August 7th, 2014 9:25 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
When your home is marked down
from its original price, it's a sure sign that your marketing plan failed. Not
only have you missed the critical first two weeks when buyers and real estate
professionals are most interested, but there's no way for your home to compete
with other homes that are better priced.
No one wants to waste time trying
to deal with an unreasonable seller, so lowering the price may not help as much
as you may think. Buyers may think something is wrong with the home, or they
may decide that there's room for even more discounts. Real estate professionals
won't get excited when your agent relists your home at a lower price because
it's not a new listing.
If you're really ready to sell
your home, don't test the market. The best thing for you to do is to price it
right in the first place and then sell as close to the original asking price as
possible. For the best results, price your home at current fair market value --
not where prices were in 2005, or where they might be in 2015.
Current fair market value means
your home favorably compares to recent listings and closed sales of homes most
similar to yours in size, finishes, amenities and location. It also means your
home is on target with price trending. If homes are dropping in price in your
area, you may want to set your original price under current fair market values
in order to generate more interest from buyers. If prices are trending upward,
stay current - don't price ahead. That only works in the strongest sellers'
markets when banks are more comfortable about rising prices.
Next, make sure that buyers see
your home in the best light. Among real estate professionals, the most
important considerations is how your home looks from the curb and how it looks
online. First impressions require that you spend particular time and attention
on curb appeal, from keeping your walks and drives swept, to painting the front
door a fresh new color, to putting out a new welcome mat.
Photography can be your home's
best selling tool when it's done correctly and professionally. Stage the rooms
that will be photographed by removing
clutter. Fluff the pillows, clear tabletops and countertops, and
remove the dog's water bowl and your children's toys out of the viewfinder.
Take a few digital shots and look for flaws - the rumpled bed, the wastebasket
full of paper, or the closet bulging with clothes. Once all the flaws are
removed, you're home is ready for the professional photographer who has the
right lighting and equipment to help you market your home.
In home selling, less is more.
You want the home to come forward and your belongings to fade to the
background. If you have too much stuff, put the excess in storage. As little as
$50 to $250 for short-term storage could make the difference in the buyer's offer
When buyers come to your home,
they will be looking for flaws, so make sure the little details are done,
especially small repairs. The less that needs to be fixed or replaced, the
better maintained and the more move-in ready the home appears to the buyer.
Buyer-friendliness is a factor
that can't be underestimated. If you want a certain price for your home, make
sure to give the buyer something extra to make it worth paying full price.
Offer to pay closing costs up to a certain amount, or offer to leave the
washer, dryer and refrigerator.
It's not just the home that needs
to be attractive. As the seller, you're part of the whole package. You should
appear buyer-friendly, just as your home should appear move-in friendly.
A home that is priced to reflect
current market conditions and shows well in person and online will always sell
for more than homes that aren't maintained and marketed as well.
Written by Blanche Evan
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