The 3 major factors that affect selling your home successfully are 1) location, 2) condition, and 3) price. While you have no control over your present location, you do have some control over the condition of the home, and complete control over the asking price. The simple key to selling a home quickly and painlessly is to price it right from the start. And, while it’s important to get your home into the best condition possible, remember that a good price will correct a bad condition, but a good condition will never overcome a bad price.
1. DON’T just compare your home with currently listed homes: listed homes are your competition, but there’s a reason they’re not sold yet.
**DO compare your home with similar homes that have sold in the past 12 months, and take note of the selling price as compared to the asking price, and days on market.
2. DON’T compare your home with other listed homes that have very different features: a home with private lake rights and 4 bedrooms will sell for more than a 3 bedroom home that has to use the public beach.
**DO try to get information on homes with similar age, number of rooms, lot size, and condition.
3. DON’T base your price on what you “need”, what you paid for it, or what you owe on it. Buyers don’t care, and in an ever-changing market those facts are irrelevant. Remember, although you may be able to get a buyer to pay more, the home will have to eventually appraise at fair market value for financing.
**DO have a real estate agent view your home and prepare a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis), or pay to have an appraisal done by a licensed appraiser. A CMA and an appraisal will show you similar homes that sold in the last year, as well as similar homes that are currently listed.
4. DON’T overprice your home to test the market, just “to see” if you can get a higher price. Potential buyers will ignore it and move on, and your listing will become ‘stale dated’ in the minds of buyers and agents.
**DO price your home at fair market price from the start, relying on CMA’s or an appraisal, and your agent’s advice. It’s a proven statistic that the first 2-3 weeks are the most active exposure that you will have; your home is new and fresh and serious buyers will want first chance at it.
5. DON’T price your home at the top of the comparable value range of similar homes, once you establish it with your realtor or appraiser.
**DO price your home at the middle of the comparable range, and if you need to sell quickly, be aggressive and price it in the bottom 25% of the range of comparable homes.
6. DON’T hang onto your price if there is little activity, few showings and no offers in the first month. Remember, time is money.
**DO react quickly, re-evaluate with your realtor, and make a reduction in price if no interest shows that you started too high.
7. DON’T think like a seller. We become emotionally attached to our home, and can’t see it objectively. What we value in a home may be different than most buyers.
**DO think like a buyer. Be aware of current buyer trends such as granite, stainless, wood floors, open concept and vaulted ceilings. Consider how a buyer may need to update your home, look at it with ‘buyer’s eyes’.
8. DON’T try to do it all yourself. There is a right way and a wrong way to market and price a home, and you probably don’t have the necessary information, training, legal knowledge, and resources to successfully achieve it.
**DO work with an experienced, trained, impartial realtor who can bring you experience with both buyers and sellers, familiarity with the area, a good sales record, a good marketing program, good negotiation, and great communication skills.
The simple key to selling a home quickly and painlessly is to price it right from the start!
By: Julie Sarton