There is no question that in many parts of the country, houses are on the market longer than they were in the past. As a seller, this slowdown means more homes are competing with yours for a limited pool of potential buyers. Here are five tips to make your home the frontrunner on the fast track to a sale.
Price It Right — Right Away
The first 30 days are the most critical. If your home is priced too high, interested buyers may never even tour it. The longer your property is on the market, the smaller the pool of prospective buyers gets.
Deciding the value of a home isn’t an exact science. But data is available to help you determine a fair, on-target asking price. You may want to start by hiring a real estate appraiser to give you an objective, unbiased estimate. Next, consult with a real estate professional to help you determine your home’s true market value based on a comparable market analysis. This research will look at both recent home sales and asking prices of homes on the market. Armed with this information, price your home conservatively to give it a competitive edge.
Make It Irresistible
Unless they’re looking for a fixer-upper, most buyers are more likely to bid on a home they can enjoy right away. You need to do everything you can to make the home so attractive, charming, cozy, inviting, comfortable and exciting that buyers can’t resist claiming that lifestyle for themselves.
It can be hard to evaluate your home from a buyer’s point of view. Ask an experienced agent to give you an objective opinion and tell you what buyers are asking for. Then get your home in tip-top shape by making repairs and cosmetic improvements and removing clutter. This may mean investing in a few upgrades to freshen your home’s look, like installing newer carpet and light fixtures and painting the walls a neutral shade.
If you want buyers to see your home, first you have to find them. Work with your real estate professional to design a flexible marketing plan that capitalizes on your property’s most desirable features. This strategy should be designed to reach buyers online and offline, including word of mouth, Internet exposure, yard signs, direct mail and open houses.
Go With a Pro
Selling a home takes more than putting a sign in your yard and a listing on the Internet. In a competitive market, you can’t risk making novice mistakes that delay your sale. When you hire a real estate professional, you get an experienced marketer and negotiator who’s fully familiar with real estate issues in your community. An experienced agent can also offer invaluable advice on pricing and staging your home.
Then there’s the added value of peer-to-peer networking. A skilled agent’s connections often bring buyers and sellers together – sometimes even before the property goes on the market.
Sweeten the Deal
Incentives can be just what a potential buyer needs to choose your home over others. You may want to consider offering a carpet or paint allowance or paying for a professional home inspection or a home warranty. Depending on your market and budget, you may even decide to cover some of the closing costs.
Don’t be discouraged by the number of competing homes for sale in your neighborhood. With just a few smart moves, you can make a buyers’ market work in your favor.
This article is by Jon L. Cook, at www.prudentialcal.com.