My last post delved into the serious mindset of a Buyer (see How to Get Serious: The Buyer). The reverse of the medal is equally important, as many Buyers must first sell a home before they can consider placing a firm offer on another property.
In a hot market, like the one we saw earlier this year (Spring 2010), many people toy with the idea of selling their home. Oftentimes, homes are listed in a strong selling market just to see what happens. This “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” approach is certainly exciting, but I've found that proper planning and preparation significantly reduces the likelihood of unexpected results.
If you think you may want to sell, here are some tips to help prepare you to “get serious.”
Snoop: Every real estate agent knows that 75% of all open house visitors are curious “snoopers.” If you're planning on putting your home on the market, open houses are a great way to stay on top of current design trends. Have a lot of wallpaper? You may want to consider spending a weekend or two painting. However, updating your decor should be taken with a grain of salt, as the money you put into a project never comes back to you at full value. If there is a lot to do, concentrate on the little things, as many times a total revamping of your home is not worth the stress and/or cost.
Think Deep: Why are you selling your house? Are you moving up in size and cost, or downsizing? Do you need to sell quickly, or can you wait a few months? These are very important questions that you should answer yourself before your real estate agent asks you. Know your bottom line for what you will sell for, and set a timeline for your “perfect” move date. These answers will affect the marketing and pricing of your home, so it is important have solid answers before meeting with your REALTOR®.
Turn Your Thumb Green: Your house is going to be the product, so make sure that packaging is nice! Keeping the front lawn freshly cut and putting a little extra effort in your flower beds goes a long way in building curb appeal. Instead of taking care of the lawn the moment you list, get a head start a month or so before to ensure your gardens fill in and the new plants look, well, “planted.”
Think Marketing: When you do list your home, the marketing program can make or break your success. Does your agent have a website, and if so, does anybody visit it? Are they on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? 90% of Buyers use the Internet first when searching for a home, and marketing efforts should reflect this. CENTURY21.ca gets 3 times the number of unique visits per agent than the competition, and considering the importance of web marketing, I would suggest you contact a CENTURY 21 agent first.
| Seth Ferguson is a Sales Representative with CENTURY 21 Future Realty Inc., in Milton, Ontario. He serves Halton Region, including Milton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington and Acton. Looking to buy or sell? www.sethferguson.ca. |