Some people go into selling their home with an attitude of, “If I sell it that is great, if I don’t that is okay too.” However, most people need to sell their home quickly and for the most amount of money possible. From working with clients who sell immediately, to working with others who have called us after they can’t seem to sell their home, we have identified three key factors that when all three are in place almost guarantee your home will sell quickly and for top dollar.
1. Research your Realtor® before you sign a contract
In our business we come across many different REALTORS®, and just like any other field, some are better than others. We have heard horror stories of Realtors® refusing to allow other Realtors® to show their listing because they don’t want to share their commission, rushing to put the listing up and putting up less than desirable photos before the home is show ready, and Realtors® who postpone listing a home due to social events that would impede with their open house. So how can you know if your Realtor® is going to be one of the good guys before you sign a contract? Here are a few tips:
When you are thinking about listing with a Realtor®, first go online and look at their active and sold listings. Ask yourself: how many days on the market are their listings, how many have had price reductions, are they conducting open houses. These are all great questions but the most important one is what do their MLS photos look like? A home receives the most online interest the first five to seven days after it is listed. Rushing to get the home listed and not putting photos up at all, or putting photos up before any work to the home is conducted, is a missed opportunity and is detrimental for selling your home for top dollar. (Read our recent blog Stage Your Home and Come on the Market Strong for statistics on how the sale price of your home changes the longer it sits on the market.) The first week is when you need to create a buzz around your home and get people interested. If they see boring photos or photos a cluttered home, they will just move on to the next listing. Also, look at the quality of the photos. Do they seem professionally taken, or just taken from an iPad. You can have the most beautiful home, but if the photographs are grainy, not focused, and/ or poorly composed, they won’t look good on your MLS listing.
If you would like some recommendations of some great Realtors® in your area we would be happy to give you some names.
2. Professionally Stage Your Home
Now that you have a great Realtor® on board, the next step is to get your home professionally staged. Nobody lives in a staged home but a staged home sells. Your home is now a marketable product. “Selling 101” teaches that the better your product looks the more people are willing to spend. When a home creates the vision that buyers are aspiring to, they become emotionally attached and make strong offers. Buyers are looking for a change of lifestyle, whether they are looking to “trade up” or “downsize” they all want to imagine their new home will support a better lifestyle. Staging creates the image of this improved lifestyle buyers are seeking.
3. Price to sell, not to sit
We have talked with Realtors® at length about this, and most have expressed that every home has a price range that it is expected to sell within, but when a home is staged, it will sell at the higher end of that price range. Although you can list your home at the higher end of the market value once it is staged, don’t be tempted to push the limits and overprice your home. Listing well above the market value of your home and rationalizing that you can always do a price reduction later if the home doesn’t sell is a poor strategy. If you home is priced too high, it will sit on the market. Once the home sits, buyers feel that there is something “wrong” with it, and they will offer less money. Buyers take off an average of 1% of the value of the home each month it is on the market. To prevent this, we recommend you listen to your Realtor® who is a trained professional at deciphering the best price based on comps and the current state of the market. To make the most amount of money from the sale of your home, you want to price your home to sell, not to sit.
Hire a skilled and motivated Realtor®, make sure your home is shows at its best, and price it accurately from the start. If you do these three things, you home should be sell quickly and thus you will make the most amount of money overall.
We love to hear from you. Please feel free to call us with questions or to schedule a free consultation at 781-489-8489.