Let me guess, your home (or your client’s home) has been on the market for a few months. You’ve made some upgrades, held open houses and still it sits on the market. Maybe you’ve gotten a few offers, but they were underwhelming to say the least. Your home is not selling. What the heck is going on?
Well, here’s the biggie. The biggest challenge I see happens when the market is hot. Sellers expect to get over top dollar for their property. See if this sounds familiar, a bunch of people tell you that now’s the time to sell your home. You hear stories of outrageous profits being made and you want in. That’s fine, it may be the perfect time to sell, but buyers are savvy. The fact is, if you’re getting multiple offers that are all under your asking price for an extended period of time, you’ve probably over-shot the market. Not to say that your perfect buyer isn’t out there, but you have to be realistic and weigh the cost of time on the market with the difference in the selling price.
I also truly understand that this is your home that you’re selling. Attachment plays a key roll in a seller’s price. The challenge is that a potential buyer has no such attachment. They want to find a home they love and then crunch the numbers. You may have catalogued in pencil your kid’s growth spurts on the wall, but the new owner will not give it a second thought as they paint over the marks. This is all to say you must get in the mindset of the buyer.
Not all upgrades are the same. For example, a seller who recently paid thousands to modernize windows and replace the roof may expect list price to reflect this out-of-pocket cost. Guess what? The upgrades will certainly help sell the house and may even be a deciding factor for a buyer, but it will rarely increase the value compared to the cost. Don’t fear, there’s good news.
Very often I sit down with clients and recommend the right kinds of upgrades like landscaping. Landscaping provides two important things; curb appeal and the belief that this is a home that is well cared for. Also, and here’s the kicker, landscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your property. It’s one of the few things that will.
Here’s an old favorite, kitchens and bathrooms. These improvements are always appreciated and will probably reflected in the sale price as long as you adhere to a few rules. The big one is to keep it current without being too trendy or beholden to a very specific style. Make sure you get some help here from an expert. Remodeling for yourself and remodeling to sell are two completely different things.
Ah the magic of staging. This is a guarantee to help you sell your home. You would be amazed at what a professional staging consultant can do to a space you’ve been occupying for years. Worried about having to buy all new furniture? No, no, no, they will work with what you already have and add some minor touches so that it doesn’t get too expensive. I work with a stager who has a warehouse full of paintings, furniture, drapes etc… that he will just loan to the home. The before and after pictures are truly stunning.
Ok we talked about how pricing can hurt the sale of your home, now let’s discuss a strategy that works. As realtors, we use something called comps also known as comparable sales. This is not just looking up houses along your street. We seek out almost identical homes from floor plans to square footage and amenities that listed in the last month or so. Now, after all the number crunching, the listing price you end up with might not be what you were expecting. Here’s something not too many people will tell you. If you list fairly, even aggressively to sell, many times the price gets pushed up by multiple buyers. They start imagining themselves in your home so that when faced with multiple offers they get aggressive. Now you are controlling the price, rather than having to drop because your house has been on the market for too long. It’s optics plain and simple.
Good strategy can mean the difference between headaches and a smooth ride. You’ll also be much more likely to get the best price for your home.
Now, if you are a Real Estate professional in this space or you’d just like to work with the above 50 market in any capacity, I’ve got great news. I will be teaching a Senior Real Estate Specialist designation course coming in January 2018 so save the date and reach out to me at [email protected] for updates.