DEAR SELLERS: Our Real Estate market, as you know, is frustrating right now. Home prices have dropped and the market is saturated with listings, not to mention these listings are on the market far too long. However, even in a challenging market, there are ways to increase your chances of getting YOUR HOME SOLD. Below is my list to help do just that and in the shortest amount of time.
Keep in mind, however, that there are conditions that we/you, cannot control: Location, Competition and Market Conditions. That said, on to my list:
- LISTING with the RIGHT REALTOR; Of course, I FEEL I am the "right" Realtor, but if you're still unsure, interview several more. I am perfectly okay with that and, in fact, encourage it. Ask what he/she will do for you and your home to get it sold. At our interview, I will explain the "process of selling," the "Agency Relationship" and the Listing Agreement" before discussing the following:
- PRICE: This is key in any market, but especially in a less-than-perfect market. I know your home has qualities that OTHERS in your neighborhood may not have. You've put your heart and soul into your home. You've raised your children here and it is "special" to YOU. BUT, the average buyer doesn't care. THEY want the most bang for their buck. And an Over-priced listing sits...and sits...and sits... I will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis so you can SEE exactly what is selling in your area and, just as important, what is NOT selling. The market dictates the price we list your home and this step is vital! And don't forget about the APPRAISAL process. When you get an offer, most often the buyer is getting a loan. Your home will need to appraise for the amount of the loan in MOST cases.
- PREPARE YOUR HOME: Okay, you've chosen your Realtor (ME) and now you MUST get your home "BUYER READY". You've got to step out of your seller shoes and slip into the buyer's shoes. I'll make suggestions about things in, or around, your home that need addressing. OR dressed up. It may be as easy as some fresh paint, mowing the lawn, DE-CLUTTERING or using some elbow grease to get your home "sparking" clean. Perhaps your home needs some serious fixing; roof, plumbing, updated appliances, etc. Perhaps getting a professional "Stager"is the answer. (I will offer a name of a trusted Stager I use. When buyers walk into your home, we want only to hear, "Oh, this is wonderful. I could live here!"
- YOUR HOME GOES ONTO THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS): After you've signed the listing agreement, I take photos and head back to my office and INPUT it on the MLS, ASAP! This is IMPORTANT. Instantly, all Realtors/Brokers/Members of that MLS Board will view your home online and, if they have interested buyers, they will call, email or fax the listing to them.
- INTERNET EXPOSURE: As soon as I've input your home onto the MLS, I will then list it on MANY different Internet Sites: WINDERMERE'S FEATURED PAGE, REALTOR.COM, GOOGLE (Windermere & Google collaborate),CRAIGSLIST, POSTLETS, TRULIA and so many more. Google alone will expose your home to more than 380 million monthly users.
- MARKETING: I will advertise your property in several magazines that have been proven to work in your area: examples, The Real Estate Book and Homes & Land.
- BROKER/AGENT TOUR; In your area, we have weekly TOURS. Realtors/Brokers go preview new listings and even preview some "repeats." This gives Realtors a chance to see, first hand, a home in which they may have interested buyers. The TOUR is listed on the MLS and tour sheets are handed out to ALL Realtors/offices. I'll have your home prepared: lights on, blinds and drapes opened and directional signs well placed outside.
- OPEN HOUSES: Having an Open House may expose your property to dozens of people. And since we live in a "Resort" area, we get a lot of weekend traffic. Open Houses have been/can be successful. Depending on how you feel about Open Houses, I will HOLD them periodically until YOUR home is SOLD.
- PREPARING INTERESTED BUYERS: I will "Prequal" potential buyers" before showing them your home. This eliminates unwanted stress on you and the buyer who may fall in love with your home and find out they cannot afford to purchase it.
UPDATES: I call you weekly with updates on showings (if any), Open House feedback and discuss other things we may need to do to increase "traffic" if we haven't had any, or not enough. After 30 days of little or no interest, we may need to consider a "Price Reduction." No seller wants to hear this, but it MAY have to happen.
- WHEN WE GET AN OFFER: We will sit down and discuss the offer and, once agreed upon, we move forward and go into escrow. I will explain the entire process and keep you posted on every step of the escrow. But, first things first, let's get your home prepared and listed.
Things you can do to HELP get your HOME SOLD:
- KEEP THE HOME CLEAN & PREPARED: Before leaving for work, or anywhere else, make beds, put dishes in the dishwasher, etc. ASSUME a potential buyer will be seeing your home today!
- MAKE HOME ACCESSIBLE: We want Realtors to be able to get into your home to show it to potential buyers, so we need a lock-box on the property. Our lock-boxes are all digital and record who is/has previewed or shown the home.
- SHOWINGS: When a Realtor calls to schedule an appointment to show, if possible, turn on all lights, turn on soft music, keeps pets in separate area. Put ALL valuables AWAY. Open drapes, shades and curtains. Open doors and windows (weather permitting).
- BE GONE: Try and be gone/away. It's been a known fact that buyers will stick around longer (we WANT that), if the sellers are not home. IF you're unable to be gone, try and stay in a designated area. PLEASE do NOT follow the buyer around. Let the buyer's Realtor do that.
Okay, now, let's get YOUR HOME "Listed" & SOLD!