Patricia M. McCorry, JD, CRB, GRI's Blog
There is a science to selling your home at the best price and within the shortest period of time, but it's not always an exact science!
Although you can't control market conditions, seasonal fluctuations, or the condition of your neighbors' property, you are still in the driver's seat when it comes to pricing, curb appeal, and the interior condition of your home.
Assuming there's no legal snags or major "red flags" about the condition or appearance or your home, the selling price you set may make the difference between a fast sale and house that lingers on the market for months on end. Many house hunters and (all) real estate agents are quite savvy about property values and real estate prices. If the selling price of your home is based on emotional factors or the amount of money you need to get back in order to purchase your next house, then there's a good chance you'll be pricing yourself out of the market. That's where your real estate agent comes in. They will help you set a realistic asking price that will favorably position it to similar properties in your neighborhood and community.
While everyone wants to get the maximum return on their real estate investment, there's usually a limited amount of "wiggle room" between the appraised value of your home and the amount of money a potential buyer would be willing to pay for it. Since it may be difficult for you, as a homeowner, to be objective when determining a realistic price for your home, it's often beneficial to have a comparative market analysis done by a real estate agent or professional appraiser.
Another reason for consulting with professionals involves the need to be objective about home improvements. Some home sellers have a difficult time accepting the fact that their asking price can't always reflect the full cost of recent home improvements. Home additions, updates, and recent remodeling work can have a positive impact on your home's asking price, but it's usually not a dollar-for-dollar return on investment.
If you're preparing to put your house on the market in the near future, it pays to do a little online research, have your property professionally appraised, and/or work with a real estate agent who will do a comparative analysis of your home's value. Other things you can do to increase the likelihood of getting your home sold quickly include a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning, applying a fresh coat of paint where needed, and "staging" your home to appeal to the widest variety of potential buyers. While that might include making some major changes to your home's décor, its landscaping, or even furniture arrangement, the rewards of a speedy sale often justify the effort and short-term inconvenience of getting your home ready for the close scrutiny of house hunters, home inspectors, and buyers' agents!
If spending money to make money on your property seems counter-intuitive, you might attempt to sell your home “as-is” and keep your money for the new place. After all, most of those homes featured on renovation reality shows are in worse condition than yours; and those buyers intended to gut the place for a complete makeover anyway.
Just know that the offers you receive will reflect the needs of the buyer, so you won’t get top dollar unless the property is in an extremely desirable area. Still, it might make sense to sell as-is for a discount if your situation is difficult or you’re strapped for cash. Conversely, selling a home that isn’t up to code reduces your buying pool. FHA and VA loans require a home to meet minimum property standards to secure the loan.
Another consideration is how much you still owe on the property. Unless the investment for repairs and upgrades is more than your remaining mortgage, it is probably worth spending to bring your property up to code. A qualified real estate professional can help you prioritize your repairs to those necessary to get it sold, or market it to buyers looking to renovate to raze the home.
So, who buys as-is?
Investors often purchase property intending to “flip” it; that is, to renovate a distressed property and quickly resell it to recoup expenses and make a profit. Typically, investors want the “bones” of the property to be sound, so foundation and structural issues are less appealing to them.
Another type of investor wants the property for its proximity to business or industry. Their goal is to have the property rezoned for commercial purposes or to build multi-family structures on it instead. If the area around your home is transitioning to commercial or multi-family dwellings, your professional real estate agent can guide you to this type of investor.
Less common is the buyer that wants a project or fixer-upper on which to put their own stamp. Some fixer-uppers buy for nostalgia (they lived in the home/area as a child) and others for what they know the area can become. Their goal is to restore the home to its former glory while adding newer amenities. As opposed to flippers, these buyers often intend to live in the home while working on it, or once the work is complete.
If you determine that selling as-is is the best option for your situation, discuss the issue with your agent. She can warn you about what to expect for offers with your home in its current condition and help you set a fair asking price based on its location and the market trends in your area.
An open house represents a valuable opportunity for a home seller. If a seller plans ahead for an open house, he or she may boost the likelihood of hosting an unforgettable event that showcases the full beauty of a residence. As a result, this seller may receive multiple offers on his or her home as soon as the open house reaches its conclusion.
Believe it or not, preparing for an open house can be easy. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a home seller get ready for an open house.
1. Perform Extensive Cleaning
A neat, tidy home is ideal, particularly for a home seller who wants to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience. Thus, if you allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your residence now, you may be better equipped than ever before to host a successful open house.
To clean your home's interior, you'll want to take a room-by-room approach. Wipe down each room's walls, mop or vacuum the floors and remove any debris.
Moreover, you should spend some time mowing the front lawn, trimming the hedges and performing assorted home exterior maintenance. And if you need extra help along the way, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional landscaping company, either.
