Bonus hacks: Pack away personal items, half empty the closets, the first impression is the only impression consider staging your home.
HACK 1. Get over pride and price your home right.
That’s right the first hack has nothing to do with your house and everything to do with you and your ego.
I get it even as a real estate professional with 20 years’ experience as a licensed agent and several personal real estate transactions under my belt, even I have allowed my pride to get in the way of pricing correctly on a few occasions.
It is easy as a homeowner to feel that your house is worth more than it is, especially for homeowners who have lived in the same house for several years raised a family and created long lasting memories that are dear to the heart.
I have had short term houses I have owned that hold memories that are near and dear to my heart, I understand where these feelings come from.
The memories and life experiences that have accrued over the years create a sense of attachment and sentiment to most homeowners. With strong emotional attachment to these experiences and memories it is natural for homeowners to place unsupported additional value on their home when selling.
Unfortunately, buyer’s do not place the same value on your personal experiences as you do.
Even I have to get over myself and remember these emotional triggers don’t add value to the house. Most buyers are educated about value these days and aren’t going to pay an inflated price based on our emotions.
Keep in mind there are only two things that sell any commodity, price and exposure.
To many selling a house is the biggest financial event in their lives, and it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that a house is in fact just a commodity.
OVERPRICED HOUSES DON'T SELL
An overpriced house with all the exposure in the world will never sell.
On the contrary a properly priced home with no exposure has a much better chance to sell than an overpriced house with all the exposure in the world.
Even if you have the greatest “hotshot” agent who has all the bells, whistles billboards and shopping carts your overpriced house won’t sell.
So really there is only one thing that sells a house and that is price. That is why it is imperative to price your home correctly.
The buying public is well educated these days and they have a strong understanding of the market, if your house is overpriced you will know in a short amount of time because you will have zero showings.
Or if you are getting showings and you have zero offers, it is a safe bet your house is overpriced.
I hope your agent didn’t convince you that they will “work hard” for you and will get your overpriced home sold. Because if they did right about this time in the selling process is where you will begin to lose confidence in your agent because they can’t get your overpriced home sold.
The most opportune time to find a ready and willing buyer is within the first two to three weeks of listing your home for sale.
Why is this the most opportune time you might ask yourself? This is when your listing will be shown to the most buyers at any given time in the selling process. All active buyers will become aware of your new home listing in a short window of time.
This is max exposure time, in order to get top dollar, it is always better to have several interested buyers early than to have one interested buyer several weeks and a few price adjustments later.
Once you have burned through the currently active buyer pool in your market you then have to wait for new buyers to come into the market.
Your best time to shine and sell and receive full fair market value is within the first few weeks of listing.
A HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE
Let’s say you are selling a $300,000-dollar house and there are currently 25 buyers actively looking for a $300k house in your market. Once these 25 active buyers have seen your house and passed on viewing and or buying it, you must wait until a new buyer in your price range comes on the market and hopefully is crazy enough to want to purchase your overpriced home.
It is easy as a homeowner to think you can price a home just by looking at what the neighbor’s houses sold for on Zillow, Realtor.com or other sites. This thought process is deadly to the successful sale and receiving top dollar for your house though.
As you can see from the example above how missing potential buyers in the first few critical weeks of being on market can have a negative impact on the final price you receive.
When I value a home for my seller clients, I provide a 5-point value analysis on every home I list. That’s right when researching property values for my seller clients, I use 5 different sources to provide my seller an accurate picture of value for their home.
Read my report here The Five Point Value Analysis to Accurately Price Your Tucson Home.
You won’t ever have to worry about losing money when you price your home correctly and know how to adjust for buyer or seller markets.
HACK 2. Be upfront about the short comings of your house.
Hack number two may seem a little counter intuitive and you might think that it could threaten your potential sale.
Take it from me with nearly 20 years’ experience it is better to be upfront with buyers about any shortcomings rather than have them discovered during the home inspection or worse after the sale.
By pointing out any items you feel are less than desirable buyer’s will feel less intimidated and appreciate your honesty. In many cases the things that bother you about your home will be less of a concern for the buyer.
Be sure when you point out any of the weaknesses you point out one or two strengths, that way it minimizes the impact of the negative, and like I just mentioned the weaknesses to you may not even register to the buyer.
For example, an older couple may not mind the small backyard the same way a younger couple with three kids might.
To take the example a step further, if in fact you are discussing your lack of a back yard with a young couple with three kids and there happens to be a park just down the street, be sure to point out the alternatives that would be appealing such as the park down the street.
It is much better to lose a potential buyer early on in the game than it is to have a buyer second guess their purchase decision and bail on the sale a day or two before closing is set to occur.
HACK 3. Fix everything.
The third hack is sometimes overlooked by sellers for various reasons but is important to a buyer and can help you distinguish your house over competing houses for sale.
