand, could result in no end of hassles, frustration, delays and disappointment.
Less than 70 percent of homes listed for sale actually sell. At any given time there are far more homes available than qualified buyers. If you want to sell your home quickly, for the best possible price, your Realtor will need to work the market, not just "list the property and move on".
RULE # 2: Carefully analyze your needs by consulting experts
This could include an accountant or financial advisor, Realtor, banker, attorney, investment strategist, insurance Realtor, etc. Selling a home can have a significant impact on your financial picture and produce repercussions that continue long after the deal is closed. Evaluate your goals in selling your home carefully.
Consider the tax implications, estate planning and other financial consequences and even the emotional impact on various members of the family. How you structure the deal, what kinds of terms you can accept, and how you price the home may vary greatly depending on your specific needs and circumstances. For example, if you need to sell quickly because you're starting a new job in another part of the country, you may price the home lower than you would if you had more time to sell.
RULE # 3: Avoid over pricing or under pricing your home.
Getting the price right is critical to a successful sale. Too low, and it may sell quickly, but you could end up without enough money to facilitate a move or new home purchase easily. You might end up feeling dissatisfied. Too high, and you could sit on the property for months or years.
Here are some common misconceptions about pricing. Current price is a factor of original purchase price. The fact is markets change. Your home could be worth a lot more, or a lot less than when it was new. Thinking that all improvements add to the overall value of the home is a misconception. Many homes are over improved for their size or neighbourhood. Some improvements add value, such as the addition of a garage or extra rooms in the basement. But others are a matter of taste and style. Don't necessarily expect your favourite improvements to mean anything at all to your prospective buyer.
What would it cost to replace? Replacement value is not a valid measure of existing property value.
Overpricing could cost you far more in the end than you hoped to gain. You may end up selling at less than market value. If your home is overpriced, buyers in that price range will probably select larger homes in favour of yours. At the same time, your best prospects may never see your house if it is listed too high and is therefore out of their range.
The house will remain on the market longer adding to your costs and ultimately you may have to cut the price below market value to sell the property.
A new listing creates excitement in the market. Realtors working with buyers who are waiting for something new to become available bring their prospects. Your home will get the most activity and you're likely to see the highest and best offers during the first 30 days.
If your price is too high, you may may miss your opportunity. Eventually your listing might become stale. It gets a reputation in the real estate community that's tough to overcome, even after you lower the price.
If your home is on the market too long, you may find yourself having to justify the price to a questioning buyer. You may lose your negotiating edge and end up accepting too low an offer in the end.
The lender has to be able to justify the price the buyer is paying. If the appraisal doesn't support your price, you could lose the deal even after the offer has been accepted.
Overpricing your home helps the sale of other more competitively priced homes in your market. Buyers will see similar homes at a lower price and think they're getting a better deal.
RULE # 4: Get a proper comparative market analysis or professional appraisal
So how do you come up with the right price? It starts with the Comparative Market Evaluation. This evaluation is a comparison of other properties in your area that have recently sold. You will be able to compare size, age, condition, amenities and other variables with your own home. You will also see the listing price and sale price.
This information can be extremely valuable in pricing your own home.
Getting a broader market overview will give you additional helpful information when pricing. By finding out the total inventory of homes similar to yours and the average amount of time these homes remain on the market, you'll be better able to price your home competitively. Once you've done your homework, you should have a good idea of the range in which your home should be priced. Which end of that range you should be on will depend on some other factors.
RULE # 5: Address the condition of your home. Prepare it for quick sale at top dollar.
The physical condition and appearance of your home are the factors over which you have the greatest control. They can also make a difference in thousands of dollars in your pocket at the time of the sale.
See the tips on repairs and home inspection issues below.
RULE # 6: Use a proactive professional marketing approach.
Look for advertising that promises benefits to the home buyer and is designed to produce a specific response. It should be bold, compelling and invite the reader to take specific action.
