- Make A Plan
The most important advice is to develop a plan with your real estate consultant. The selling process can feel overwhelming sometimes and having a plan is the key. Your agent can help you with the following:
- Determining when to list
- Setting a price
- Selecting what to keep and what to leave behind
- Determining any repairs or work that might need to be done
- Staging your home
- Planning your next move
- Determining the terms that are most important to you in an offer
- Timing is Everything
Knowing the right time to sell – financially and emotionally – can make a big difference in both your selling experience and the listing price. Historically, the Spring and Summer months have the most real estate closings, but that doesn’t mean you have to sell only during that time. If your home is priced well, it will sell in any season and any market. There is a buyer for every home. Buyers looking in off-peak times tend to be more serious and ready to purchase.
- Set a Realistic Price from the Beginning
Your home will get the most buyer exposure immediately after it’s listed, so pricing it right at the start is very important. Many sellers want to ask the famous question, “If I price it over market value, won’t that be better so I have some room to negotiate because buyers always start an offer under list price, right?” WRONG!! A home that is priced right at the fair market value very rarely sells for less than that. Pricing it competitively will maximize the demand for your home. When demand is high and the supply is low, sellers don’t have to negotiate much! Building in negotiating room can backfire. Buyers are very savvy, they understand the market value and this strategy usually leads to low showings, low offers, or a price reduction shortly after being listed. You may end up with an even lower offer than if you would have priced it correctly from the start.
Rely on your agent as a trusted adviser, especially about pricing and marketing your home.
- Look at Your Home Through the Eyes of a Buyer
For a moment, think back to when you were looking for a new home and what made you want to buy your current home. You’re going to need to leave behind your emotions and make tough, reality-based decisions about improving, pricing and marketing. Your agent will guide you through this process and will likely suggest you de-personalize, fix little things you’ve been putting off, and freshen up the interior and exterior. This will help you appeal to a broad audience of buyers, so please don’t take offense to your agent’s suggestions.
- Prepare for Visitors
Shifting your mindset from homeowner to home seller will also help you decide which belongings to keep, store, sell or give away. Some pieces might be perfect for staging your home; your agent can offer advice and even connect you with a professional home stager to help make those decisions. Decluttering and de-personalizing your space are essential so home shoppers can envision making the space their own.
It’s not always easy to have potential buyers – strangers – tromping through your space and looking at everything with a critical eye. If you plan to live in your home while it’s on the market, you’ll need to keep it spotless and show-ready. That can be tough, especially for young families. But the better it shows, the faster it goes and the sooner you can start living like a normal family again!
Written by Kyle Hannegan, KHannegan@BHHSselectSTL.com