The Internet is the first stop for many home shoppers. How you present your home online is just as important as how it looks during the open house. Sellers should include as many pictures as allowed on real estate listing sites and on the local Multiple Listing Service, an online clearinghouse of property listings. A high quality virtual tour is a must if the property being sold is 150K or more in our market. Highlight the rooms and features home shoppers care about the most: the kitchen, bathrooms and outdoor space.
- Pricing Error
When the average seller sits down to interview real estate agents, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement over choosing a sales price. More money means more financial opportunities for the homeowner. Perhaps it means the seller can afford to buy a more expensive home, help pay for her child’s college education or take that greatly overdue vacation. Unfortunately, uninformed sellers often choose the listing agent who suggests the highest list price, which is the worst mistake a seller can make.
The truth is it doesn’t really matter how much money you think your home is worth. Nor does it matter what your agent thinks or ten other agents just like her. The person whose opinion matters is the buyer who makes an offer. Pricing homes is part art and part science. It involves comparing similar properties, making adjustments for the differences among them, tracking market movements and taking stock of present inventory, all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion.
Homes sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. If a home is priced too low, priced under the competition, the seller should receive multiple offers to drive up the price to market value. So there is little danger in pricing a home too low. The danger lies in pricing it too high and selecting your agent solely on opinion of value
It was one of those really whacky transactions. The purchaser wanted to acquire the house but not occupy it for about 9-10 months. His family had a trans-attlantic move planned and he really wanted it all nailed down ahead of time. To make the deal go, we fortunately found a seller who was happy to sell and didn’t care if it closed in 2 months or 10 as long as he was holding a huge deposit and was also able to rent the property in the interim period. It was in 1989 and I was a brand new realtor and I was just happy to sell a house.
This was a corner parcel. The address was #8 Unknown Lane (I really can’t say the actual street). Little did I know, two blocks away, there was also #8 Unknown Court.(Same street name, just a Court not a Lane). Both of these are two story houses, on corners and to this day they share similar exterior appearances.
Anyhow, I’m running tight on time as I used to do too frequently and arrive about a minute ahead of schedule. I bound out of the car and begin walking up to the wrong house. “Interesting”, I say to myself as I observe the 3 little kids looking at me from behind the screen of the front door of the house. The other realtor said to just go ahead and use the lockbox for access. Alarm bells are going off in my head as I am walking up to the door, “O no, I’m thinking, somebody didn’t tell the tenants they had to move ——-#%@ * Was I supposed to do that ?– no, it was clear in the contract, the seller was responsible for that – I remember typing ‘Vacant at closing.’——-#[email protected]&+——–Whatever got screwed up here, I knew this long closing thing was going to be a problem” . I get to the door and I ask the kids, “Is your mommy home?” They smile and giggle and in a heart beat, Mother Bear pounces on the scene. “You bet I am home, what are trying to do? Who the hell are you? Get the hell of my property? Are you trying to steal my kids?” Sometimes I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I got the idea fairly quickly that I should leave.
I get in the car and start driving down the street. Within a few blocks, there is a police car with the flashing lights in my rear view mirror. “Can you step out of the car sir?” The bright side is, he helped me figure out where I was supposed to be. I think once in a while the universe really keeps us on our toes.
New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers.
Studies show that new kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers, so get rid of old appliances that make the rest of the kitchen look dated. Once you install the new equipment, it will scream “new kitchen,” and you will see that spending a little money will make you even more.
Unpleasant pet odors won’t win over buyers.
We all love our pets, but unpleasant pet odors can make a negative first impression. Be sure to get rid of old carpet that can trap offensive smells. Replace it with fresh new carpet in a neutral color. Plus, if you paint the walls to match, your living room will look bigger. It’ll go from designed to smell to designed to sell.
Buyers love built-in bookshelves.
There’s a fine line between filling them with clutter and staging them to sell. The trick is to arrange neutral items in clusters. Make sure that no single accessory stands out too much. That way, you’ll show off your attractive built-ins, and not your personal belongings. Curb appeal is vital to attracting buyers.
Breathe new life into a worn patio.
Do you have a red-brick patio surface that needs to be freshened up? Here is an easy way to give it new life with paint. First, roll a light coat of paint onto the bricks. Next, lightly spray them with water and then dab them before they dry to give them an outdoor look. When you are done, you will have a patio that looks fresh and reels in buyers.
Stage rooms with one purpose so buyers will know what it is.
Potential buyers are confused by extra rooms that have a mishmash of uses. To avoid this problem, first clear away clutter and excess furniture. Paint the walls a neutral tone and then furnish the room with a desk to stage it as a home office in which buyers will want to get down to business.
Clean those bathroom walls!
Here is an easy way to get rid of surface mold: Mix a spray bottle with one part water and one part bleach. Just spray it on the wall, and watch the mold disappear. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and your grimy bathroom will go from red flag to red-hot.
Avoid dated tile by painting.
Bathrooms sell houses, but dated tile in a bathroom doesn’t. A low-cost alternative to replacing the tile is to use paint. First coat the tiles with a high-adhesion primer. Next, brush on a special ceramic epoxy covering. For a fraction of the cost of new tile, you will have an up-to-date bathroom that brings in big bucks.
Pack up unnecessary items and furniture before you show the house.
An overpacked living room is a red flag to buyers that your home lacks storage space. Pack up unneccesary items and furniture, and move items to your garage or a nearby storage facility. Clear the way for a sale by letting buyers see your square footage, not your personal belongings.
Storage space sells!
Potential buyers love homes that have lots of storage space. Since they will open your closets, it’s a good idea to clear out unnecessary clutter, and organize your shelves to show off how much storage you really have. Plus, it gives you a chance to start packing, as you will definitely be moving once buyers see all that closet space.
Stain dated kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them.
Dated kitchen cabinets can be a big turnoff to potential buyers. Instead of paying big bucks to replace them, just stain them. First, apply the stain in even strokes, going with the grain of the wood. Add some stylish hardware, and your kitchen will have the up-to-date look that buyers love, for less than $200.