Selling Your Home Quickly For Top Dollar
Selling your home is an important step. These steps will help you get the most money possible, as quickly as possible with the least amount of problems
1. Why are you selling – don’t tell anyone
Your reasons to sell affect everything from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What’s more important to you: the money you walk away with, or the length of time your property is on the market? Different goals will dictate different strategies.
However, don’t reveal your motivation to anyone else or they may use it against you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed.
2. Make an informed decision when setting your asking price.
The asking price shouldn’t be done lightly. When you set the price, your setting the maximum selling price of your home, but over pricing is as big of a mistake as pricing too low. The average buyer is looking at 15-20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. They are comparing, and if your home doesn’t compare favorably with others in the price range you’ve set, you won’t be taken seriously by potential buyers. The result is that your home will sit on the market for a long time and, knowing this, new buyers on the market will think there must be something wrong with your home. NEVER OVERPRICE!!!! Find out what homes in your own and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past 6-12 months, and research what current homes are listed for. That’s certainly how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home. If you are in doubt it would be wise to have a professional appraisal completed. The cost of an appraisal is around $200 which is far less than the cost of over or under pricing your home.
3. Maximize your home’s sales appeal.
Each year, corporate North America spends billions on product and packaging design. Appearance is critical, and it would be foolish to ignore this when selling your home.
You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. If you are busy, hire a cleaning service to come in and clean the home from top to bottom. Fix everything, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Make the prospective buyer say “wow”Allow the buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Prospective buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new suit of clothes. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or if your decor is so different that it’s difficult for a buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves an owner.
4. Make it easy for buyers to get information on your home.
You may be surprised to know that some marketing tools that most agents use to sell homes (eg. traditional open houses) are actually not very effective. In fact only 1% of homes are sold at an open house.
Furthermore, the prospects calling for information on your home probably value their time as much as you do. The last thing they want to be subjected to is either a game of telephone tag with an agent, or an unwanted sales pitch. Make sure the ads your you place for your home are attached to a website with a specific ID# for your home which gives buyers access to detailed information about your property day or night 7 days a week without having to talk to anyone. It’s been proven that 3 times as many buyers go online for information on your home. And remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home the better, multiple offers means a higher selling price. Every one wants the home others want.
5. Know your buyer.
In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. What is your buyer’s motivation? Do they need to move quickly? Do they have enough money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation because you know how far you can push to get what you want.
6. Are you selling a home or a house?
Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a property that is vacant because it looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. It’s no longer a home – its just a house. It could cost you thousands. If you move, you’re telling buyers that you have a new home and are probably highly motivated to sell fast. Don’t give them the advantage at the negotiating table.
7. Tax Assessments – What They Really Mean
Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home. The difficulty here is that assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home’s true value.
8. Get it Spic n’ Span Clean and Fix Everything, Even If It Seems Insignificant
Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you’ll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.
9. Allow Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home
Don’t allow Buyers to feel as though they are intruding. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.
10. Eliminate Odors
You may not realize but odd smells like traces of food, pets and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog, or that you smoke, they’ll start being aware of odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don’t leave any clues.
11. Win with Multiple Offers
When you maximize your home’s marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each other; a single buyer will end up competing with you.
12. Keep Emotions in Check
Let go of the emotion you’ve invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You’ll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.
13. Is Your Buyer Pre-Approved?
As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much their down payment is. If they are not pre-approved, suggest that they call The Lee Jenkins Mortgage Team first. If they cannot afford your home there is no point in negotiating a sale price. If you accept an offer from a buyer that is not pre-approved you risk loosing potential qualified buyers. Insist on seeing a pre-approval certificate prior to accepting an offer conditional upon financing.
14. When does your Buyer need to close?
Quite often, when buyers would “like” to close is when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadlines for completing negotiations again creates a negotiating advantage for you.
15. Sell 1st / Buy 2nd
Beware of closing on your new home while you’re still making mortgage payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.
16. Deadlines Create A Serious Disadvantage
Don’t try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.
17. A Low Offer – Don’t Take It Personally
Invariably the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer know they’ll pay for your property. Don’t be upset, evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering price, sufficient deposit, amount of down payment, mortgage amount, a closing date and any special requests. This can simply provide a starting point from which you can negotiate.
18. Turn That Low Offer Around
You can counter a low offer or even an offer that’s just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer isn’t seen as being a serious one. Now you’ll be negotiating only with buyers with serious offers.
19. A complete agreement is essential
For your part as a seller, make sure you disclose everything. Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, they can’t come back with a lawsuit later on.
Make sure all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale, and resist the temptation to diverge from the con-tract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say NO. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.It is highly recommended that all your documents should be reviewed by a lawyer prior to signing any agreement.