2. Declutter As Much As Possible
Clutter can make it tough for a homebuyer to envision what life may be like if he or she buys your residence. Therefore, you'll want to remove as much clutter as possible prior to an open house.
Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit where you can store assorted clutter until you finalize a home sale. A storage unit generally provides a safe and affordable option for home sellers who want to safeguard various belongings over the course of several weeks or months.
On the other hand, it may be beneficial to sell excess items online or host a yard sale. Because if you can sell items that you no longer need, you can declutter your home and earn extra cash at the same time.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Hosting an open house may prove to be challenging, particularly for those who are trying to work alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of getting ready for any open house, at any time.
A real estate agent is happy to provide comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling journey. As such, he or she will help you enhance your home and ensure it is open house-ready.
Usually, a real estate agent will offer personalized recommendations to help you prep your residence for an open house. This housing market professional also will promote your open house in the weeks and days leading up to the event. And when the open house ends, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased event feedback as well.
Host a successful open house – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble achieving the best-possible results during an open house.
If a buyer rescinds his or her offer to purchase your house, there is no need to stress. In fact, there are many things you can do to rebound quickly, such as:
1. Address Any Problems with Your Home
Try to find out why a buyer chose to walk away from your residence. That way, you could receive valuable insights into any problems with your home.
For instance, if a buyer discovered myriad home problems during an inspection, you may want to devote time and resources to address these issues. Or, you may want to reduce your house's initial asking price.
You may want to hire home improvement professionals to perform assorted property upgrades as well. By doing so, you can receive comprehensive assistance with home repairs and ensure any property issues are resolved immediately.
2. Promote Your Home to Buyers
A home deal that falls through is not the end of the world. Thus, you should be ready to re-list your house and promote it to buyers. Because if you reenter the housing market, you can move one step closer to selling your home.
As you promote your home to buyers, you should keep your residence looking great both inside and outside. This will help you boost the likelihood that buyers will fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.
Don't forget to consider the buyer's perspective, too. If you think about why a buyer might choose your home over other available residences, you may be able to highlight your house's distinct features to the right groups of buyers.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – you may feel disappointed and frustrated if a buyer rescinds his or her offer to purchase your house. But if you work with an expert real estate agent, you can get the help you need to streamline the house selling journey.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a house, and he or she is ready to assist you in any way possible. First, a real estate agent will learn about your home and ensure you can promote your residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she next will showcase your residence to prospective buyers and host home showings and open house events. Finally, if a buyer submits an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help you review the homebuying proposal so you can make an informed decision.
Best of all, a real estate agent can help you minimize stress as you navigate the home selling journey. If you ever have concerns or questions during this journey, a real estate agent will respond to them immediately.
The home selling journey may be complicated, and ultimately, a buyer may choose to rescind his or her offer to purchase your residence. However, if you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can stay calm, cool and collected in the face of adversity. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to seamlessly navigate the home selling cycle.
Let's face it – clutter can be a problem, particularly for those who intend to sell a home in the foreseeable future. But if you allocate time and resources to remove clutter from your home now, you may reap the benefits of your efforts during the home selling cycle.
Ultimately, there are many reasons for a home seller to eliminate clutter before he or she lists a residence, and these include:
1. You can help a homebuyer envision what life may be like as the owner of your house.
Oftentimes, homebuyers want to picture what life may be like if they purchase a particular residence. Yet a home that is filled with antiques, decorations and other items may make it tough for a homebuyer to do just that.
If you remove clutter from your residence, however, you can make it simple for a buyer to see your home's full potential. As a result, a buyer may be better equipped than ever before to determine whether your residence is the right choice.
2. You can earn extra cash.
Although your house may be loaded with a wide range of personal belongings, you don't necessarily have to throw these items away. In fact, you can always sell excess items to simultaneously remove clutter from your house and earn extra cash.
It may be a good idea to host a yard sale before you list your house. This will enable you to sell excess items as well as inform neighbors about your upcoming plans to add your residence to the real estate market.
Of course, you can sell excess items online as well. Or, you may be able to donate assorted items to local charities.
3. You may speed up the home selling process.
The home selling process may prove to be long and complicated, especially if a house is overloaded with clutter. Thankfully, removing clutter may make it easy for you to stir up lots of interest from potential buyers as soon as your residence becomes available.
A clutter-free residence is more likely to be clean and tidy in comparison to other houses. Thus, when buyers enter a clutter-free residence for the first time, they may fall in love with this house right away. And if a clutter-free home makes a positive first impression on a buyer, a seller soon may receive a competitive offer to purchase his or her house.
If you're searching for help as you try to remove clutter from your residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer plenty of assistance throughout the home selling journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will help you list your house and promote it to potential buyers. Plus, if you need help as you get your home ready for the housing market, a real estate agent will make it simple to prepare your residence and ensure it makes a positive impression on buyers.
Eliminate clutter from your house, and you may increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.