5 tips to help your home sell quickly
To many buyers, a house that's been on the market a long time must have hidden problems. And that could lead to unnecessary and endless price reductions. Luckily, even in a distressed market, there are ways to prevent roots from sprouting under the 'for sale' sign.
Real-estate agent Vince Romano could have sold his client's house in a month if not for a little paint.
The single-family house in suburban Chicago looked great, except for some graffiti on the walls in the two teenagers' rooms and in the basement. The homeowner wasn't stupid. She'd taken good care of the home and knew buyers could easily see past a little spray paint. (Bing: How to remove graffiti)
Except she was wrong.
"It looks phenomenal online. I had 17 or 18 showings in the first two months," Romano recalls. But buyers — and often it's subconscious — actually aren't good at overlooking even superficial flaws, particularly if those flaws so boldly announce they'll need a redo.
"Buyers don't want to do that," Romano says. "There are homes that are decked out to the nines. Maybe this home isn't ready, but the one down the street is."
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In the end, this seller not only lost time, she lost big in the math. Had she listened to her agent and spent the $1,200 to repaint, Romano is certain he could have sold the home quickly for its $350,000 asking price. As it is, he'll likely fetch $310,000, and only after several months of viewings.
Leave it to the pros
Welcome to the wacky world of home sales, where a little stubborn behavior can be costly. But there's a tried-and-true solution that can be summed up with two basic points:
- Find a seller's agent whom you like and trust. (See "Find a superstar real-estate agent.") "Make sure you interview three great agents that focus on your area," says Alan Mark, president of the Mark Co., a real-estate marketing and consulting company in San Francisco. "Then realize that you're hiring a professional who knows how to do this."
- Listen to that agent. More on that below, but the key is to separate the emotional qualities of your home from the basic functional qualities of the house.
"To start with, your house is unique — and so is everybody else's," Mark says. "Everybody thinks their house is unique. Get over it."
It’s never easy to relinquish control, particularly when it’s your home and your money. But if the goal is to sell, and to sell fast, then you’re better off trusting the expert, even if his advice appears trivial — like the paint on a couple of walls — or counterintuitive, such as undercutting the price.
To get a sense of what we mean, see the five tips below, all from experienced agents who say these are areas where home sellers often need some persuading.
1. Price it right; price it low
Some may find Katya Dennis a bit offbeat — or at least bold — in her pricing strategy, which at first blush appears to be undervaluing the property. But Dennis, an agent in Northern California with David Lyng Real Estate, swears by her method.
"I always tell my sellers, you can never price a house too low, because the market will take care of it," she explains.
Dennis recently listed a home for $535,000, even though it had been appraised at $560,000. The house sold within weeks — for $575,000. The reasoning is simple, she says. The low price drew quick and competing bids.
Had she listed the home for $560,000, she's certain the sale would have dragged and brought in even less than the valuation.
"If you start high and start lowering it, you will never get to the number that you will get to by starting low and going up," Dennis says. "Because when you start lowering the price, people will start wondering what's wrong with the house. ... And if it's been sitting awhile, people will try and lowball."
When Janice Leis, an agent in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida, meets resistance from sellers determined to price high, she will suggest and agree only to the following: Get an independent, certified appraisal and we'll list it there, no more.
"Sellers will say, 'Let's put it 20% higher, then during negotiation we'll have room,'" Leis says. "No. The rule of thumb is you should go where the last (comparable home) sold, or right below that." Too high, and buyers will be scared off.
Another tip, check whether your mortgage is assumable. Most FHA and VA mortgages (all assumable) were taken out while rates were at or near all-time lows the last couple of years. Rates are rising again and buyers could save hundreds a month in interest by assuming an existing loan. This means sellers might be able to get more for their home perhaps the full asking price, and realtors can differentiate their listing and potentially sell more homes faster. http:/Zumption.com/ is a resource dedicated to homes with assumable mortgages.
After I couldn't get it gone in the month they listed it with a realtor that told them he could sell it for $10,000 more! I was livid! Neeless to say, it's been on the market for another 5 months.
# things to sella house.
1-location, location, location
2-lower price to the market like the article said.
3-empty the house but if you can't then put some stuff in storage and paint the walls to hide holes.
I have been an active Realtor for 35 years. I bring much, much more to the transaction than just driving people around to look at houses, or in the case of a seller, more than a sign and mls. The many things I do may not be apparent or visible to a seller. Many of my buyers and sellers swear that they would not have succeeded at getting what they wanted or needed without me personally handling their transaction, even though they may be unsure what my "magic" was, but they know I did it. I have been able to do some remarkable things because of my experience and persistence. After having sold hundreds of properties, I know more than a few strategies that benefit my clients.
I keep rocky, wobbly sales together if at all possible, and get them to the closing table with everyone having been treated fairly, decently and without ugly confrontations, because I'm a pro.
I utilize my many contacts (hard won contacts in some cases) to help market a property. This is far more effective than newspaper ads and open houses (I seldom do either one).
