I believe most would agree that there is a perception in the marketplace that selling one’s home is often a long and arduous process. Though it does take skill and knowledge, too often things are made exceedingly complicated and, at times, downright confusing to the home seller. Now, it is important to realize the importance of a little preparation because far too many homes “hit the market” before they are ready, but is equally important not to over-complicate things as well. Remember, “The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!” – Marvin Phillips
Though I may be somewhat oversimplifying here (as there are many intricate details I could reference that aid in a successful home sale), I believe that, if a home owner were to only adhere to the following three steps they would greatly increase the likelihood of a relatively quick and painless sale. More importantly, relieve so much unnecessary stress which far too many home sellers endure during the process.
Step One: Presentation
Your home has to look good period. Now, I am not suggesting you need to renovate your home and/or try to make it something it isn't, but I am saying that you have to make it the best it can be in context to what you have to work with.
First, get a pre home inspection. It is relatively inexpensive and I have not seen a better way to deal with issues (every home has issues) prior to them delaying or killing your sale.
I will not belabor all the benefits here, but if you want to know more, check out another article here where I go into details about the benefits of a pre-home inspection. Simply put, get deficiencies corrected before going to market instead of waiting for a buyer’s home inspector to discover them and you are now in the unenviable position of having to be reactive because you weren't proactive.
Secondly, you need to pre-pack. You are going to be moving anyway, so, pack up as much as you can and store it in an area of the home where it looks like storage belongs. By de-cluttering and de-personalizing you make your home present better, look larger and help the potential buyer see themselves in the home.
Thirdly, clean thoroughly and do paint touch ups. This is very inexpensive and yields great returns.
Lastly, consider hiring a staging consultant who can help you layout your home best so it looks as inviting a possible to the potential buyer.
Remember, the buyer wants to feel like they are viewing their new home, not your current home.
Step Two: Promotion
You need to be hiring a professional Realtor who is, as a part of what commission they are charging, offering you a good marketing plan. Now this topic can be elaborate and many realtors will offer many types of marketing services so I will just stick to the basics and let your Realtor expand on their own individual service.
At a minimum you should be getting great pictures (and maybe even video) and a feature write up that exemplifies why someone should want to live in this (your) fantastic home.
Simply put, you need a great online presence and a marketing plan that makes it easy for the interested party to find your home online (I like using direct address URL's like www.YourAddress.com). Of course, there are other areas of promotion that are good as well. If your realtor is offering some additions, you can decide for yourself if these “extras” are something you need and, in turn, are happy to pay for. The important thing is that you never forget that the Real Estate industry is much like other service industries. You get what you pay for.
Step Three: Price
If you have done a great job at presentation and have a great promotional package but you miss the mark on price, you have just wasted a lot of effort (and likely money) telling everyone about a beautiful home that is a lousy deal. A quality Realtor can not only tell you what your listing price should be, but he/she can also demonstrate why this should be your asking price in a manner which makes sense to you. As challenging as it can be, you need to keep your own financial desires and emotions out of this one. If you overprice your home, in reality, all you are doing is holding on for that imaginary $10-$20,000 (or more) that is never coming. This just slows your sale and often ends up costing you even more money in the long run in terms of extra mortgage payments and low ball offers.
If you are considering selling your home, I am happy to offer a FREE Home Selling Consultation to discuss the above topics and anything else you would like to know. I would love for you to experience the stress free and successful sale you deserve. Contact me anytime.