You know the drill when you sell a car. Research it on Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds to see what your car’s year, make, model condition and mileage might get price-wise. Get the shopping cart dents popped out and spiff up the exterior and interior, take some tasteful pictures of it, and offer a detailed description of its attributes and features.
The Forbes Real Estate Council recommends much of the same approach when selling your home, even when it remains a sellers’ market. The key is remembering the age-old basics of home selling — pricing, presentation, and negotiation.
Overpricing your home is a kiss of death in today’s market, according to Forbes’ Beatrice De Jong. “Research homes in the area that have sold recently, and make sure they are actually comparable (i.e., don’t compare a fixer-upper to a newly remodeled house). Check how long local listings are typically on the market for, and adjust your expectations accordingly. Keep your eye on what else is on the market at the same time as your listing — if there is another home that is seen as a better deal, your listing will look less desirable.”
Despite going for the highest price possible, strategically it’s best to list for a lower price and then let bidding buyers jockey for the final number. “Listing at a lower price is common practice in very competitive real estate markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles. This approach often ends up getting more exposure on the listing since it will show up on more homebuyers’ online feeds,” says De Jong.
Presentation is everything, especially in these days of competitive, high-tech digital images and virtual tours. Your listing should not be the exception to that rule. De Jong advises, “Some buyers love a project, but most are hoping to have to do as little work as possible (and keep their budget as low as possible). Keeping the home clean and uncluttered and presenting clear photos will present the home at its best.”
When it comes to breaking the budget on staging, there are inexpensive ways to spruce up your house to make it look more appealing, even if it’s to place your clutter and bulkier items in storage. With a cleaner palate, it’s easier for agents to point out all the positive aspects of the home when showing it.
An open mind is a beautiful thing when selling your home. Even the most off-the-wall offers can be negotiated, and most will make an offer assuming that you plan to spar with them over price and terms.
Rude rejections can result in buyers never returning to try again, even if your house languishes on the market. “Emotions run high on both the buyer and seller side of buying a home, and while it’s important for buyers to not write ridiculously low offers, it’s also key for the sellers to keep from being offended, and try to see if there is some reasoning,” says De Jong.
Those magical first two weeks a home has been listed will reveal a lot, especially in more competitive markets. Make sure you observe the basics, and the chances are good that your home will magically sell.
Are you ready to buy your first or next home?
Source: Forbes.com, TBWS
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