There are millions of tips and tricks to get your house sold, but with so many homes sitting on the market it is important to know which tips are for you. These ten tips will get you what you need and fast.
- PRICE IT RIGHT – If your home is priced too high, you may price yourself right out of selling it. The home has to be priced at a fair market value, and if buyers walk inside and think that it is not worth the asking price, the odds are, they are right on the money! Pricing your home too high will cause your home to stay on the market for a lot longer than necessary. When buyers see that your home has been on the market for too long, all they are thinking is discount, discount. It only brings down the price of the home even further. So price it right to get it into contract quickly.
- DEPERSONALIZE YOUR HOME – Take down your family photos; pull the magnets off the refrigerator; and put away your sports gear. You need to clean like your mother-in-law is coming to town and staying for a week. Buyers now can take pictures of your home which means that your kids will be in those pictures too. I do not know about you, but I do not want to put my kids on display with strangers. Are you a diehard Raiders fan? Well your buyers might be 49ers fans, and since the Raiders are their rivals, they do not want to buy a house that supports the Raiders. Everyone has their own individual taste, and you now need to model your home to the general audience of what you think they may like. So take that stuff down, put it in a box, and store it somewhere else.
- UPDATE YOUR HOME – You should go to a few homes for sale in your neighborhood and see what other sellers have done to their properties. You could also go online or look in Good Housekeeping Magazine and see what the color schemes are and the latest trends. In order to sell your home fast it should be up to date, well kept up, clean, and smelling good. Selling your property as is is ok. However, when it is updated, you tend to get more money for it. The property looks good in pictures and you will have a higher number of showings, which also increases the probability of selling the home. Typical buyers, especially, first time home buyers do not want to buy a home, then have to fix it up to make it look nice. They want to buy a property that is already updated.
- DO TOUCH UP AND REPAIRS – I always tell my clients that we as homeowner occupants, sometimes ignore certain repairs. It is ok for you to deal with that squeaky floorboard, the old cabinets that are scratched and have missing knobs, the loose broken tile on the floor, or a cracked window. We always say, “Oh I will get to that later.” When you are selling your home, you need to do it now! Preferably before the home goes on the market. You have to paint, touch up, and repair everything to get the money you want. Buyers are very picky, and any little thing that is broken, or needs repair, they want a discount. So save yourself the headache and fix it now.
- MAKE IT EASY TO SHOW – Do not tell the agent they can only show the property from 2-4pm on Tuesday and Thursdays, and no weekends. Don’t tell the agent everyone must give a 24 hour notice. Don’t tell the agent I’m not giving you a key and oh by the way I have to be home for all showings, and I work nights and sleep all day. You need to give the agent the keys, let them put a lockbox on your home, get out of the way and let them do the job that you are paying them for. Most buyers are not going to be available for those two hours. Yes, they want to see the home, but most people get off of work at 5pm. You have to be flexible with the times that you will allow the home to be seen. Of course it is uncomfortable having people come and view your home, but remember this is what you chose to do. You have to do anything to sell your home.
- TAKE GOOD PICTURES– Make sure that you have the right lighting in your photos, and try to get as much of the room as possible. By de-cluttering and removing unnecessary items from your home it will look and feel so much roomier. Buyers want to walk into each room and envision their own furniture. You want to make the home look clutter free and staged, but if you want to have an empty room, that is ok too. Post the pictures on every webpage and any advertisement that you can think of, from your personal website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Zillow, Craigslist, Backpage, and any other page that comes to mind.
- GREAT CURB APPEAL – Curb appeal is the look of the exterior of the home when you first see it. This is extremely important. I have had buyers drive up to a property, and due to the exterior upkeep of the home and front yard they did not even want to go inside. They felt that the home was neglected, so the interior must be worse. Who knows, it might have been better, but they were not even willing to give it a try. Needless to say, they did not buy that house. When selling your home you should walk around the neighborhood and see how your neighbors are keeping up their yards. Make a note of the colors that their homes are painted, do they have fences, water fountains, park, RV parking? Compare the outside of your home to the homes on your block and see if your home is the best looking house on the block, or is it the eyesore that all the neighbors despise. That will help you to judge your home and make any adjustments before the buyers see the home.
- CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PET – I cannot stress this enough. When a buyer walks into your home they should not even smell a hint of your pet. Your dog or cat should be locked up and caged, only to be seen and not smelled. Put air fresheners around the home, there are so many different brands, choose whatever you like. Glade Hawaiian Breeze is one of my favorites, I love the fruity smell. You must clean up your dog and cat feces on a daily basis. The buyers should not be able to smell dog poop from the front of your home before they enter the home. You wouldn’t want the last thing for buyers to remember about your home is that they stepped in dog poop, or how your home reeked of stinky cat. This is a quick way to lose out on a potential buyer.
- TELL EVERYONE THAT YOU KNOW – You just put your home on the market, and hired that wonderful agent. That does not mean that the buyers will come from their advertising efforts only. You can tell your friends, family, dentist, doctor, coworkers, and cashiers in the store, whoever you come into contact with. When you are listing your home with an agent, you are working as a team. You never know who might be interested in buying your home. I have heard that most people know at least sixteen people who are either interested in buying or selling a home. They just have to dig deep into their computer of a brain. Buyers come from everywhere, open houses, flyers, online, word of mouth, neighbors, other agents, and sometimes it is just plain old luck. So tell everybody: I am selling my home, do not keep it a secret.
- DO NOT CHEAT YOUR AGENT – Last but not least, we know that sellers want to retain as much money as possible when selling a home. So they try to negotiate down the agent commissions. You would not ask your dentist, doctor, grocery store, gas station attendant to lower the amount that they are charging you, right? So why would you ask your agent to lower their commission? Pay the agents what they are worth. We work hard for our clients. All of my clients can attest to how hard I work for them, especially when they receive emails from me at 1:00am to 5:00am. I’m still working, while my clients are sleeping. All commissions for the sale of real estate are negotiable between the principal and the agent. Sellers, I want you to keep this in mind. The commission that you are offering to the agent is being split between both the agents that represent the buyer and seller. Without getting into commission percentages, the amount that you are offering to the buyer’s agent, is not only a number, but it is the amount of incentive that you are offering to get them to bring in a qualified buyer to purchase your home. Incentive is the key word. This is how most agents think, why would I bring a client to see a house that is offering a low commission when I can take the client to the house around the corner, and get paid more money. It’s sad to say this, but this is reality. The more you pay, the more agents you have working to bring you a buyer. It’s simple math, and we all know that money talks.
There you have it, try these ten tips and see how fast your home sells. Some of these may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised how many homes are not sold simply because of little things like these. I am ready to keep selling and buying for my clients, and implementing these tips will help immensely. Give your real estate agent a hand and get ready to sell your home!