7 Tips to Get Your Home Sold in Today's Market

By admin • July 9th, 2010

7 Tips to Get Your Home Sold in Today’s Market: If you are trying to sell your home today, you’ve probably found no shortage of advice on things that you should do to accomplish your goal – spruce this up, take that down, de-clutter, de-personalize, optimize, minimize … the list goes on.  These things are all reasonably good ideas; The problem for many homeowners is that while many of these suggestions are valid, they’re hit-and-miss with respect to the local market for their home.  Doing any or all of these things on the to-do list, while making some of the most fundamental mistakes in real estate, will usually produce disappointing results.

So, we thought it might be helpful to point out these Top 7 Tips to getting your home sold in today’s market.  There are probably more than 7, but addressing this list will definitely improve your chances:

Price your home competitively: No. 1 for a reason and easier said than done.  Many homeowners overprice their home with the belief that buyers will still make an offer, or to “test” the market.  In many markets across the country today, the inventory of homes for sale is higher than in years past, giving buyers more choices.  If you’re not pricing your home to be extremely competitive from day one, it will likely diminish your chances of selling.  In fact, what you may be doing is helping your competition to sell their home first.
Recognize and adapt to trends in the local market: With more homes to choose from, what are buyers actually buying in your area?  You may love the chickens and the ducks in your country kitchen wallpaper, but buyers may be buying a more modern, contemporary look.  There may be other trends like low-maintenance landscaping, enhanced outdoor living areas, etc., that would help make your home stand out, and make it appeal to a broader audience.  Don’t make the mistake of waiting for the “perfect” buyer who loves your home the way you do – compete with what’s selling today.
Listen to the professionals: Pricing, marketing, staging, negotiating, etc., are all areas where professionals are critical to your success.  You’re competing with professionals – you need to use them, too.  Gone are the days where buyers have so few choices that they will just “overlook” all of your home’s flaws and buy it anyway. Not getting professional advice or worse, getting and ignoring it, will also hurt your chances.
Aggressively market your home: This is where people trying to sell their homes themselves (and some agents, too), tend to make a mistake, believing that putting a sign in the yard and running an ad in the local newspaper are the only things necessary to find a buyer.  Neither is particularly effective today.  Nearly 100% of today’s home buyers are looking online – and finding the home that they end up buying.  Marketing methods that worked even a few years ago are obsolete today.  If you under-market your home in this environment, you will be disappointed in the result.
Use a professional Realtor to accomplish all of the above: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted surveys and found that people selling their home themselves actually sold for an average of abot 16% less than those who hired a competent, professional Realtor to sell their home.  Consider the cost of not using a professional and don’t overlook the value of time.  For example, how much longer will it take to sell your home without a professional?  How many additional mortgage payments will be involved, taxes, maintenance, etc?  It can be done by yourself, but the money spent on a pro here will likely be well-spent.
Make your home more accessible to buyers: Having listed your home with a pro, don’t make the mistake of unreasonably restricting buyers’ access to your home.  Sounds pretty basic, but you would be surprised how many sellers place stringent restrictions on when their home can be shown.  Going back to the choices they have today … if your home is only accessible between 2:00 and 3:00 every other Wednesday afternoon, you’re severely restricting your chances of selling.  Even worse, you’re actually making your competitors look better.  It may be inconvenient for you in the short run, but selling your home is a process that you’ve got to commit to in order to improve your chances.  Buyers expect to be able to view your home without too much trouble . . . try to accomodate them.
Be prepared to quickly adapt to changes in market conditions: How many times have you seen someone list their home at a price that’s too high, miss buyer after buyer, then reluctantly lower their price time after time with no luck?  What’s worse is when a house down the street goes up for sale at a competitive price, and sells in a week!  This all-too-common scenario is like chasing a ball down a hill … and it’s a highly-ineffective marketing strategy that inevitably costs you money.  Many times, the seller could have sold for more money by recognizing changes in the market and adapting appropriately and quickly.  In effect, getting out in front of that ball is the only way to catch it.

These are issues we see here in the Boulder real estate market, but they’re applicable in any market in the country.  So, if you’re selling a home and have tried all the fix-up suggestions under the sun with no success, analyze your situation and try again – this time with these 7 tips in mind.  It may require a few changes in your strategy, but these tips can help you put a SOLD sign in your yard.

Boulder Real Estate Broker, 26-year veteran Realtor with RE/MAX of Boulder (303-441-5647). Experienced in residential and commercial real estate, management, sales, marketing, appraisal, and consulting; recognized as the #14 individual in the 5-state Mt. Region of RE/MAX International in 2001, based on sales volume.

 

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