Selling Process/Tips

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Real estate marketing involves so much more than a sign in the yard or a web posting.  Successful brokers and agents use a variety of methods to attract and qualify prospects, including the latest Internet and communication advances.

 

CREATING A PLAN

I will help you create a marketing plan that will make it easier to sell your home at the best price possible in the shortest amount of time.

Selling can entail a variety of marketing strategies, and I will develop a plan especially for your home, which will help set it apart in your local marketplace and attract buyers. Once listed, it's likely that the home will be quickly entered into the local  Multiple Listing Service (MLS), displayed on century21.com and distributed to over 500 national and local real estate websites, where most buyers begin their search for a new home.

 


ADDING VALUE TO YOUR HOME

Ten tips that will add value to your home and increase your chances of a successful sale-

1. Clean, organize, and neutralize your space: Unclutter your house to make it look bigger and cleaner. Buyers need to be able to envision their own belongings in the home; so, avoid using bright colors and too many personal effects.

2. Keep Your Lawn Green: Get your lawn in shape. A patchy lawn takes away from the home's overall appearance. Your local hardware store has supplies to re-seed those unhealthy areas.

3. Add insulation to save energy: The most inexpensive way to increase your home's energy is to add insulation, which can reduce heating and cooling costs by more than 25%.

4. Update kitchen appliances: The kitchen is often the room that buyers gravitate towards first, and an updated kitchen can help sell your home. You don't have to remodel your kitchen to give it a new look. Updating your appliances to the current standard and replacing cabinet doors and hardware can make a big impact at a relatively low cost.

5. Update bathroom fixtures: A little change can go a long way when it comes to the look of your bathroom. Updating simple fixtures such as your sink and faucet can give any outdated bathroom style.

6. Build a fence: If you're trying to sell a house, the appearance of a fence adds value to the home overall. Buyers with children or pets will appreciate the privacy and security of an enclosed backyard.

7. Repair the gutter: Ensuring that your gutter is clean is crucial in protecting your home against water damage.

8. Light up the outside: An easy and inexpensive way to increase your home's outdoor space is to add lighting. It makes it more appealing and safer.

9. Store and organize: Ample storage space is a plus, especially when it comes to garages and closets. Efficient closet structures can help keep your clothes organized and can save space.

10. Polish off the basement: Rather than adding an additional room, it is more cost-efficient to remodel your basement. This adds value and usable space.


SETTNG THE PRICE

A key part of your marketing plan is setting the list price. Quite simply, if a home is priced too low, you miss out on potential profit. If a home is priced too high, qualified buyers will look elsewhere.

To determine the best asking price, review the prices of recently sold, comparable homes in the area; evaluate the competition, and study marketplace trends. I have ready access to this information, and can provide the big picture to help you determine the right asking price.

It is also helpful to discuss with your agent other terms and conditions that can be included in the sale of the home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. For example, an owner can offer to pay points or complete a major repair – such as a new roof – to make the deal more appealing to a qualified buyer.  Other factors to consider:

  • Real estate is local. I can explain current market factors in your community, including what's selling, what isn't selling, and why. This information is critical to setting an optimal price and terms.
  • If your house is located in a desirable area you will be able to get a higher price than you can for the same house in a less desirable area.
  • If a house has amenities that are currently popular in the marketplace, it will bring a higher price. I can help identify top trends.
  • A house that has been better maintained and “shows” better will always sell for more than one that has had deferred (neglected) maintenance and needs work.
  • Buyers expect everything to work. It’s an important trust factor, and worth the time and expense to make basic repairs.
  • Markets differ by location and time. When interest rates are low and the local job base is growing, it's great to be a seller. But when times are slack and mortgage rates are rising, homes also sell. The trick is to be realistic, to get as much as market conditions will allow.


SHOWING YOUR HOME

Staging your home is an important part of the sales process. This section provides home showing tips that can help boost a home's curb appeal and create a lasting first impression.  Potential buyers will feel “at home” – and more likely to buy – as soon as they walk through the door.

You want potential buyers to feel at home from the minute they walk up the driveway. Give them a canvas to fill. It’s showtime!

Start with a good cleaning, eliminate clutter, put away the knickknacks and add fresh coats of a neutral-colored paint to brighten rooms. Oh, and tidy up the yard. I can give you all sorts of tips to help boost your home's curb appeal and impress potential buyers once they're inside. Here are a few basics:

  • If the weather permits, open the windows (if there is too much noise outside, close them). If it's cold enough to wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat. You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more of a reason to linger, especially on hot or cold days!
  • Light a fire in the fireplace, have chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, or use lightly scented aromatherapy – such as lavender – to set the scene for a tranquil home.
  • Open all the window coverings to let in light. If a particular window overlooks undesirable scenery or obstructed views, keep the blinds partially closed.
  • Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
  • Play soft background music.

Move your cars to an alternate location, and allow your real estate agent to conduct the tour: potential buyers usually feel more comfortable – and less pressured – when the owners are not present.

TIP: One way to make a home more attractive is to purchase a Home Protection Plan. This insurance protects you, the seller, from paying repair or replacement costs of major items during the listing period. It also protects the buyer during their first year of homeownership.

 

NEGOTIATING THE DEAL

Successful negotiating encompasses the acquired ability to use certain skills and techniques to bring about coveted win-win results. I can help you stay focused, objective, and not let your emotions rule.

  1. Start with a thoroughly researched, fair price.
  2. Respect the other side's priorities. For example, a buyer with an urgent move-in date might be willing to pay a higher portion of the transaction costs or forgo some major repairs. Or, they may prefer to push out the closing date, in order to be more confident that there will be no unanticipated additional expenses.
  3. In any case, be prepared to compromise: "win-win" doesn't mean both the buyer and the seller will get everything they want. It means both sides will win some and give some

TIP: Become familiar with a typical real estate purchase and sale contract in advance of any negotiation.

 

HOME INSPECTION

A home inspection is a professional, objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. The following section provides information and tips about this critical pre-sale step.

A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of the home and property. Many mortgage companies insist on a home inspection report before agreeing to a mortgage, so a pre-sale inspection enables you to address problems before you even put the house on the market. It also removes any questions about the condition of your home for you and a potential homebuyer, improving the speed, price and likelihood of a sale.

The inspection process usually takes two to three hours, during which time the house is examined from the ground up. It includes observation and, when appropriate, operation of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as structural components, such as the roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors and windows.

Some home sellers elect not to correct every defect found in the inspection report. Instead, they acknowledge the defects to buyers and explain that the asking price has been adjusted to reflect the estimated cost of repairs. Such candor tends to shorten negotiation time, because buyers have fewer objections.

In addition to facilitating the sale of a home, an inspection helps the homeowner comply with full-disclosure real estate laws, governed by state laws. By focusing on the condition of your property, you are less likely to overlook a defect or material fact for which you could later be held liable.

A thorough home inspection covers more than 1,000 items, everything from the foundation to roof and takes two to three hours depending on the size of the property. The report should reflect the condition of about 400 items.

TIP: Home inspections are for buyers; appraisals are for lenders. Lenders require appraisals on properties prior to loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property.

 

CLOSING!

Real estate closing is a process that concludes with the transaction that transfers ownership of the home. Find more information about closing a home sale here.

Selling your home can be challenging and emotional, but it doesn’t have to be traumatic. We can talk about some tips to help get you off on the right foot.