The three factors that sell a house are: location, condition and price. As a seller, there’s not much you can do about your location. Ideally, if you like your home’s location, so will potential buyers. This is a numbers game: if your house backs up to a park, that’s a great location that a majority of buyers will want. If your house backs up to a noisy road or highway, you’ll find fewer buyers that want that same location. The bottom line is that you can’t change your location (unless you live in a houseboat or mobile home), so let’s focus on the remaining two factors.
Condition: This is something you can improve. For starters, a clean, clutter-free home shows better than a messy home. Some people can see through your stuff, but many cannot. Less is more. Before you list your home for sale, consider packing up your collectibles and other prized possessions. Subconsciously buyers see a dirty home and they will assume (often correctly) that the owner doesn’t take care of their home. Conversely, a clean, well-maintained home shows pride of ownership, even if you haven’t done major remodeling in the past 10 years.
We’re in a hot sellers market. A nice, clean home, that’s priced right, sells very quickly. Spending some money to do fresh paint, flooring, or even a bigger remodel work like new kitchens, bathrooms and windows will get you at least double your investment. For example: your home value as-is is $500,000. You spend $20,000 to do a remodel and make necessary repairs. The after repair value will be at least $540,000.
What if you don’t have $20,000 to remodel your home? No problem! I work with a company that will pay for your repairs, as long as you have equity in your home. They will walk through your home, and with my help, we’ll determine what repairs/improvements are needed to maximize the sales price of your home. With our connections to many contractors, we’ll also ensure you get the best price and quality. Incredibly, the charge for this is only 10%. So your $20,000 remodel will cost $22,000 payable out of the proceeds from the close of escrow. You won’t pay anything out of pocket, but you do receive all the benefits of the higher sale price.
Price: Nearly every person I meet believes they have the nicest and most expensive house in the neighborhood. Obviously this can’t be true. Sold comparable properties in your neighborhood give the best indication of the price of your home. I’m very objective in setting a realistic price that will sell your home quickly. If all the comps are nearly identical in location and condition, and sell for $500,000, then your house will sell for $500,000. If you think your house is worth $575,000 because that’s the number a real estate website says, you’ll be sorely disappointed. You’ll find realtors that will agree with you and claim they can sell the home for that unrealistic price. This is called “buying the listing.” Weeks or months will pass, no one will see your home, and you won’t get any offers. After some time, the agent will ask you for a price reduction. By this time, you’ve lost many potential buyers. The ones that are still looking for homes in your neighborhood will believe something is wrong with your home since it’s been listed for so long.
Instead, let’s set a realistic price or even a price a few thousand less than comparable sold properties. This will ensure every buyer will come through your front door to take a closer look. In today’s market, this ensures multiple offers. With proper negotiation from a strong agent, you’ll get a final price 5-10% higher than you anticipated.
The 4th Factor: Picking the best agent for you. More on this later..