Spring! It’s here and Still the Best Time to Sell

Over the winter months, many people we at Century 21 talked to voiced interest in buying or selling come spring.

Well Spring has arrived and continues the best time to sell. Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration and recovery, holding the promise of flowers blossoming, trees budding and lawns greening.

Spring weather inspires and invigorates us, and the bug for home-buying is at its peak. Buyers are starting to react to the cabin fever effect of a long cold winter and, already, Open Houses are attracting more buyers, and home showings are on the rise. It's a small window of opportunity with little time to waste.

So what do you do?
Have your REALTOR® come through your home for an opinion of what needs to be fixed, cleaned, painted and decluttered for your home to show its best. Good planning, preparation and a little money can pay big dividends. It's key to have someone look at your home from a buyer's eyes, and buyers-more picky than ever--look for homes in move-in condition, with little or no repairs needed.

I can't over emphasize how important preparing your home for showings can be. Nothing sells like clean, roomy and well maintained. When viewing a home, for example, if a buyer discovers a loose doorknob, it automatically raises suspicion and prompts the mental question of "what else needs to be fixed". I'm always somewhat surprised when hearing an agent say they are reluctant to point out how to make a home more saleable for fear of insulting the seller. I'm equally puzzled when told that sellers can get offended by agents pointing out repairs needed.

Experience has taught me that disclosing the importance of preparation as a primary marketing strategy gets sellers to ask what they can do to improve their home's saleability. It also affects value.

What's your reason for selling?
Without a good reason or clear direction, sellers typically do not cooperate with market trends and tend to overprice their homes--the kiss of death in today's selling environment. Like rowing against the current in the Niagara River you move backwards, away from your destination and not toward it. It can be a frustrating experience that leads to no sale, stress and disappointment. Talk to your REALTOR® candidly about this. Next to preparing your home for sale, pricing is critical to attracting ready, willing and able buyers.

It's alluring to find an agent who will tell you a price you want to hear. But will it get your property sold? Hardly. More homes go unsold because of this approach than any other. When the seller experiences no showings, or showings with no offers, that's a clear signal that the home's price needs to be adjusted. Yet too often sellers in this pickle demand more advertising. In a study by the National Association of Realtors, only 7% of buyers said they found the home they purchased through an ad in the paper. If the price isn't right, that is, set to attract offers, no amount of advertising will cause it to sell.

A clear goal, direction or practical plan for getting to your destination can be a motivating factor to doing the right things in any area of one's life, and that applies equally to the sale of one's home.

Be flexible without necessarily compromising a lot.
Negotiating is not a tug-of-war to hold out for every single dollar. You don't want to give your house away, yet you don't want to scare buyers and their agents away either. Today, with Buyer Representation, agents who represent buyers have an obligation to advise on price--whether a home is priced fairly or overpriced. When a buyer who sees your home as a good fit for their lifestyle and pocket book comes along, they will be your most likely buyer. As such they will see value and will be most likely to pay fair market price. To alienate that buyer with a "hold out for every dime" mentality will only cause them to buy elsewhere.

Keep your reason for moving--where you want your life to head--in the forefront and you'll tend to negotiate with more flexibility and arrive at a selling price that will be satisfactory to all concerned.

Spring is a great time to sell. As stated, however, there is little time to waste. Get honest advice and use marketing strategies that work. A Century 21 professional can help you get to where you want to go while achieving sound selling results.

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Eugene Pilato

Eugene Pilato

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 Today Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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