11 tips to help sell your house

April 23rd, 2013 by Robert Hightower

We’ve all heard about how “depressed” the real estate market is right now. But what’s bad for sellers can be good for buyers, and these days, savvy buyers are out in spades trying to take advantage of the buyer’s market, and find a steal of a deal. Here are 11 thing you can do to help sell your house.
1. Audit your agent’s online marketing. 93% of homebuyers start their house search online, and they will never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings aren’t compelling. In real estate, compelling means pictures! A study by Trulia.com shows that listings with more than 6 pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that had fewer than 6 pictures.  How many pictures do you want?  Maybe a virtual tour or video as well.
2. Post a video love letter about your home on You Tube. Get your smart phone and walk through your home AND your neighborhood, telling buyers about the best bits – what your family enjoyed about the home, your favorite shops that you frequented on Saturday and Sunday mornings, etc. Buyers like to know that a home was well-loved, and it helps them visualize living there, too.
3. Let your neighbors choose their neighbors. If you belong to neighborhood online message boards or email lists, send a link to your home’s online listing to your neighbors. Also, invite your neighbors to your open house – turn it into a event. That creates opportunities for your neighbors to sell the neighborhood to prospective buyers and for your neighbors to invite house hunters they know, and who like the area.
4. Face book your home’s listing. Face book is the great connector of people these days. You can put the word out that its for sale, post some pictures, a link to your You tube video etc.  You will find social media is very powerful.

5. Beat the competition with condition. In many markets, much of the competition is low-priced foreclosures and short sales. As an individual homeowner, the way you can compete is on condition. Consider having a termite inspection, and whole house 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, or other repairs.   Think about the piece of mind that comes to the buyer who is already nervous when they find out right out of the gate the condition of your home is good.  Also, make sure that the little nicks and scratches, doorknobs that don’t work, are all repaired before you start showing your home.  Details matter!

6. Stage the exterior, for curb appeal. Stage the exterior with fresh paint, immaculate landscaping, add some color with plants and even outdoor furniture to set up a Sunday brunch on the deck vignette. Is your yard inviting?  Buyers often fantasize about enjoying their backyards by entertaining and spending time outside.
7. Access is essential. Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. To sell a house once you have to sell it twice; you have to sell it to the buyers agent and then to the buyer.  And many foreclosures and short sale listings are vacant, so they can be shown anytime. If your home is difficult to show, it will be crossed off the list quickly.  Don’t make it difficult for the buyers agents to get their buyers into your house – My favorite are either vacant homes or they ones that are call first and go!  You know you can get in at anytime, do you want  your product off the shelf when your buyer is ready to shop?  Make it easy on the buyers agent and the buyer to get into your house.
8. Pricing is serious. Today’s buyers are very well informed about the comparable sales in the area, which influence the fair market value of your house.  Have your listing agent get a CMA for the area, its a market analysis.  Take a good look at what the most recent sold’s in your area are as well as what’s listed.  The buyer will have this information, and will not be paying you more for you house because “I need” more or because your emotional attachment to the home.
9. Who’s your competition? Be active in regards to educating yourself about your market.  If a buyer is interested in your home in your area what other homes would they be interested in today?  What are they priced at?  What features do they have that I don’t or what features do I have that they don’t have and what is the value of those features.  A lot can be learned from scouring the internet but you can also go out and hit some open houses.  At the end of the day you want to get fair market value for your house.
10. De-clutter. Take all the things that make your home “your” personal sanctuary (e.g., family photos, religious décor ), pack them up and put them in storage. Buyers want to visualize your house being their house, they want to see their belongings fitting into your space – and it’s hard for them to do with all your personal items marking the territory as yours. Pack up all your clutter, anything that is sitting on top of a countertop, table or other flat surfaces. Anything that you haven’t used in six months? That goes, too. Donate it for a nice right off or give away what you can, throw away as much as possible of what remains, and then pack the rest to get it ready to move.
11. Listen to your agent.  You should have interview agents and found a good one.  There are a lot of resources online to give you the proper questions to ask your agent.  Once you have settled on a agent, listen to their recommendations! Find an agent you trust and follow their advice, they are the professional here no matter how many Real Estate Shows you have watched on TV or what your brother in laws says, you hired a professional now listen to them.

Comments are closed.