Honesty in Real Estate; the cold, hard truth – today’s topic to sell your home.
Honesty is the best policy which is why I must tell you like it is, if you want to have any chance of success in selling your home read on. This article won’t be for the faint of heart as we’re being brutally honest.
Buyers are looking for a reason to not buy your house. Don’t give buyers reasons to not buy your house. Read the following to help you present the best home for potential buyers and sell your home.
What are the 21 cold, hard, facts to sell your home?
- Know your local Real Estate Market – What’s moving the market? Most people don’t have the time or resources to keep up with real estate market activity. If you don’t know, make sure your Realtor does. Your agent should be well versed in your local market and should be able to easily explain this to you. If your Realtor doesn’t know, find another Realtor who does. Real Estate will always be local and to be able to sell your home, it’s critical to know actual facts and local trends for your neighborhood.
- A clean, uncluttered home sells – A dirty home knocks thousands of dollars off of your profit. It’s true, a big chunk of money can be lost for not putting in a little elbow grease. Perhaps one of the greatest payoffs to home selling will be the time you spend cleaning and de-cluttering your home. You want potential buyers focused on your home, not your lack of cleaning skills.
- Homes priced right sell – Price your home to sell. From the very first day that you list your home for sale, you will attract the most qualified and most interested Buyers. The first few weeks of a new home listing shines brightest. A fresh new listing draws the attention of Buyers waiting for a new home to hit the market and those Buyers who just started looking will see your home priced right, and will break down your front door to take a closer look. A listing that stagnates on the market for weeks and months on end becomes stale and often stigmatized as to why has the home hasn’t sold. They’ll either assume something is wrong with the home or that it’s priced too high. If Buyers think that something is wrong, they’ll want a discount and if it’s been on the market due to being priced too high, they’ll think you’re beginning to get desperate because your home hasn’t sold and that you’d likely start to consider taking a discount. Avoid the discounts, price it right, and increase your chances of having multiple interested Buyers.
- Selling a home is inconvenient – Knowing up front that you’re going to be inconvenienced once you’ve decided to sell your home, will make the home selling process a lot easier to handle. You’re going to have to get your home ready to sell, you’re going to have to do some packing and you’re normal everyday living schedules will likely be interrupted by visiting prospective Buyers. When you’re able to anticipate this, it can make the process a lot less painful. Anticipate to be inconvenienced.
- Buyers don’t want projects – For potential home buyers moving is stressful enough without having to add needed repairs to the mix. Repairs that you’ve been meaning to do will be a lot less expensive to complete if you do them BEFORE you sell your home. Once the needed repair is evident to a Buyer they are going to want a big discount to make the repairs themselves. Or worse, they move on. What do I mean by this? When a potential buyer sees a simple repair that could have been fixed they wonder what else is in need of repair and they’ll wonder did you really maintain the home properly. They’ll wonder what may be lurking beneath the surface, hidden and not visual to the naked eye. Buyers get frightened of the unknown and will want a price discount, just in case something else pops up once they were to buy your home. Or as we discussed they will use it as a reason to not buy your home and move on.
- Overpricing your home helps to sell your neighbors home – It’s true! I love it when someone over prices a home near one of my listings, I can then use it to point out the value of my listing. Picture this. When I show someone my listing with all of its features, then I will be sure to take the same clients through the overpriced home around the corner and point out the value of my listing. You can see how the overpriced listing is then helping to sell my listing. Today’s buyers are looking at more and more homes online before they look in person. If you overprice your home you will be missing all the qualified buyers looking to buy in the price range where your home should be priced. So instead they’re looking at homes that they can afford; your competition, your neighbors. If your home is priced too high, they’ll never see it as it will not come up in the home search. Your home will be coming up in a higher price range; with homes that are larger and nicer, with more appealing features. This price range of home Buyers will look at your home but will skip over your home because they can buy a larger home with the same or even better features for the same amount of money. Why would anyone pay more for less space? A good agent will point this out to prospective buyers and thus you are helping to sell your neighbors home.
- Buyers love to negotiate the home sales price after the home inspection – Oh yes, the time to nickel and dime for all the needed repairs. In an inspection there will always be a hundred of little things and hopefully, you aren’t blind sided with an unknown major needed repair. If you have any needed major repairs, this should be known ahead of time and disclosed to any prospective Buyers prior to the presentation of their offer. This way you know the offer reflects the defect. As discussed above, fix your repairs so as not to give a Buyer a reason to want a discount. The inspection period will always welcome a skilled negotiator. Make sure the Realtor you hired, is an effective negotiator as they’ll be worth their weight in gold here.
- Buyers love to grill Sellers present at home showings – When a Buyer has scheduled a visit to view your home, it’s important for you to leave for more reasons than one. First of all, you want the Buyers to be able to stroll through your home and feel comfortable without you breathing down their necks, as you want them to envision themselves living in your home. Picturing themselves in your Kitchen around the dinner table, or relaxing in the family room listening to their favorite music or watching TV and also imagining your home to be the perfect spot to entertain friends and family. And, even more important is that you don’t want them to try and wiggle out any details from you regarding why you’re moving that could give them a reason to offer you less money for your home. A favorite tactic for Buyer’s Agents and Buyers is to try and find out valuable details that indicate you “need” to move. By allowing your skilled agent to talk to buyers and buyers agents on your behalf you can avoid inadvertently revealing something you should not.
