Putting your home up-for-sale means putting yourself in the odd position of having to think like a buyer rather than a seller. Sure, you want to get the best possible price, but you aren’t going to do that unless you meet and exceed the expectations of interested buyers. If do market your home from the perspective of buyers, you’ll stand out from the competition. That’s because all-too-many sellers are focused on getting their home sale proceeds to purchase another rather than wooing buyers.
Four Things Sellers Ought to Avoid
The reasons that some home sellers do not generate interest in their property are at the route of the buyer’s perception. Think about it this way–in this day and age buyers have already “seen” your property, which is to say, images on the web. Along with those images the asking price, the square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, the exterior of the home, school district information, nearby shopping, and the list goes on and on and on.
“To sell today, you’ve got to glam up your home. A stager will help get rid of clutter (especially clutter you don’t see); rearrange furniture to create attractive focal points; repurpose underused rooms, turning, say, that makeshift bedroom in the basement into a rec room; and pick paint and curtains that make rooms appear spacious. A consultation may run $200. Completing the plan could cost $1,000 or more. It’s worth it.” —AOL Real Estate
This means if buyers actually take the initiative to personally tour your home, it’s because the copious amounts of information they’ve gone through puts your property on their must-see lists. All that is left is to see if your property has the wow factor they’re most interested in having. Here are four things you should definitely avoid:
- Ignoring curb appeal. This is the first thing buyers will see and given there’s less than 10 seconds to form an impression, it’s one of the most important.
- Crowding potential buyers. If you do stay for open houses or scheduled showings, stay out of the way and let your guests explore.
- Leaving clutter about. While you still live in the home, buyers do not want to see a home that looks lived-in. It should look like a model home, not your home.
- Allowing odors to linger. Be it pet odor, smoke, or even scented candles, lingering odors are just not worth risking, even if it’s pleasant.
The trick, as mentioned above, is to always think like a buyer. When you put yourself first, you necessarily put buyers in second place and that can cost you dearly.
Seven Rules Home Sellers Should Follow
It’s not only what you ought to avoid when selling a home, it’s also what you should be doing, and doing well. Here are seven rules you ought to follow as a home seller:
- Price your home right. Price it too high and it won’t generate an interest. What’s more, it will sit on the market longer, leaving real estate professionals and buyers wondering if you’re either too desperate to get a high price or too stubborn to come down.
- Base asking price on comparable sales, not current listings. Too many sellers make the huge mistake of basing their listing price on homes that are currently on the market. It should be based on homes that have recently sold because those are the real numbers.
- Include truly comparable properties. Speaking of recently sold properties, these ought to be apples-to-apples comparable. The same or similar square footage, number of beds and baths, like amenities, and so on.
- Know the local market history. You know the old adage about those who don’t know history and it applies here. You should get to know the local market history and price and market in a way that’s advantageous.
- Take improvements into consideration. The comparable features in similar recently sold homes needs to be part of the equation. If it had a new roof or a total kitchen remodel, those things will matter. By the same token, take those type of improvements if they are part of your home.
- Consider current inventory levels. Know what’s out there and plan accordingly. More inventory means more competition, while less inventory means having to compete for buyers’ attention.
Finally, use key incentives wisely to make your home more attractive. Offering closing cost assistance, paying homeowner association fees for a time, or other incentives can make all the difference.