Top 5 Secrets for Selling Your Home
for the Most Money Fast
An Urban Team Publication – All rights Reserved
We’ve helped hundreds of people sell their homes so we’ve have a little knowledge on the subject. We’re not some journalist guessing or re-hashing something he read on a web site. We’ve been helping people sell their homes for over 20 years. Enough with our credentials, here’s our Top 5 Secrets for Selling Your Home.
#1… Have all your ducks in a row.
We’ve seen people rush into putting their home on the market… Big Mistake. Make sure you are presenting the best image at the right price from day one. The reason is simple. During the first couple weeks on the market your place will be exposed to the largest group of home buyers possible.
The National Association of Realtors does a lot of research. They report many home buyers start looking online months or even years before they pull the handle on a purchase.
Thus, when you put your place on the market you’ll have people who have been looking for close to a year, 6 months, 3 months and newbies. Thus, your best chance of finding a buyer is in the beginning when the buyer pool has lots of swimmers. Take a look at the pie chart.
Make sure your home is at its best from the start. This means price, repairs, appearance, and marketing need to be in place at the beginning… not two weeks after you put your place up for sale.
Note: We put this as #1 on our Top 5 Secrets for Selling Your Home for a reason.
#2… Priced right for the market.
Price is of huge importance. Home buyers know a lot more than you may think. Since the average home buyer starts doing on-line home searches for up to a year before they buy, they have a fair idea of home values in your area. Plus, their Realtor will likely check to see if your place is priced right and advise their clients. Dumb and Dumber doesn’t often apply to today’s home buyer.
We’ve seen people price their place based on what they need-to-net verses what the home is worth. Unless you are in a red-hot market this tactic seldom works.
We are not suggesting you low ball the price, we hate leaving money on the table as much as the next guy. The fact is over priced homes linger on the market and in study after study they end up selling for less than if they were priced right in the first place. It comes back to item #1… big buyer pool at the beginning, onesies and twosies down the road.
FYI: Many updates like paint, carpet, new water heater and roofs do not make your home more valuable. These are considered part of normal home maintenance. Would you expect to get more for your car just because you put in a new water pump or windshield? Of course not and homes are the same. However, updating your home can make it more marketable and attractive so you can get a fair market price for the place.
#3… Hire a wickedly good agent.
Some home sellers feel guilty and hire their buddy or niece who just got into the business. Personally I don’t get this. The guy who works on my car has years of experience, my handyman worked for a home builder for many years and sweet Amy’s hair stylist has been cutting hair full time for 15 years. We vet and hire pros for most services we buy, real estate should be no different.
Despite what some say, selling your home for the highest price in the shortest time takes a bit of talent. There is marketing to create, contracts to negotiate, repairs too, dozens of forms to execute, lenders to vet and lots more. Our check list for selling a home has 57 items on it. Let your friend get his or her on-the-job training on someone else… you have a house to sell. Hiring an expert is a no-brainer decision and why it is included in our Top 5 Secrets for Selling Your Home.
We have a separate article on things to ask when interviewing an agent. Basically it goes like this:
- 10+ years’ experience
- Successfully listed and sold a minimum of 25 properties.
- Strong internet marketing skills.
- Ask for the names/numbers of the last 3-5 clients they helped sell a place and call them.
Dirt’s cool, dirty isn’t. When a potential home buyer drives up to your home they begin the evaluation process. A weedy front yard, peeling paint, trash, broken fencing and such are deal killers… unless you are hoping to get really low offers.
A good Realtor will walk the home with you prior to sale and let you know things that will lower the value and interest, yet are not too expensive to fix.
We are not talking kitchen remodels here, more like painting in neutral colors, fixing things that are obviously broken, professionally cleaning carpets and de-cluttering the home.
Think about selling a car… you get it detailed, fix obvious oil leaks, and maybe give the paint a good wax job before you try to sell it.
Prepping your home for sale is not rocket science… just make it look as good as possible with the budget and time you have to spend. HGTV has spent hours on this subject. Google them or watch some YouTube Vids.
#5… Make your home easy to show and welcoming.
Listen up… People seldom buy the home they think they want. They buy the place that feels right. It’s the place that touches their heart, makes them feel welcome or makes them smile inside. It happens this way with just about every client we’ve helped by a place.
The buyer’s experience starts with making an appointment to see your place. Make your home is as easy to show as possible. Some home sellers do not allow a lockbox and want to be home when people come… another big mistake.
In our experience, we’ve NEVER had a buyer make an offer on a home where the homeowner stayed in the home during the showing, NEVER! We’ve seen home sellers follow potential buyers around like vultures eying fresh meat and wonder why the people didn’t want to buy their home. Bottom-line, if you want to sell your home, get out of the way.
Take your pets to work, a neighbors or pet day care. Barking dogs are not welcoming and believe it or not, some people feel threatened by any dog. Believe it or not, we’ve never heard someone say, “Yeah they have a kitty litter box”. In most cases cats are more acceptable than dogs because they generally hide and seldom bark or growl.
We’ve seen people leave out cookies or a thank you note. One couple had their rather-artistic daughter write a “welcome” note on a small blackboard they propped up on the dining room table. It was personal and friendly. If you have features you feel important, make a list of them and leave copies for them to take.
Bottom-line, make your home easily accessible and welcoming.