State-of-the-art research including field studies and buyer surveys were compiled to formulate a master check list of important things to consider when preparing your home for sale. Please accept the following as no-frills, accurate content that will enable you to critique your house- hopefully resulting in an expedited sale at a premium price.
There are three (3) components required to selling a home:
You as the owner have full control over the first two items... Your relocation company & agent have control over the last. Since in today's market only the BEST condition homes offered at the BEST price are selling, your cooperation is critical to your sale's success...
♦ "My price is a little high, but I'll just wait to negotiate an offer." True or False? FALSE. This is a very common question- regarding pricing- and 'Why someone won't just make an offer.' It is easy for me to explain... Years ago when the market was hot, there was very little inventory, and too many buyers. The buyers were forced to make an offer even if they thought a home was priced high... The converse is now the case. Namely, there are fewer buyers and a glut of inventory of homes. So therefore if a home is perfect, but perceived as too high relative to the inventory in the area, the buyers simply move on to the next viable opportunity.
Lets say you go to the mall for a sweater. You find the perfect sweater but it is $30... You feel a little rich. So you look a little longer. You will most certainly find another that fits your criteria, and it will likely be $25... Sold.
I see dozens of Atlanta homes in the area sell all through the month, and several that are perfect and always sit. Why? Because the buyers are purchasing the competition. It is frustrating to the owner of the one that doesn't sell. But it is because of the law of substitution- which at this time favors the buyers. The good news is you should be able to hopefully make up for any shortfalls on your side when you buy your next home- because it may likely be able to be purchased for less... Then you become the buyer!
The Nat'l Association of Realtors published a statistic that if a very clean, well presented home does not get an offer within reasonable time on market it is likely at least 7% over priced.
In conclusion a price adjustment to get us to the "sweet spot" is likely what would be needed to generate a sale's contract. Then at that time I would do my best to get you the highest price I can without the buyer "walking off" to another choice.
♦ "My house's condition is not the best, but I'll just offer a buyer allowance." True or False? FALSE. With buyers, perception is everything. And they heavily discount repair items in their favor. For example, if your carpet is soiled and can be cleaned for $400, the buyers will ask for $4,000 in carpet allowance... Homes in top condition sell quicker, and at a much higher price. Condition MUST be as good as it can be... And a little investment in repairs can go a long, long way.
♦ Most homes are sold the moment a buyer pulls up to the front of the home. True or False? TRUE. You could have 24-carat gold bathtubs, but if the front of the home lacks curb appeal, the buyers may never enter... Fact, 84% of all homes are virtually sold the moment a buyer first arrives at the home. So, plant lots of flowers, keep grass cut low and edged, keep leaves off the yard and driveway, spread mulch & pine straw in the island beds, replace tarnished front door knobs, and paint the front entry doorway area.
♦ Natural light sells... True or False? TRUE. Keep all window blinds & shades open. And keep draperies pulled to each side to maximize sun light. If you get notice of a showing, turn ALL lights on including: closets, garages, basements, baths, and even outdoor light fixtures. Why? One of the biggest complaints a buyer makes is that "...The home shows too dark."
♦ "I have a pet, but don't need to make any special changes." True of False? FALSE. Countless studies have proven that evidence of a pet in (especially) key areas of the home such as kitchens, baths, and bedrooms- turn buyers away. Therefore, evidence of a pet (such as food bowls, water, toys) should be placed in non-essential areas such as the laundry room, garage, utility room, etc. Remember, I love my pet as you love yours, but others likely may not! Minimize the "foot print" please of your pet in the home- it will serve you well in the end!
♦ "I should treat my house for odors." True or False? TRUE. Odor is an extremely important sense used when selecting a home. If you have pet odors, it is highly recommended to professionally clean the carpet using an added deodorizer. Also, place a dozen or so "plug in" air fresheners throughout all levels of home. And buy scented candles and potpourri. Distribute liberally.
♦ "Deep-cleaning the home is a waste of money." True or False? FALSE. A one time deep-cleaning of the home by a professional maid service is VERY much recommended.
♦ "I have lots of wallpaper on my walls, and it may be a bit dated. But I'll let the buyer update the home." True or False? FALSE. Large painted murals, flowery wallpaper, and bright colors were your personal preference, but it is important to de-personalize the home, and make it more neutral to attract to the mass market. Doing so will greatly expedite a sale. And is well worth the investment!
♦ "Increasing the commission to the Buyer's agent sometimes helps activity? True or False? TRUE. Most listings offer “3.00%” to the buyer’s agent. Call me to discuss increasing the buyer’s agent compensation to 3.50%. This commonly triggers enhanced activity and showings…
♦ “Switching agents periodically is good.” True or False? FALSE. When neighbors, buyers, and agents see new Realtor signs going up on the front lawn, they believe there must be something inherently bad about the property or the situation there. I openly welcome periodic person-to-person consultations to ensure we are on the right track. I will promise you the best, most honest representation to get your house sold at the best price.
IN SUMMARY: From a business perspective, it always makes sense to listen to the current market and PRICE YOUR HOUSE CORRECTLY!