Most regular homes for sale for at least three months to over a year are being withdrawn in the market. This is because there are lots of bank owned properties and short sale homes which are priced much lower than the regular sales in addition to homebuyers are still observing the market. The question is how to overcome this difficulty and what needs to be done to compete with bank owned and short sales without sacrificing more than ten thousands of dollars in lowering down the price.
What sells the house? Five basic factors: Price, location, terms, condition and your Real Estate agent. The only thing you cannot control is the location but the rest is under your control.
Price- there are three prices of the home: price you would like, probable sales price and the list price. All homeowners think their home is worth more than the rest in the neighborhood. Separate your emotional attachment to the house and be reasonable. You are selling the house so your concern is to attract more buyers to see your home and present an offer. Your Real Estate Agent can provide you comparables of exact same house as to the square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms etc. on active listing, being sold or under contract for the last 30-60 days. Through, this, you will have an idea how much is your house worth. Realistically, if you are not doing short sale, you can price it higher as some buyers prefer to deal directly with the seller than the bank. If you get a reasonable offer within 30 days, grab it. The longer your home stays in the market, the more bargains the buyers are looking for.
Condition- No one can guarantee a higher price but these are few suggestions that can create appeal to your home. Buyers first impression lasts. Think of yourself as the buyer, look from outside, are you going to buy this house? These are the most common but often neglected by homeowners. Pay attention to details. Even if you do not want to do any improvement in the house, these simple things work.
â€¢Cut hanging tree branches, trim shrubs and bushes, mow lawn, cut edges, pick up toys, hose etc. Nothing should be there except for the landscape itself.
â€¢Look at the roof, sidings, chipped paints, cobwebs, old light fixtures, switch, and electric plates. Make sure all electrical outlets are working and plumbing are fixed.
â€¢All rooms, cabinets and closets should be clutter free. This makes the room bigger and appealing. Take all unnecessary stuff to the storage or under the bed. If you do not have enough space, rent storage until the house is sold.
â€¢Buyers take a closer look at the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Make sure these are spotlessly clean. Put new bed sheets, shower curtains, rags, towels. Nice and new plants or flowers for a hint of dÃ©cor is okay and dont forget to add fresh scent. This will add to the clean effect.
â€¢Dont forget to remove all magnets, stickers, picture frames especially on the fridge.
â€¢Fresh paint is the cheapest improvement but will make a big difference in the house. Choose a neutral paint like beige or white. Other colors might turn off prospective buyers even if the house shows well.
â€¢Look at the carpet; if it is old and soiled, it is a wise investment to change it. Most buyers look for fresh paint and new carpets.
â€¢Store all utility bills in the house as most buyers will ask for it to see how much are the utility cost.
â€¢Get a Termite Inspection so you can fix it before an offer is accepted. This usually cost $20-$30 unless there is something needs to be done.
â€¢Get a Home Warranty, this is not just a good selling point but will also protect you as a seller just in case your plumbing or electrical appliances breaks down during the selling and buying process. This cost around $350 to $400 basic coverage a year.
Bottom line, you should keep your home clean and presentable every time as if you have a special guest coming in the house. Keep all valuables in a safe place as you should not be there when buyers want to look at the house.
Terms- As a seller, you do not have much control when it comes to terms. This is buyers market. The best thing you could do is offer a sellers contribution like paying closing cost or agents bonus. There are buyers that are really looking for these. Imagine if there were two homes for sale in your neighborhood but you offer closing cost, which one do you think they will put an offer? They will calculate how much it would cost them to fix minor imperfections in the house. However, if you already fix them, you will be ahead of the game.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent- get the services of a Real Estate Agent that will look after your benefits and accessible whenever you have questions. Ask them how they are going to market your home. Discuss your questions and concerns and the response should be exactly or beyond what you are looking for.
Another selling point is making your house eco friendly or the green thing. I will talk more about that for the next issue.
(Note: Jocelyn Porteria is a RealtorÂ® licensed in VA. For more info, call her at 571-432-8335 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org