REAL ESTATE September 3, 2018

27 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

TO SELL YOUR HOME FASTER AND FOR MORE MONEY

1. UNDERSTAND YOUR REASONS FOR SELLING

Your motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how we will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money, and effort you are willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, your approach would be different if your goal was to make a quick sale. However, if you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer and, consequently, you would want to take a different approach.

2. KEEP THOSE REASONS FOR SELLING TO YOURSELF

The reasons you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate the sale. By keeping this to yourself, you don’t provide prospective buyers with leverage they may be able to use. If, for example, they should learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason you are selling is only for you to know.

3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE SETTING A PRICE

When you set your price, you make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible. If you start out by pricing too high, you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents. On the other hand, pricing too low can result in selling your home for much less than you were hoping for. Here are a few tips for setting your home’s sale price:
If you live in a subdivision where most of the homes have similar or identical floor plans and were built in the same period, simply look at recent sales in your neighborhood. This will give you a good idea of what your home is worth.
If you live in an older neighborhood where the homes unique and built in different time periods, you may want to seek out a real estate agent to help you with the pricing process. As neighborhoods grow, property values will change based on the new homes being built and the age of older homes in the area, and it can be hard to find truly comparable homes to compare pricing with.
If you decide to sell on your own, look at homes that have sold in your neighborhood within the past six months and homes that are currently on the market. Prospective buyers will assess the value of your home by comparing it with homes in your area, so doing that comparison on your own can help you establish your home’s value. You might also consider a quick trip to the City Hall, where you can search the public records for information about home sales in most areas.

4. DO SOME HOME SHOPPING FOR YOURSELF

The best way to learn about your buyers is to check out other open houses. Take note of floor plan, condition, appearance, size of lot, location, and other features. Especially take note of the initial asking price and, if you keep tabs on the property, the final selling price. Remember: if you are serious about selling your home fast, don’t price it higher than your neighbors.

5. THE PROS AND CONS OF GETTING AN APPRAISAL

Sometimes a good appraisal can be a huge benefit in the marketing process. Getting your home appraised is a great way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited lifespan, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the figure you receive.

6. WHAT TAX ASSESSMENTS REALLY MEAN

Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home. However, the difficulty is that assessments are based on a number of criteria that may or may not be directly related to property values, and so they may not necessarily reflect the true value of your home.

7. HELPING YOU TO DECIDE ON A REALTOR®

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, nearly two-thirds of people who sold their homes themselves say they wouldn’t do it again. Primary reasons included having to set the price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding on a realtor, consider at least two or three candidates. Be wary of quotes that are too low as well as those that are too high.
All realtors are not created equal. A professional real estate agent knows the market, has information about past sales and current listings, can show you a comprehensive marketing plan, and will provide their background and references upon request. Evaluate each candidate carefully, on the basis of his or her experience, qualifications, enthusiasm, and personality. Be sure you choose someone that you trust!
If you choose to sell on your own, you can still talk to an agent. Many are more than willing to help people with paperwork and contracts, and should anything go wrong, you will have someone you can call for help.

8. BE SURE YOU HAVE ROOM TO NEGOTIATE

Before setting on your asking price, make sure you leave yourself room with which to negotiate. For example, set the lowest price at which you are willing to sell your home along with your ideal selling price. Then think about your priorities and figure out if you want to set the price closer to the high end, in order to maximize your profit, or closer to the low end, if you want or need to move quickly.

9. APPEARANCES MATTER!

Appearances are critical to the selling process, but many sellers are unaware of this. If its onto compelling its not selling. The look and feel of your home has an enormous impact on a prospective buyer’s emotional response to your home—they will react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell and their decision will be affected by those things just as much as the selling price.

10. INVITE THE HONEST OPINIONS OF OTHERS

The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to rely solely on your own judgement. Don’t be shy about seeking the honest opinions of others as your try to sell your home. You need to be objective about your home’s good points as well as its bad ones. A professional real estate agent is a great resource for this, as they have the ability to be objective and forthright about what needs to be done to make your home more marketable.

11. CLEAN AND FIX EVERYTHING

Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, clean the clutter and declare war on dust. Repair every squeak, broken light switch, and tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because even these small things can be deal-killers… you’ll never know what can turn buyers off. Remember you’re not just competing with other resale homes, but brand new homes as well.

12. LET BUYERS VISUALIZE THEMSELVES IN YOUR HOME

The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone else’s life. Avoid clutter such as too many knickknacks, etc. If possible, decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home décor magazines are great for tips and ideas.

13. DEAL-KILLER – ODORS MUST GO!

You may not realize it but odd smells like traces of food, pets, and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know that you have a dog, or that you smoke, they’ll start smelling odors and seeing stains that don’t even exist, so get rid of all the clues.

14. DISCLOSE ALL THE DEFECTS

Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent lawsuits later.

15. THE MORE PROSPECTIVE BUYERS, THE BETTER

When you maximize your home’s marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each other; a single buyer will compete with you.

16. KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK

Let go of the emotions you’ve invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You’ll definitely have an advantage over those getting caught up emotionally in the situation.

17. LEARN WHY THE BUYER IS MOTIVATED

The more you know about a prospective buyer, the better equipped you are to use the negotiation process to your advantage; controlling the pace and duration of the process. As a rule, buyers are looking for the best possible property for the least amount of money, and knowing what is motivating their purchase enables you to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly? Armed with this information, you are better positioned to bargain to your advantage.

18. WHAT THE BUYER CAN ACTUALLY AFFORD

As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of the mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his or her down payment is. If their offer is low, ask their Realtor about the buyer’s ability to pay what your home is worth.

19. WHEN THE BUYER WOULD LIKE TO CLOSE

Quite often, when the buyer would like to close is actually when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadlines for completing negotiations again creates a negotiating advantage for you.

20. DON’T BUY A NEW HOME BEFORE YOU SELL

Beware of closing on your new home while you are still making mortgage payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (or even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.

21. DON’T MOVE OUT BEFORE YOU SELL

It’s been proven that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it becomes forlorn looking, forgotten, and no longer an appealing sight. Buyers start getting the message that you have another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.

22. DEADLINES CREATE A SERIOUS DISADVANTAGE

Don’t try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in the negotiation process.

23. DON’T TAKE LOW OFFERS PERSONALLY

Invariably the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer know the property will sell for. Don’t be upset…evaluate the offer objectively. Confirm that the offer details an offering price, sufficient deposit, amount of down payment, mortgage amount, a closing date, and any special requests. This simply provides a starting point from which to negotiate.

24. TURN THAT LOW OFFER AROUND

You can counter a low offer, or even an offer that is just below your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer isn’t seen as a serious one. Now you’ll be negotiating only with serious buyers.

25. MAYBE THE BUYER ISN’T QUALIFIED

If you feel an offer is inadequate, now is the time to make sure the buyer is qualified to carry the size of mortgage the deal requires. Inquire how they arrived at their initial figure, and suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood.

26. ENSURE THE CONTRACT IS COMPLETE

To avoid problems, be sure that all the terms, costs, and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale. It should include such items as the date it was made, names of parties involved, address of property being sold, purchase price, where deposit monies will be held, date for loan approval, date and place of closing, type of deed, including any contingencies that remain to be settled, and what personal property is included (or not) in the sale.

27. RESIST DEVIATING FROM THE CONTRACT

For example, if the buyer requests a move in prior to the closing, just say no; you’ve been advised against it. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.