How to Successfully Sell Your Home

Do you want to know the importance of pricing your home right the first time? How can the home's price, terms, conditions, and marketing make the difference in selling YOUR home? What should a professional do to help market and sell your home? Read this report to learn the answers!

Making the decision to sell your home is an important decision. Once you have made that decision, you want your home to sell in the shortest time, at the best price, and without hassles or problems. You may have asked yourself, What can I do to help facilitate this process?

One of the most important things for you and your real estate professional to do is to look at your home through the eyes of the buyer. And remember, those eyes may change from week to week depending upon the availability of other properties. Once you have done this, you and your real estate professional need to market your home so that buyers see and feel the benefits and value in ownership of YOUR home.

So what is it that a buyer will want? First of all, all home buyers comparison shop for value. They judge price and condition against the features and benefits offered by each of the homes they are considering. Some homes may be easily eliminated because of poor condition or overpricing. After the two or three homes with the highest value are identified, the final selection is usually based on pure emotion.

  1. Be aware of your competition. Before you even list your home for sale, your real estate professional should provide you with a summary of other properties that have recently sold, are under contract, and/or are currently listed. An effective Realtor will be able to tell you how your home compares to the competition. In other words, your home might be priced higher than other homes because of the location, the size, the condition of the property, or features you have in your home that are not present in others. On the other hand, your home might need to be priced lower than other homes because of these very same factors.
     
  2. Assess the condition of your home. When buyers look at several homes, the condition of each home plays a significant role in their decision to consider it further. Therefore, you and your real estate professional should honestly evaluate the condition of your home. What can you do to improve the curb appeal and first impressions? Repainting the home, making sure the lawn is well maintained, cleaning the carpets, removing any pets from the home when it is being shown, eliminating any unnecessary furniture, making sure that basements and garages are not cluttered...these are only a few of the things you can do to improve the appeal of the home. Remember...the first impressions are the most important. Most buyers decide to buy in the first 5 minutes they are in a home...then they spend the rest of the time justifying their decision. Many times, you will not have a second chance to appeal to a buyer. The more concerns a buyer has with the condition of your home, the less appealing it becomes, especially if there is another home that is comparably priced that they are considering. Once you have assessed the condition of your home, it is important that you make any repairs or improvements BEFORE you place it on the market! The first impression for another real estate agent is just as critical as it is for potential buyers. Once an agent has shown a property that is in need of repair, it can be much more difficult to get them to bring back another buyer to that home.
     
  3. Set the right price the FIRST time. If you price your home right from the onset, you will minimize the chances of a buyer not selecting your home simply because of price. The price that you and your real estate professional have established often affects both the final sale price and the time that your property will be on market. If it is fairly priced and you know there are features that will appeal to a buyer, it is easier to get them into the home and see for themselves why this is such a great value and why they should select it for their next home.

    One question to ask a real estate professional when you are interviewing them to sell your home is to share their list to sales price ratio and their average days on market. The lower these numbers are, the better it is for you...it means that your real estate professional truly understands the market, and that your goal of selling your home in the fastest time at the best price is accomplished! The last thing you want is an agent who suggests you list a home at a price that does not compete with the current market. The higher the price, the longer the home will be on the market, the less appealing it will become to agents and buyers, and the more frustrated you will become. So when a real estate agent says they can sell your home for a certain price, you may want to ask them to prove it!
     
  4. What happens after I sign the listing agreement? Another question to ask real estate professionals you are considering is, What will happen after I sign the listing agreement? If the response is something similar to placing a sign in the yard and an ad in the paper, you may want to reconsider.

    Research shows that, very few individuals actually buy property from advertisements in the newspaper. Therefore, you need a real estate professional who knows how to reach potential buyers.

    For us that includes using the Internet, a strategic plan for marketing to other real estate agents who might have a buyer for your home, targeted mailings to potential buyers, using all forms of the media, property flyers for buyers who visit your home, referral network throughout North America, weekly staff meetings to review the status and generate new ideas to find a buyer, monthly mailing to over 6,000 individuals who might be or might know of someone interested in purchasing your home.
     
  5. Make your home easy to show. Many sellers list their homes and then make it very difficult for agents to show it to prospective buyers. Although there are times when an agent has the luxury of 24 to 48 hours to set up a showing, many times they have an impromptu buyer who wants to look now. The more accommodating you can be, the more chances you have of finding the right buyer. So what should you do? Always keep your home spotless so that it can be easily shown. Make sure the windows are clean, lights are on, lots of light comes into the home, the dishes are done, the closets are clean, that the home smells like a home (perhaps a pie in the oven, baked bread, or potpourri). And then, LEAVE THE HOME. Buyers many times want to really look through a home. Having the seller in the house may be too intimidating, causing them to go onto another home they are considering. If showings are being set up through your real estate agent, ask them how accessible they are so that agents are able to show the house at virtually any time. If all they get is an answering machine and no return phone calls over the weekend, the best buyer may have been missed!
     
  6. So tell me what's going on. One of the most common complaints sellers have is that their real estate agent never communicates with them. They don't know if the house has been shown, whether there has been any interest, or whether or not there are changes in the market that are causing the home not to sell. Again, this is the responsibility of your real estate professional. An effective agent will send you periodic updates on the market as well as showing activity, speak directly with you on a regular basis regarding activities that are occurring to find the right buyer, and most importantly, be honest with you. If market conditions change, you want someone who will be honest with you and let you know why your home is not being shown or selling.
     

Homes do not sell by accident. The sale of your home will be the direct result of a carefully planned, effectively executed marketing program that is custom tailored to your home - a plan that addresses each of the areas presented in this report. What works for a home in one area may or may not work in another. You made an important decision when you decided to sell your home...you deserve to work with professionals who know what your goal is and want to help you achieve it.

As you make this very important decision, we encourage you to ask your real estate professional lots of questions about how they are going to design a marketing plan that is custom tailored to your home - and what they are going to do to help you accomplish your goal... to sell your home in the fastest time, at the best price, and with no hassles!