I know it’s your home, but you DID decide to sell it!
The 7 hard facts about selling your home even when the market is on your side.
1) Do you know what is happening in the local real estate market? Chances are you have seen the news and are getting a larger picture of the housing statistics. The best way to understand the market you are about to enter is to get a local Realtor. If they are not prepared to tell you everything about your city and your neighborhood then look for a
one that knows these critical local trends.
2) Do the hard work first, not last! Take the time to thoroughly clean and de-clutter your home before you put it on the market. A home full of grime and STUFF will not allow your realtor to get the best photos needed to market it on line and perspective buyers will perceive its value to be lower. Money can be left on the table for not taking this advice. It is one of the greatest payoffs.
3) Allow your home to be priced to sell. Just because the home next door sold for a certain amount, does not mean your home will sell at that price also. The first few weeks, or even days, are the most critical time for your home. It is when it shines like a freshly polished diamond. New listings draw the attention of the buyers looking in that price range. If it is priced right, they will be moving mountains to get a showing or attend the first open house. Pricing right can cause competition and a sense of urgency. Over pricing can lead to your listing going stale.
4) It is important that you understand, anticipate and embrace that you are going to be inconvenienced while selling your home. You are going to have to pick up after yourself every day and make sure that the home is always ready for showings. You will need to find a place for Fido when the house needs to be shown. You will have to leave early, come home late or even depart for a few hours. You will have to begin packing, sign documents, meet with your Realtor at the same time you are trying to live your life. Don’t plan any huge birthday parties or holiday gatherings in the middle of this process. It will be overwhelming for you, your Realtor and even your potential buyers who also must try and see homes during their own busy schedules.
5) Do not be present at home showings. Buyers are more comfortable and relaxed when they can view the home without you there. They can discuss things openly and they don’t feel pressure to move too quickly. Buyers will also ask questions of a seller that should not be openly discussed. Please remember, buyers must be accompanied by a Real Estate professional if your home is listed. They will not be left to wander your property unattended.
6) Make the necessary repairs to your home before you list it. Your cost for these repairs will be far less than the inflated estimates a buyer will bring to you. Don’t try to hide the flaws or defects under rugs, with furniture or pictures. The home inspector is looking for the very things you are hiding. You can get yourself in real trouble for hiding defects that you are aware of. And please be prepared that as much as you think you know your home and its issues, the home inspection may reveal things you were not aware of. Don’t blame your buyer or Realtor when this happens. Don’t throw a tantrum. Understand its part of the process and do your best to work with what the buyer is requesting. There is always room to negotiate. Put yourself in the buyer’s place for one minute and instead of chucking the deal out the window, see if the defect is curable! Starting over with brand new buyers is most always harder than fixing a defect. And remember, once a defect has been brought to your attention, you must disclose this to the next buyer!
7) Do not lollygag! Once you make the decision to sell your home and you have signed a listing contract, don’t stop communicating! Life happens and there are circumstances beyond your control but communicating these to your Realtor who can in turn convey them to your buyer is appropriate. Don’t delay answering questions your buyer may have or relevant questions your agent may have. It irritates all parties and it causes stress that is not necessary. Deciding you are mad at your buyers and your Realtor half way through a transaction doesn’t help anyone accomplish the goal. Don’t take bumps in the road personally. If your Realtor needs your input, please give it. If a form needs to be signed, get it signed. Your Realtor does not get paid until the home closes and Realtors work many deals at one time. If the form needs to be returned and your realtor is not available to pick it up. Print it, scan it, sign it electronically or hand deliver it as soon as possible. If you can’t get it back then communicate with your Realtor and a solution will be found. Don’t get upset about documentation, it is part of today’s real estate world. A middle initial left out of the original contract or a name misspelled means a correction. We are all human and corrections and addendums and more addendums are part of the process. Nothing is asked for that is not needed. Be flexible and prompt and don’t lollygag!