11 KEYS TO SELLING YOUR HOME FOR TOP DOLLAR
Buying and selling a home is one of the largest transactions a person makes in a lifetime. Typically, it is not a transaction that occurs very often and, therefore, frequently results in mistakes that could have been avoided by careful research or by hiring a professional real estate agent. HomeValueHunt.com provides you with some great tips on selling your home for top dollar--tips that have been used by the top selling real estate agents in the country to get homes sold quickly and for the highest possible price in a given market and location.
A HOME HAS 60 SECONDS TO MAKE A LASTING FIRST IMPRESSION, SO MAKE IT A GOOD ONE!
Remember the “60% rule” when it comes to the home buyers decision-making process: It has been determined that 40% of the actual buying decision is based on “curb appeal”--the first look at a homes exterior from the street--as well as the property’s location and neighborhood. Another 20% of the buying decision is determined upon entering the home. In other words, sixty percent of the decision to buy or not to buy a home is made when the buyer enters the front door!
What is highest on the buyers “wish list” in today’s marketplace? Most buyers are looking for an uncluttered home with a free-flowing floor plan and a bright, clean interior that offers privacy, peacefulness, and security for the family. Many buyers also want a guest room, office space, an entertainment area for a big screen TV, and a comfortable area in which to enjoy the family and good cup of coffee!
Here are some great ideas to get your home ready for sale:
1. Put your home in tip-top condition. Pay special attention to the landscaping and front exterior. Trim back trees and shrubs that block windows, plant colorful flowers in the front, and paint the exterior and trim, if needed. Pay special attention to the front door, front windows and garage door. Be sure that the front yard is cut and trim.
2. Get rid of clutter. Builders set up a model home with just enough furniture to make the rooms appealing. Objectively evaluate your own home. Remove large-scale furniture when possible—they make rooms appear smaller. Open up tight traffic flow areas and highlight key areas with lighting to accentuate the charm of your home.
3. Make your home look spacious and bright. Change the light bulbs to the maximum wattage allowed by your fixtures; open all shades, shutters and drapes; and organize your closets. Have extra hangars in the entry closet – room for coats. When replacing worn or dated carpets, re-carpet everything the same throughout the house. If painting the interior, use white or very light shades of color. This creates an “empty canvas” for the buyer to work with.
4. Appeal to all of the senses. Make sure your home is free of offensive odors, and use room fresheners to create pleasant aromas. Nothing turns off a buyer more than odors. Good aromas include fresh baked breads and cookies. A trick that works well is to place a few drops of vanilla on aluminum foil and place it in a low temperature oven. Turn on soft music and turn the TV off.
5. Make sure you disappear! When prospective buyers are viewing your home, give them the privacy to discuss your home freely among themselves. They need to feel at home in your home. A fast way to lose a buyer is to make them feel as if they are intruding--interrupting your dinner, your ballgame, or whatever. So, take a walk or visit a neighbor while the buyers are touring your home.
6. Be sure your home gets proper exposure to potential buyers. It is true that the more potential buyers that tour your home, the greater the chance that you'll obtain top dollar for your home. Be certain that the Marketing Plan for your home includes advertising—locally and even worldwide on the Internet—using multi-media methods as well as professional flyers and brochures, professional “for sale” signs, and hold open houses for agents and the public. Suggestion: List your home with a top real estate professional who is experienced in all these methods!
7. Time your sale! The best buying seasons are Spring, Summer and early Fall. Colors of Spring and the changing colors of Fall may help sell your home. The hot summer months help sell homes with pools. Always sell based on supply and demand: When there are more buyers than homes for sale (sellers market), sellers are able to obtain better prices and terms; when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, sellers may have to reduce their prices and perhaps make other concessions in order to sell their home. Also, keep in mind that it is easier to sell in a low interest rate environment when more buyers can qualify for a home loan.
8. Don’t let your listing get stale! Be sure your home doesn’t stay on the market too long. If your home has not sold in a reasonable period of time, take it off the market and try again later. A house that stays on the market too long will go ” stale”, and stale listings generally sell for a lower price!
9. Price it Right! DON’T UNDERPRICE AND DON’T OVERPRICE! If you can back up your price with recent comparable sale prices for similar homes, then you need not reduce your asking price. You can negotiate from a position of strength, knowing that another buyer will be willing to pay such a fair price. You may even end up with multiple offers, thus creating a bidding war. Remember, overpriced homes scare away both agents and buyers. Tip: One of the best ways to know if your home is overpriced is if agents preview your home but do not show it to prospective buyers.
10. Disclose! Disclose! Disclose! This is the time for the seller to beware! Take the time to disclose, accurately and completely, everything about your home! (See Disclosures)
11. Hire a top professional agent--one who enjoys a sound reputation and good credentials; who will develop a Marketing Plan and a Plan of Action for selling your home; and who has the staff to carry out such plans to a successful conclusion. Be sure your agent is a strong negotiator and will close your transaction without compromising the sellers position in order to obtain a commission.