Advice on How to Sell Your House
Selling a house is harder than it seems, which is why people get Realtors to do the work for them of studying applicable laws, doing a comparable market analysis and advertising the property to thousands of other realtors who represent buyers. A smooth transaction needs a real estate professional to determine the right asking price, negotiate the terms of the contract, set up the home inspections and resolve any issues that arise there, coordinate the appraisal, help the buyer with the loan process, and work on getting everyone to the closing table. Home buying should be a pleasant experience, and with the right real estate agent, it is. Feel free to ask me for advice with no obligation or pressure to buy or sell (of course if you are working with a realtor already, I can’t step on anyone’s toes). Here is some advice for everyone from multi-million dollar home owners to first-time sellers:
How Long Will Our House Be On The Market?
In my experience, I have seen the “Days On Market” or DOM, are affected by four factors:
Marketing plan – should include word of mouth marketing in neighborhood, newest technology to encourage more showings (ask us about virtual tours, websites, Zillow, instant messaging, text messaging, wide angle cameras, reflective signs, full color laser printed brochures, Showings.com). All of these tools are used to encourage more showings and a quicker sale advertising plan – how many current, active home buyers are you reaching this week? How many buyers are viewing your house online and in print? Paul Stalker at Long & Foster, Inc. is well trained at how to conduct an effective showing, and I have a track record of successful Open Houses. I talk about our listings when we are in the community to help our sellers. I am well networked in Howard County.
Staging a room with furniture to use the space effectively, and show off the size of the room, views, and floor plan flow storing all unnecessary items – box up all your nick-nacks, souvenirs and personal photos. The only things out should be furniture, a few decorative, strategically placed items, and lots of lights
Painting/new door knobs/new fixtures – with thousands of houses for sale in Howard County right now, a buyer can be picky and buy one that is move in ready, with no painting to do, no carpet to replace, and no updating. If the house down the street has new bathroom sinks, lights, and kitchen appliances, and the bedrooms have new carpet and fresh paint with no nicks on the walls, compared to a house that looks “lived in” and needs cosmetic help, guess which one the buyers will buy?
Clean like you’ve never cleaned before – When I’m showing houses to buyers, they tell me, “this house is dirty. If they neglected to clean, what else did they neglect? It’s probably in bad condition. They obviously didn’t take care of it.” People really say this to me. They also say: “ooh, this house smells funny. Let’s go.”
Being on your toes for a quick showing – Sometimes an agent will be showing the house down the street and the buyers will say “Let’s see that one!” meaning yours. Be ready to show it quickly to get the most showings possible.
Fixing items before they are issues – if you know the back door doesn’t shut properly. If you know there is a roof leak or a wet basement. Fix it now. Better to put on the disclosures how you fixed a problem rather than have a showing where the buyer sees the problems as problems that they will have to fix.
If it is priced right from the beginning, you’ll get more for it. The longer it sits, the worse it looks.Knowing the truly comparable properties makes all the difference. Get an honest Realtor who will tell you what your house really is worth, instead of telling you what you want to hear just so you’ll pick them. Even if the truth hurts, look at the facts of what other similar houses sold for recently and make an intelligent, informed decision. Other wise your house will just sit on the market for months and you’ll end up reducing the price anyway.
What is on the market now – the cheapest or best houses sell first – if your house isn’t A) the best price or B) in the best condition. You’ll have to wait until the other houses in the neighborhood are chosen over yours. Then when your house is the one left, and a buyer wants to be in that area, they’ll pick yours.What was on the market and expired – condition, promotion or price. If a house was on the market for a long time, and then the sellers took it off, I can almost guarantee that it was either overpriced, not advertised well, or in bad condition. Other factors include a less-than-desirable location like backing up to a power plant with humming power lines overhead.