There’s not much else you can hear about how “bad” the real estate market is. But what’s bad for sellers can be good for buyers, and in this market, savvy buyers are out trying to take advantage of the current buyer’s market. Here we have 13 thing you can do to help sell your house.
- Look Seriously in your agent’s online marketing: 94% of home buyers start their house hunt online with Google, Yahoo or Bing, they’ll never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings aren’t compelling enough. In real estate, compelling means pictures! If a listing has more than 6 pictures, they are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that had fewer than 6 pictures.
- Post a video on YouTube: Get you IPAD or IPhone out and walk through your home AND your neighborhood, telling prospective buyers about what’s best about this neighborhood – what your family loved about the house your currently in, your favorite bakery or coffee shop that you frequented on Saturday mornings, your favorite restaurant near your home etc. Buyers like to know that a home was well-loved, and it helps them visualize living there as well.
- Facebook your home’s listing: Facebook is the great connector of people these days. If you have 200 friends and they each have 200 friends, imagine the power of that network in getting the word out about your house!
- Leave some good stuff behind: What can distinguish your home is leaving behind some of your personal property, ideally items that are above and beyond what the average homebuyer in your home’s price range would be able to afford. That may be stainless steel kitchen appliances or a plasma screen TV, or it might be a golf cart if your home is on a golf course.
- Beat the competition with condition: The way you can compete is on condition. Consider having a termite inspection in advance of listing your home, and get as many of the repairs done as you can – it’s a major selling point to be able to advertise a very low or non-existent pest repair bill. Also, make sure that the little nicks and scratches, doorknobs that don’t work, and wonky handles are all repaired before you start showing your home.
- Stage the exterior of your home too: By staging the exterior with fresh paint, immaculate landscaping and even outdoor furniture can often get the Buyers to fantasize about enjoying their backyards by entertaining and spending time outside. Essentially giving them an additional room of the home for them to enjoy.
- Access is essential: Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. Don’t make it difficult for agents to get their clients into your home – if they have to make appointments way in advance, or can only show it during a very restrictive time frame, they will likely just cross your place off the list and go show the places that are easy to get into. Make the home extremely accessible!
- Get real about pricing: Today’s buyers are extremely educated about how comps work. The buyers are heavily influence by the fair market value of your home. To make your home competitive, have your broker or agent build the sales prices around of the three most similar homes that have been sold in your area in the last 30 days or so, then try to go 10-15% below that when you set your home’s list price. The homes that look like a great deal are the ones that get the most visits from buyers and, on occasion even receive multiple offers. (Bidding wars do still exist!)
- Get clued into your competition: Work with your broker or agent to get educated about the price, type of sale and condition of the other homes your home is up against.
De-personalize / De-clutter: Do this – pretend you’re moving out. Take all the things that make your home “your” personal sanctuary (e.g., family photos, religious decor and kitschy memorabilia), pack them up and put them in storage. Buyers want to visualize your house being their house – and it’s difficult for them to do that with all your personal items marking the territory as yours.