Selling a home is almost like a science, with sellers using different tactics and strategies to get the top prices from buyers. While homes across the country may have different price points ranging from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions, here are a few tips to create a successful home sales “formula” that applies to both modest and luxury markets.
The following strategies have proven most effective for sellers I've worked with:
Prepare the home before listing to attract the largest buyer pool.
All properties, regardless of their price point, should be prepared and staged the right way. I advise my clients to start with a clean slate — think fresh, neutral colors, minimalist and trendy decor. Attention to simple details like making sure the driveway is clean and removing personal clutter such as family photos or an old rug can make a huge difference.
The buyer should be able to walk into a space that they can envision themselves actually living in, and not a space the seller still lives in. There should be a sense of a new beginning with a clear canvas for the future, without the weight and baggage of the past. Buyers have a limited imagination regarding what they want. They are looking for a curated lifestyle, and staged homes definitely do sell faster and for more money.
Find and collaborate with the right real estate agent for you.
All real estate agents are not one and the same, and finding the right one for your transaction is critical. Sometimes people think it is best to work with an agent who is a friend or family member, but this is almost always not the way to ensure success.
Selling your home is one of the most expensive and stressful life decisions, so it is crucial that the agent you ultimately select will represent your best interests. He or she should be the most knowledgeable about the nuances of the neighborhood and the differences in property sales from street to street. This knowledge could mean the difference between thousands or even millions of dollars with regard to the final sale price of your home.
Do your home-seller homework.
While finding a great real estate agent is extremely important, sellers too should do their own due diligence. Take advantage of the free flow of information and resources available to you online. For example, you should take a look at the houses that have sold recently in your neighborhood, talk to the neighbors and research trends in the marketplace. Be armed with information to help you define and understand what the differences are between your home and others in the area. This will help greatly when you begin interviewing potential realtors.
Price the home correctly.
Overpricing a listing is a mistake that many sellers make, and it often costs them huge amounts of money in the long run. It is critical to price the home correctly or below market, creating the most competitive selling environment. Once the home is positioned in this way, it is ready to hit the market and attract the most interest, ultimately leading to the most offers. The ability to foster this competitive climate around the home is what will ultimately drive the home to its highest possible selling price.
Try not to be too emotional about the sale.
I always advise sellers to, if possible, try to look at the selling and buying process objectively. You should be aware that markets can change very quickly. Thus, not becoming too emotional about the negotiations surrounding the sale of a home, while difficult, is one of the best ways to minimize stress and maintain peace of mind.
Throughout the selling process, it is imperative to keep the appropriate perspective, from the negotiations at the time of the sale to being open-minded to staging. This is a business transaction and needs to be treated that way. If homeowners can keep this in mind, the journey can be far more enjoyable and ultimately lend itself to the smoothest selling process possible.
The sale of a home is not always an easy exercise. However, armed with these tips of the trade, sellers can achieve a positive and hopefully snafu-free selling experience.
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