Do you have a home ready to be put on the market for sale? You may be ready to cash in on your long-term investment but how good or bad can you make that sale. Although it may look simple to get the most out of your property, you may end up disappointed after you have closed the deal.
Day in and day out, people are looking for new forms of investment and one sure way to do that is to invest in real estate. There is a viable market out there ready to take the opportunities that come their way. Considering this desire to own a home by many, you may be carried away to sell for an undesired cost or rather keep your property on the market for too long attracting no potential buyer. We have rounded up the dos and don’ts that will help you collect thousands (if not hundreds of thousands!) for your place
1.Do not ask for too much money.
Yes, you know what you paid for the house, but that does not mean that it is still worth that amount ,or that it has appreciated in value since you bought it. Your house is only worth what the market is willing to pay you. It does not matter what is in it or what your mortgage is. Your realtor has an eye on the market and knows what kind of price homes just like yours, are garnering now. Pricing your home too high will discourage interested parties from making an offer, and your property could sit for months, which is not your goal.
What to do: Have a realtor give you a price on the home (or get a comparative market analysis), and, this is key, do not ignore them. Keep in mind that even if you have made pricey improvements to the home (granite countertops, stainless steel appliances), you may not get your money back if you are the only home on the block with such upgrades. If comparable kitchens in the neighborhood do not have similar upgrades, buyers are not expecting fancy perks in yours, and may not be willing to pony up for the difference.
2. Do not skip the marketing.
You may think that all you must do is take one photo of the house, stick a “For Sale” sign in your yard and buyers will come pouring in the door. The only way to guarantee that you are going to get the highest price for the house is to use all the marketing options available to you. This means Internet advertising, 30 pictures of your house, public open houses, brochures, newsletters etc. The more people who see your house, the better your chances are of selling it. In an age when buyers start their searches online, counting on drive-bys and word of mouth is not enough anymore.
What to do: Do not wait until the last minute to notify a realtor that your house is for sale. If you can, give him or her at least a month of lead time, so he or she can research comparable homes and set a good price. Give them time to book their favorite professional photographer. And give them time to photograph your house on a day the sun is out. Make your property look its best. A well levelled garden, sparkling cleaned and perhaps stage house sells much better.
3. Do not do it alone
If you have bought and sold half a dozen homes of your own or you live in a sought-after neighborhood where they sell in two days, you might be able to pull off a For Sale By Owner. If you are not a seasoned pro, however, let a professional take the reins. A realtor knows what is selling around you, and for what price. They can tell you whether an offer is reasonable, and help you negotiate smartly. Plus, you may not save as much as you think in the end. People who buy For Sale By Owner houses automatically discount the price they’re willing to offer because there is no realtor involved.
What to do: Look for a real estate agent who is responsive, has a track record of reliability and can leverage on a good portfolio of potential buyers.
4. Do not neglect to fix things that are broken.
If prospective buyers walk through your house and spot a handful of items that need immediate repair, they are going to wonder how well you have maintained the things they cannot see. The entryway is a big tip-off. Got a loose handrail on the steps, sagging screen door, or jiggly doorknob? Fix them. Clear your gutters, patch holes in your walls, and address dripping faucets.
What to do: Do a walk-through of your own home, pretending that you are seeing it for the first time. What things have you always meant to fix? Now is the time. Hire a professional to fix all those niggling projects to get your home in show-worthy shape.
5. Do not get emotionally involved.
Yes, it is your house and you sweated blood and tears to make it your dream you wanted it. But, no, that does not make it someone else’s “perfect,” particularly when you have made some unique decorating decisions. You want the space to look as neutral as possible, so buyers can envision themselves in the space. So even if those teal walls in the bedroom look knock-out great with your duvet, they probably will not match anyone else’s things. Let go of the features you love and make it a house most people could love, and that might mean painting all the walls a soft, neutral color. Neutral always seems best.
6. Do not get offended by a lowball offer.
Just because someone came in with a low bid is no reason to walk off in a huff. Now is your chance to negotiate. Buyers are trying to buy your house for the lowest price possible, do not blow them off. In other words, it is not personal, and it is not a slam on your housekeeping. It is a business transaction. Just come back with a counteroffer. Typically, most buyers will come back with a second offer, which is a better indication that they are really interested and are willing to pay.
7. Do not lose a sale over something stupid.
It is possible to get 99% of the way through a home sale, only to stall out at the end over a minor detail. Do not be that seller. Unless it is an heirloom that has been in your family for generations, remember that you can probably find another one, but you may not find another buyer at that price. To be safe, if there are things you feel like you cannot live without, such as the curtains you found at a crazy flea market or the light fixture you discovered at an antique store, replace them with something else before you put your home on the market.