These of you who have visited my blog before know I am a big fan of check lists or to-do lists. This week we will be focusing on the selling process and the things a seller can do to prepare their home for sale.
1. Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range. We look at property as having a range of 15%. We feel that this gives us three 5% ranges. The middle 5% has a mean center point; the market price based on market analysis. There is a 2.5 % over/under. There is then a top 5% range and a bottom 5% range. Our advice is to be somewhere in the lower 2.5% of the middle range or the top of the lower range.
2. Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it. This will actually be a two step process. The first step is the prep work you do before your agent comes out for a walk through. The second step will be to address those things that your Agent identifies as you walk around the home.
3. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer. Remember, this is a team effort between you and your agent. They are working every day to try and find a buyer for your home. Your part in the effort is to maintain the home as show ready as possible. You may want to consider limiting the use of as many rooms as possible. No easy task I know with the busy schedules we all keep. You may find it more advantages, or work better for you to have a time at the very end of the day, or the last thing before heading out in the morning to spend a little time getting things set.
4. Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable. You should sit down and evaluate your financial situation, look at whatever payoff you may have (if any), the commission cost and your portion of closing costs and determine what you then want to walk away with. There are different schools of thought as to whether you should share this information with your agent up front. I make it a practice not to know the bottom acceptable dollar amount up front. It frees me to negotiate more effectively with the buyer or their agent. Once negotiations get serious I will ask the seller.
5. Don’t refuse to drop the price. The conventional wisdom is if your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering your asking price. This is a conversation you should have with your agent up front, looking at the time line of getting the marketing campaign up and running and the word out that your home is for sale. In our market, it takes about 45 days for the property to get populated to all of the more than 75 web sites and other media we access.