Are you thinking of selling your home, but feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do? You want to sell for top dollar and in a record time. You are stressing out. Here are 7 secrets to selling your home well.
You only have one chance to make a first impression
It doesn’t matter how amazing the inside of your home looks, buyers are already making judgments and forming their opinions before they even walk through the door. You only have one chance to make a first impression; that’s why having good curb appeal is the first secret to selling your home. As buyers approach your property, it is important to make them feel welcomed and safe. Typically, you can get about 100% return on the money you put into the exterior of your home.
Light it up
Did you know we’re psychologically programmed to move toward light? Home buyers likes a bright or well-lighted rooms. The right lighting has the power to liven up and add style to a home so open those curtains, clean the windows, and trim bushes to allow the most light. Whether you have to create light or showcase the natural light, make your home bright and cheery in order to sell it faster.
Focus on the Kitchen and Bathrooms
Your kitchen is arguably one the most important rooms in your home. If you do a mid-range remodel of your kitchen, there’s a good chance you will recoup most of your investment during the sale. You could spend a few thousand dollars on necessary updates but if you don’t, a buyer may knock $15,000 – $30,000 off the offering price if your kitchen looks dated (assuming they’re not heading out the front door). But, the law of diminishing marginal returns is important to understand – if you’re putting in more than $7,000, you’re likely spending more than you’ll receive in increased value. The same is true for bathrooms – a $3-5000 mid-range upgrade should be your limit.
The fastest, least expensive, and most beneficial updates include a fresh coat of paint and new cabinet hardware. And kitchens and bathrooms need to be sparkling clean.
Depersonalize your home
One important tip to take note of when trying to sell your home is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your home, the less your potential buyers can visualize themselves living there. You should be getting rid of or storing your personal stuff – when your home is ‘on the market,’ your home is a product, and you need to treat it that way. Some specific things to take out include family photos, personal keepsakes, any distinctive family items – as well as your pets. You may think everyone would love to see your cute little pup, but that may not be the case – and you don’t want to alienate potential buyers. Make sure to hide pet food, kitty litter, and pet toys, and take your pets to a pet hotel during your open house or showings.
Hire a tech-savvy listing agent
The person you hire for the job could make or break the sale of your home. Sticking a For-Sale sign in your front yard and putting your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are not enough. Every agent can post your listing on MLS. You need an agent who embraces technology so that your home can gain maximum digital exposure. Most buyers now start their home search online and they are now more informed than ever given the wealth of information about a particular home can be found online. Furthermore, your agent should be extremely knowledgeable about your local real estate market, for example, the particular neighborhood, and the type of home you are looking to sell.
Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times. Your house has to be available whenever a potential buyer wants to come see it, and it has to be in excellent condition. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep countertops decluttered and make sure your bathrooms are sparkling clean. It’s a little inconvenient, but this will help get your home sold, more quickly and for top dollar. Remember, when you put your home for sale, it is no longer your home – it is your future buyer’s home.
And critically, Price it Right
The Chong Miller Group believes it is critical that you price your home right based on your goals and the local real estate market condition. We have seen some agents who have priced homes 10% to 15% below fair market value, advising and hoping that it will create some sort of bidding-war, but those bidding wars never came. After months on the market with potential buyers avoiding these properties because something must be wrong with them, the home owners ended up selling their homes at an even deeper discount. We have also seen the reverse situation. Some agents would intentionally price a home at 10% to 15% above fair market value and then employ a strange and predictable price cut strategy (e.g. cutting price $10,000 every 3 weeks). In one instance, this pricing strategy combined with the owner’s unwillingness to negotiate and after 10 months on the market the home ended up being listed at a price lower than earlier offers: ultimately that home sold for many thousands of dollars less then ‘fair value.’
Every market is different; you can’t use one pricing strategy for every market and every situation. There is no one size fits all strategy. At the Chong Miller Group, we pride ourselves of having a unique capability to evaluate the value of a particular home accurately. We have, on our own account, been able to prove our model repeatedly, buying and selling at better prices, and recognizing significant profits. It’s critical to understand the pricing models appropriate to the market, and then to have the negotiating tools to drive the best outcomes.