If it needs repair, fix it. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyers. Most will not want to purchase a home that has a lot of little things wrong with it. A poorly maintained home will affect the confidence of your buyers. If the little things aren't taken care of, what about the the major things, like roof, furnace or hot water tank. You'll also be giving reasons to make a lower offer by not repairing damaged or un-maintained property.
Major problems must be disclosed to the buyer. Either fix them in advance of listing the property or leave an allowance for the repair, if you can't afford to do it before the sale. Keep in mind that the allowance you leave will probably have to be greater than the actual cost of doing the repair yourself. Whatever you do, don't try to sneak something by. Act ethically at all times.
Make sure major systems such as heating, hot water, electrical switches, appliances, and plumbing fixtures are in good working condition.
The following is a home inspection checklist that buyers and a professional home inspector will be looking for.
Home Inspection Checklist
Foundation: look for holes or significant cracks or settling.
Check rain gutters and down spouts for gaps, sags, or missing sections
Check the siding for warping or weather damage
Check the paint for blistering or peeling
Check the doors and windows for cracks, loose caulking or missing trim
Check the roof for leaks, worn spots, remaining shingle guarantee
Inspect the chimney for cracks, water egress, flashing problems, or loose bricks
Check the driveway and sidewalks for overall condition, cracks, holes, or settling
Review the landscaping for condition and appearance
Carefully review the overall structure
Check floors & stairs for squeaks, strength and straightness
Check the plumbing for the general condition of pipes, any cracks, clogs, or leaks
Check the heating and cooling system for the level of maintenance and working condition
Check the electrical system for age, capacity, condition, outlets, grounding, and code violations.
Check the insulation for adequacy and overall efficiency
Examine the walls for cracks, loose plaster, or any signs of water ingress, water stains, or leaks from above
Check the kitchen appliances, the main plumbing fixtures, ventilation of the house and the condition of flooring
Cleaning is the single most important selling preparation step
If you want top dollar on a sale, presentation is everything. Make sure your house is clean and try to make it sparkle.
Neutralize the main colours in the house and stick with neutral colours
When selling a home, your objective is to make it appeal to the broadest cross-section of potential buyers. Ask yourself how many potential buyers could move in with their furniture without having to repaint the walls or replace the carpeting. Neutral colour is key to presentation on sale. Consider repainting rooms in off white or more neutral tones replacing unusual colours. Replace old, worn, or dated carpets and flooring if possible, or make allowance in your pricing for the buyer to do so after the sale. Repainting and replacing carpet are the two items that often recover your investment the fastest.
Presentation of an uncluttered warm clean and inviting look is most important
How you present your home when buyers come to view it will have the biggest impact on the sale. A cluttered, dark, or untidy home prevents buyers from seeing and experiencing your home's most desirable features. Consider the feel of the house when you enter it. Try to create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort, and cleanliness. The following suggestions will help keep your home at it's best for buyers.
The more spacious it feels, the better.
Use lighting to your advantage. Open drapes and blinds during daytime showings. Turn on lights to create an open, spacious feeling. This includes closets and storage areas. Add lights if necessary in an area that's not well-lit.
Arrange furniture to give a sense of openness. Consider removing some furniture if necessary
Shelves and walls should be tastefully filled but not cluttered. Remove or dispose of the excess
Pick up shoes, clothing, toys, and other personal items before showing the home
Remove off-season clothing from closets, leaving as few items on shelves and floor as possible
Offensive odours can destroy the appeal of an otherwise attractive home, while pleasant scents can enhance that emotional tug.
If you have smokers in the family, have them smoke outside during the period that the house is being shown. Have carpets, furniture, and drapes cleaned if smoking or cooking odours permeate your home.
Pet odours are particularly damaging. Replace carpeting that smells of pet urine it will threatens the sale of your home.
To prevent the smell of dampness or mildew, don't allow damp towels or laundry to accumulate in closets or hampers.
Once you've eliminated any problem smells, you can add some appealing ones like fresh flowers, baking bread, or a bowl of lavender, cedar, vanilla, or cinnamon.
A bowl of fresh fruit on a kitchen table in summer can create a strong appeal.