Selling a home can be stressful, even if you have a great property and a market that supports the price you want for it. Time is always of the essence. You don’t want to nervously wait for buyers to take an interest in your house. It’s important to know your market, price your property competitively, and advertise it widely so it gets the attention it needs to sell quickly.
With the current real estate market continuing to remain strong for sellers, you’re probably hearing that you’ll have no trouble selling your house. Experts are still telling you it’s a great time to sell.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.
You’re essentially trying to convince someone to spend a lot of money on the property you’re offering. This requires strategy.
We have five home-selling tips that we think will help. In fact, these are the kinds of things that can make or break your sale experience.
1. Partner with a Great Real Estate Agent
Your real estate partner will absolutely make or break the success you have when selling a home.
Work with someone who understands the local market and the competing properties in it. You’ll want an experienced professional who has a history of success helping others sell their homes. Ask for references. Solicit referrals from people in your network. Read online reviews and research reputation.
The right real estate agent will make your sale by:
- Delivering a profitable sales price and offering advice on how to negotiate and manage offers that may come in below the asking price.
- Scheduling open houses and showings that are designed to create a sense of competition among potential buyers.
- Using a network of professional designers, inspectors, and vendors who will partner with you during every part of the sales process.
- Understanding the requirements to close, and helping you navigate the process of finalizing the deal.
With the wrong real estate agent or no real estate agent at all, you’re going to find yourself confused, stressed, and in danger of making expensive mistakes. The California real estate market is constantly shifting, highly competitive, and very pricey. You need a steady and experienced real estate partner who has helped a lot of owners Iike you sell their homes.
2. Price Your Home Competitively and Profitably
For a lot of sellers, success is determined by asking price.
But remember – asking price is only what you’re offering the home for on the market. It’s unlikely that you’ll get that asking price. In a strong sales market, you could potentially be entertaining offers that are over the asking price. In a tight market, you’ll have to prepare to consider offers that are lower than what you want.
Your real estate agent should help you establish a smart starting point.
To price your home correctly, you’ll need an idea of what homes similar to yours are selling for and how long it’s taking them to sell. Get a comparative analysis from your real estate agent that shows some reliable statistics and hard data on the local real estate market. This will drive your price. You’ll want to compare what your own home has to offer against those that have recently sold or are currently on the market.
Every home seller wants to earn as much as possible. But, you’ll definitely make or break your sale with the price you attach to your home. If it’s too high, your offers are going to come in a lot lower. Or, people won’t bother making an offer at all. There’s less of a risk in pricing your home a bit lower than what the market demands. You’ll likely have more than one offer come in, and you can select the highest offer or negotiate up if you have the leverage of multiple offers.
Your asking price should get attention. Most buyers are shopping based on a specific budget. If your home price does not fall into that budget, they likely won’t even find your home when they’re looking online.
Know the market. Know your property and how it fits into the market. Set an asking price that buyers will notice, and prepare to negotiate when the offers come in.
3. Strategic Listings and Showings
The way your home is marketed and advertised will make or break your sale.
There are many tools that can be used to advertise your home for sale. When you’re working with a great real estate agent, you’ll have a listing on the MLS as well as sites like Zillow and Trulia, where some people will browse offerings and ask their own agents to set up showings.
A good advertising plan will start with a great listing. These are the details that will make your listing successful:
- Fantastic photos. All of the potential buyers who are scrolling through listings will start with photos. They’ll get to the description later. They may even look at your photos before they think about your price. Make sure you’re using photos that work to your advantage. Consider hiring a professional photographer or rely on your agent’s ability to take high quality, professional-grade marketing photos for your listing. You need a lot of pictures, and you want them to look great. Include the outside of the house, the backyard or any outdoor space you may have (even a balcony, patio, or small courtyard if that’s all you have). Buyers will want to see photos of the bedrooms and the kitchen and living areas. Include pictures of anything special like a garden tub, a renovated kitchen with stainless appliances, a pool, or an attached two-car garage.
- Consider a video. Walk-through videos can be very helpful in motivating people to schedule a showing. If someone is coming to see your home even after they’ve already seen a video, there’s a good chance they’re interested in making an offer.
- Concise, detailed description. A good description needs to accompany your photos and video. Make sure it includes all the pertinent information, such as asking price, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and special amenities that are included. Use language that will help potential buyers connect with your home on an emotional level. You’re trying to get them to come and see it.
You can rely on your agent to schedule showings, open houses, and special broker and buyer events. You’ll want to know there’s a comprehensive marketing plan in place that will reach the right buyers and their agents. Leverage social media and make sure your listing is available everywhere that potential buyers are looking, especially online. Yard signs still have their place; you might have a high traffic neighborhood where people are often driving, walking, or biking through the area. A For Sale sign will get their attention.
4. Invest in Curb Appeal and Keep Staging Simple
You hear a lot about staging when you’re selling a home.
Does it really matter?
You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars in a staging plan, however. Keep it simple. Clear out all of your own clutter and any overly personal items that will only detract from your home. When buyers come through for a tour or a showing, you want them to imagine themselves living there. That’s hard to do when you have a ton of picture frames with your family and friends or stacks of mail on the counter.
Keep the home clean and as empty as possible. Listen to your agent’s advice when it comes to moving out the items that don’t necessarily help you sell your house.
Invest in good curb appeal as well. This is the first impression people are getting when they approach your home. You want that first impression to count in a positive way. Make sure the landscaping is in perfect condition. Put some fresh pots of colorful flowers near the door. The lawn should be cut, green, and well-manicured.
5. Prepare to Negotiate
As offers come in and interest is generated in your home, prepare to negotiate so you can close the deal and sell your home.
Listen to the advice that your agent provides when it comes to accepting offers, making counter offers, and negotiating terms as well as price. You want to sell your home quickly and for the right price so that you can move on. But, you want to maintain a strong position and not settle for an offer that’s too low or terms that you don’t believe are fair. It’s okay to say no, and it’s okay to walk away. But remember that price isn’t the only thing up for negotiation. You can offer to replace an appliance or provide a credit for new floors if you have a strong offer that comes with contingencies. Look at your inspection and what it reveals so you’re prepared for any asks that your buyer might make.
Good negotiation skills will make or break your sale.
These are five easy things that impact your home-selling efforts. There’s much more we can tell you about how to come out ahead in the current sales market. If you’re thinking about listing your home, please contact us at California Pacific Realty. We have the experience and the resources to help you sell successfully.