Price Your Home Properly
Pricing right is a necessity – pricing your home for sale higher than market price is a recipe for disaster. In some areas, sales are averaging over three to four months. Even in the areas with faster sales only the properly priced homes are selling swiftly.
Pricing your home right will guarantee the most potential buyers visiting and more potential for offers. Pricing your home too high and later reducing the price is not a good marketing plan in a competitive real estate market.
Market Your Home Online
Over 90% of home buyers are looking for their next home online. If you are planning to sell and purchase a new home, you already know this. It may seem nice to have your home pictured in your local newspaper, or in the Homes magazine you pick up at the grocery store, but the truth is that few home buyers find their home that way. If your home is not on the internet with multiple photos, most potential purchasers will not find it. Ask your agent which websites your home will be featured on and to explain their online marketing strategy.
Make Your Home Accessible
Your home can’t be sold if it can’t be shown! Make sure that your home is accessible to other real estate agents and potential purchasers. The best way to do this is by having a Realtor lockbox on the door. The lockbox grants access to other Realtors during set business hours to view your home. It also serves two other purposes:
1. It is a safety device because it tracks who enters your home and at what time of day. 2. It is a follow-up tool, because it allows your listing agent to track visits by other Realtors and follow up with them regarding purchaser interest in your home.
If you are going to be at home when purchasers visit, please still ask their Realtor to use the lockbox. Also, try to keep conversation with the potential buyers cordial but brief. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Expressing motivation to move, sentimental attachment, etc., can affect the offering price and terms.
Make Your Home Sparkle
Multiple homes may be for sale right in your neighborhood so yours needs to stand out from the rest. Please pack any clutter (you’ll be moving soon, after all). Have your home professionally cleaned. Consider utilizing the services of a home stager to really make your home stand out and command the highest price. If you’ve ever watched HGTV, you know what I’m talking about.
Offer Something Extra
Just like a box of Cracker Jacks offers a “Free Prize Inside” and turns an ordinary box of caramel popcorn and peanuts into something special, you may need to do the same to distinguish your home from the competition. One way to do this is by offering a special incentive. Some recent home listings have advertised seller credits towards closing costs or condo fees paid for a year. It doesn’t need to be a great expense, but even something small that makes the purchaser feel they are getting a special deal can go a long way toward selling your home.
Scrutinize Potential Buyers and Their Mortgage
With all the recent turmoil in the mortgage industry, it is imperative that you ensure that the purchaser is qualified for their loan with a reputable mortgage company. Too many sales fall through because of loan problems. In recent years, several high profile mortgage companies have gone out of business. Make sure your agent scrutinizes potential buyers and their mortgage approvals.
Hire a Professional Realtor
Now more than ever, it is vital to have a professional experienced realtor on your side helping you to market and sell your home. A realtor has the knowledge to price your home properly, advise you on the sale, review contracts, assist in negotiations, and ensure a smooth sale.
Brian Block is the Managing Broker of two RE/MAX Allegiance offices in Alexandria, VA, with over 75 agents and has sold real estate in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. for the past 13 years. He’s appeared on Fox Business News, the CBS Early Show and has been extensively quoted on real estate issues in The Washington Post, Washington Times, the Huffington Post, and numerous other print and online media sources. Mr. Block has presented a highly attended seminar on “Top Tips for Selling Your Home” for the past several years at ideal-Living Resort & Retirement Expos in the Washington D.C. area. He can be reached directly at 703-626-0715 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Brian Block Previously published in the 2016 Winter Issue.