Fixing everything may seem like a daunting and or costly task. Take it from me these items will come up and you will end up fixing them, anyway, so why not fix them upfront before you list that way you can overcome any negative impact they will have on the buyer’s perception of value and desirability.
Your goal for reading this article is to get top dollar when you sell, isn’t it? Take it from personal experience it is better to address the problems upfront before you ever list.
In order to achieve top dollar for your sale repairs are counter intuitive.
Over the years working with buyers and sellers I have noticed a dollar of repairs un-attended will cost the seller $3 dollars in negotiations.
As an example, let’s say there is a $1000-dollar electrical repair, most buyers will inflate the value for this repair to $3000.To receive top dollar when you sell fix everything and avoid having the buyers lowball you on repairs.
HACK 4. Clear the clutter.
Which leads me to hack number 4 hire a home inspector. I recommend all home sellers I talk to and work with to hire a home inspector.
As mentioned above it is better to fix issues upfront, and the best way to find out what most buyers are going to object to is to hire an inspector to complete an inspection to uncover any issues that should be fixed before you go on market.
Just from a negotiating standpoint alone, it is better to be proactive and get the inspection and repairs taken care of upfront. You maintain a much stronger position when it comes time to negotiate the terms and sale of your home when you eliminate repair leverage by fixing any repairs before you list.
Remember the $3 to $1 ratio I mentioned above, it seems to rear its ugly head during negotiations shortly after the buyer has identified all the issues that need addressed through their inspection. This is called repair leverage and you can avoid it when you hire and inspector and fix any needed repairs before you list and sell.
Hire an inspector and fix the problems upfront and maintain your excellent negotiating position.
HACK 5. Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door.
Hack 5 seems obvious to me but in my nearly 20 years’ experience I have seen some crazy seller situations.
Clear out the clutter and remove as much personal detail as possible, make your home as clutter free as you possibly can.
You want buyers to view your home as if they are living there. The idea is to have them picture themselves living in your house.
You certainly don’t want them being distracted with your family photos and personal affects and you don’t want to turn them off due to ugly clutter everywhere.
You certainly want to avoid any negative influence clutter will have on a buyer. Even If you have to rent a storage unit for a couple months it is better and cheaper than reducing the asking price several times.
If you price your home correctly, you’re only going to need the storage unit for a couple of months. The money spent de-cluttering will pay off in the long run.
I will never forget I was working with a buyer who really fell in love with a home from the outside as it was neat and tidy. The inside on the other hand was straight out of that show Hoarders.
Needless to say, my buyer’s lost interest right away with all the clutter.
The crazy thing, this house wasn’t much different on the inside than the house they eventually purchased. The clutter was such a turn off to my buyers there was no way they would ever buy that house.
The house’s clutter had a negative impact on my buyer to the detriment of the sale.
It ended up staying on the market nearly 4 times longer than the average days on market and eventually sold for 20% less than original list price.
Clear the clutter and save yourself a ton of money and aggravation.
I am sure my buyer clients would have purchased that house at original list had it been cleared of all the clutter.
And for goodness sake, please don’t stuff everything in the closets and under the bed. In fact, be sure to do just the opposite, clear out the closets and only leave the essentials.
A good rule of thumb is to leave every closet 50 to 70 percent empty. I know easier said than done. Keep in mind this is only temporary and you are going for a top dollar sale. In order to get top dollar, you must have a tip top house.
HACK 6. Sweeten the deal. Offer a home warranty or better terms.
For hack 6 I suggest you sweeten the deal, by offering a home warranty or favorable terms.
Be sure to be open and upfront with the favorable terms you are offering don’t under-estimate the power of these little details they can help differentiate your home from others in the neighborhood In the buyer’s mind.
If you are willing to pay for a home warranty and offer immediate occupancy these could be the two little incentives that pushes the buyer into your home over your neighbors.
HACK 7. Hire a home inspector.
Hack 7 only applies if you are willing to incorporate the previous six hacks but is super duper effective and sets the psychological stage for the buyer.
Putting a fresh coat of paint on the front door and install a new mailbox.
These two items will give the impression of new, tidy and desirable to potential buyers and will cast a positive psychological impression on to the buyer before they walk through the front door.
I am not much for cliché’s as I believe the reason people have problems with cliché’s is that they derive from truth.
But, never has there been a truer sentiment than that of first impressions.
When it comes to selling a house the first impression is the only impression, you get one shot to impress. A favorable first impression of your home is vital to achieving top dollar when you sell.
When it comes to receiving top dollar when you sell your home, it must be in top dollar shape. Following the hacks in this report will certainly give you an advantage when it comes to the sale of your home.
SAVE $1000'S WHEN YOU SELL!
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If you are not willing to price your home realistically for your specific market, please call a percent-based agent. If your lucky enough to find someone willing to overpay for your house, you’ll be able to afford the 5-7% in commission.
Typically, overpriced homes never make it to close and unhappy sellers are left wondering what happened?
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