- If you can smell it, you won’t sell it – There is an old adage in real estate; “If you can smell it, you won’t sell it.” Nothing is worse than a smelly home from pets, smoking or even cooking. Sure we love our pets but they can leave behind those not so pleasant smells. If you’re a smoker, you need to plan well in advance to take your smokes outside to freshen up your homes interior. Perhaps you adore foods with very pungent spices, these favorite dishes that you cook should be put on hold until after you sell your home and get moved out. A thorough cleaning of your home, along with the fabrics, rugs and carpets will go along way in removing pet, smoking and food odors. If you have carpeting where pets had accidents, replacing carpeting would be advisable.
- Don’t be offended by a low initial offer – I see it all the time with a low initial offer, the owner is offended and wants to reject it without a counter. This is a big mistake; the potential buyer is just fishing to see if you will bite. Always make a counter offer, if the buyer is serious about your home they will come up. If the buyer does not come up then you know they are not serious about buying your home and move on, you win either way.
- Well maintained homes sell for more money – A well maintained home provides a sense of reassurance to any prospective Buyer, as they imagine that the home has been well cared for and likely will be more trouble free in the future. Red flags are virtually non-existent with a well maintained home as compared to a home that appears to not have been maintained. This peace of mind comes with a price tag that results in the Buyers willingness to pay more for a well maintained home.
- Time is of the essence in home sales – Once the decision has been made to sell your home, it’s critical for your communications to be prompt and timely. Now is not the time to delay, ignoring your Realtors requests for answers to questions that the prospective Buyer may have or to delay signing/initialing a contract update. If you delay answering buyers’ question, leaves more time to find another house. Delays in signing contracts or updates can have devastating effects on selling your home. Be available, prompt and courteous when selling a home.
- Buyers must envision themselves living in your home – This involves taking the “you” out of your home. When you’ve decided to sell your home, it is now important to realize that your home now needs to read like it could welcome anybody to suit their family. Begin your packing before you get your home listed for sale and remove all the memories on display and all the things that say “you” live there. Neutrality must now be present in your home. This is because too many Buyers can’t look beyond the “you ness” of your home to picture themselves there, so it’s best if you make it easy for them, so it will be easy for them to buy your home.
- Photographs and Videos can sell homes – Have you ever heard the saying, A picture is worth a thousand words? This is especially true in selling your home. Over 90% of Buyers start their home search online and they want to “see” homes as well as read about them. They want to see high quality photos and videos, and use these to decide if your home makes the cut. Homes photographed with poor quality will give a potential buyer a bad impression of your home. You want people to want to see your home, not give them a reason to pass on it without ever even looking at it.
- Trying to hide a defect will haunt you – You never want to get a call from an Attorney, indicating that the Buyers that bought your home are now suing you for not disclosing that home structural issue that you were aware about, yet thought you’d keep it to yourself so you can sell your home for more money. My mother always told me that when you lie, you eventually get caught, boy was she right! Being slapped with a lawsuit is never welcome news to a home seller. Speak the truth.
- In real estate everything is negotiable – Things come up in home sales, a little bit of cooperation will go along way. It quite often will end with a favorable outcome for a home Seller. This is where your Realtor can be such a valuable asset, we negotiate for a living. We are familiar with the issues that come up in home sales and can help negotiate a favorable outcome for you. A little give and take, more times than not, results in superior results.
- What you love isn’t what a prospective Buyer loves – neutralize your home of your purple passion, your bold reds, your mounted hunting treasures or your Woodstock I can look past these passions of others, yet not everyone can or should I say most cannot. Do not give a Buyer a reason to find distaste in what you desire. When you sell a home it is not the time to show the world what makes you tick, you want to show how Buyers can fill your home with what makes them tick.
- Closing date is move out date – It’s important to understand that when the closing date comes around, all of your belongings must be packed up and moved out, leaving behind a clean home ready for the Buyers to move in once they’re given the key at the closing table. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stay a few days after closing to finish a few things you just never got to.
- Requiring that a Buyer meets financing eligibility increases your likelihood of selling your home – First of all, Real Estate Agents shouldn’t even be showing Buyers your home unless they know the Buyers credit, income and assets have been reviewed to make sure they can indeed afford to buy your home. Unfortunately, not all Real Estate Agents adhere to this common sense business practice and will show prospective Buyers homes that they don’t even know if they can afford. Make sure the Real Estate Agent that you hire, scrutinizes any incoming Buyer’s offer for their ability to actually be able to pay for your home.
- Clean your carpets – Carpets get dirty and wear out over time. If your carpets are worn or have bad stains it might be time to replace them. This is the best option but is not always feasible. In that case you want to at least have your carpets professionally cleaned. Dirty and worn carpets leave a bad impression in a potential buyers mind.
- Experience sells – Hiring a skilled, trusted, Real Estate professional gets homes sold in the shortest amount of time for the most amount of money. As real estate professionals we are experts and marketing your home to get a sale quickly and for the most money. We are skilled at negotiating the best sales price for your home. We also know the pitfall to avoid to get your home to the closing table.
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