Your home may well be your largest asset; selling it is an important decision. These 15 tips will help you to protect and capitalize on your investment, remain in control of your situation and make the most profit possible.
1. Understand Why You Are Selling Your HomeYour motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money and effort you’re willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would determine your approach. If you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer and require a different strategy.
2. Keep The Reason(s) You Are Selling to YourselfThe reason(s) you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself you don’t provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they 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(s) you are selling is only for you — and your Realtor — to know.
3. Do Your Homework Before Setting a PriceWhen 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 list as possible. If you start out pricing too high, you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their REALTORS®. If you are pricing too low, it can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for.
4. Setting the Sale PriceIf you live in a subdivision among other homes with similar or identical floor plans, built in the same period, the recent sales in your neighborhood will give you a good idea of what your home is worth. But neighborhoods change over time and with age, each home may be different in minor or substantial ways. When you find that there aren’t many homes truly comparable to your own, your REALTOR® can help you to set a fair price.
5. Do Some “Home Shopping” YourselfThe best way to learn about your competition and discover what turns buyers off is to check out other open houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of lot, location and other features. Particularly note not only the asking prices, but what the homes are actually selling for.
6. When Getting an Appraisal is a BenefitSometimes a good appraisal can be a benefit in marketing your home. Getting an appraisal is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the figure you hear.
7. Tax Assessments – What They Really MeanSome people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home. The difficulty here is that assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home’s true value.
8. Deciding Upon a REALTOR®According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed who sell their own homes say they wouldn’t do it again themselves. Primary reasons included setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding upon a REALTOR® , consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that are too low as those that are too high.
All REALTORS® are not the same! A professional REALTOR® knows the market and has information on past sales and current listings. S/he has a marketing plan and will provide background information and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully based on their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm and personality. Be sure you choose someone that you trust and someone who makes you feel confident they’ll do a good job on your behalf.
9. Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate Before settling on your asking price make sure you leave yourself enough room with which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priorities to know if you’ll price high to maximize your profit, or price closer to market value if you want sell quickly.
10. Make Your Appearance CountAppearance is so critical that it would be unwise to ignore it when selling your home. The look and “feel” of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.
11. Clean and Fix Everything, Even If It Seems InsignificantScrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you’ll never know what will turn buyers off. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.
12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your HomeThe last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone’s life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, personal photos, etc. 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-decor magazines are great for tips.
13. Get Rid of Deal-Killing OdoursOdd smells like traces of food, pets and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog, or that you smoke, they’ll start being aware of odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don’t leave any clues.
14. Be a Smart Seller – Disclose EverythingSmart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent lawsuits later on.
15. Keep Emotions in Check During NegotiationsLet go of the emotion you’ve invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You’ll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.
Re/Max Grey Bruce Realty