I work long, hard hours at the expense of my own life to provide the best service I can to a client. I listed a house 2 days after my husband's death because the seller really needed me, not a rookie who wasn't sure how to get the needed price. I could do no more for my husband but I could help this seller, even though my heart wasn't in it and I said so, but they wanted me anyway. I did get the property sold in a reasonable time, by the way.
I deal with inexperienced buyers, sellers, and agents every day, and try to keep everyone out of legal and/or financial trouble.
As to being "highly paid", I have no salary, no sick leave, no paid vacation, no paid holidays, no retirement, and no benefits. I pay for my car and its upkeep, my signs, my lockboxes, my mls fees, my license and required education expense, any specialized education I feel I need, my errors and omissions insurance, my office expense, my computers and continual upgrades needed, my office supplies, my digital cameras, my cell phone, my web site (that I use for your house), the food and gifts for any brokers open houses I may do, my business cards and any other printing, such as flyers and brochures, any advertising done on your house, not to mention my health insurance, and taxes, and hope there is enough left over for housing and life support for myself and my family. We are sharing in the economic hard times. As housing prices fall, so does our compensation in exact proportion. However, our expenses don't fall or change in relationship to the market. How much do you pay for your job?
As to the absurd comment about a Realtor not being willing to put their own money into suggested improvements before marketing: Why would I pay to improve your property when you haven't seen fit to do so? Do you pay for your employer to improve your workplace or the product you produce? All other professionals get paid whether they succeed or not (doctors, attorneys, etc.). Realtors only get paid after the fact and IF they succeed. If we fail to produce the sale we get nothing, no matter how much time, effort, and marketing expense we may have put into it. So we should pay for you to do what needs to be done to your property with no guarantee of ever getting paid for our work? I don't think so.
Yes, some For Sale by Owners do succeed very nicely. However, they are also exposed to many errors and liabilities, not to mention possibly criminal incidents, that we can usually buffer them from. We can't afford too many mistakes and stay in business.
I do love my work, enjoy my clients, and wouldn't want to do anything else, as is obvious by the many years I have been in the real estate industry. I'm proud of my successes in helping people accomplish what they want or need.
Am I an asset to my clients? Am I worth what I'm paid? You bet I am!
Anyhow, i picked up this place for $58,500. 3 bed. 2 full baths, skylight, fireplace, jacuzzi, patio cover, 2 1/2 car garage. FULLY fenced. 6 ft back yard, 48" front yard white picked fence, painted it baby blue with stark white trim. Bitchin' man!!
I didn't know I was moving into the 'ghetto' in Hespermia, CA !!
I've got dirt lot(S) behind me and dirt lot(S) in front of me = impossible to keep things clean.
Section 8 renters ALL over the block: HERE today, gone tomorrow. I have to put up with their B.S. LOUD sub-woofers.
We also have a code enforcement dept. The KKKode Enforcement neo-Nazi, fascist, thugs:
(They're just frustrated ex-schoolyard bullies?)
You heard about the B.T.L.K. (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial murderer? A code enforcement 'officer'.
Did you hear about the Adelanto code enforcement dept. head (Kevin Murphy) who DROWNED FIFTY (Yes, that's 50) cats / kittens?? And laughed about it. And shared it with everybody until he was fired!! JERK.
So I 've got this car collection going, right? 12 vehicles in the front yard. Classics: '69 Dodge Charger R/T, '70 Dodge Challenger R/T (Shaker hood scoop/built 440), '71 Dodge Challenger w/ Orange paint, T/A hood scoop , '71 Duster 340 + paxton supercharger, 71 Torino GT with build 302 soon to have a 429 Cobra Jet motor, '66 Ford Thunderbird LANDAU, '72 Ford Maverick, '67 Ford Mustang, CRYSTALS CAR = ''71 Chevelle Malibu SS clone with built 350 V8, .030" over = 355cid, Crower Baja Beast camshaft, Hyperatectic pistons, moly rings, dual exh, MSD multi-spark unit, Pertronix electronic ignition, etc.
ALL of the cars were complete, registered, etc.
KKKode enforcement a-holes demanded that I start each vehicle and move them forward and reverse for them.
I was labelled a "nuisance". These jokers went to COURT and swore out a claim that "ALL of the cars looked dismantled, unregistered, salvage, junk."
I had to buy 9 batteries to put in the cars we don't drive regularly = cost about $900 bucks.
This house isn't placed on the lot with 'frontage'-- it's built sideways to accommodate a 60 ft. skinny lot. Oh, well, I'm going to see Jesus soon anyway so who cares.
Want to sell Fast?.... I ll give you five tips:
.Get the word out !
......................That's five tips..
Some may find Katya Dennis a bit offbeat — or at least bold...." this person is nuts. To gamble on the possibility of a bidding war is crazy. She is gambling with your investment, your money and your potential to move on. I know it has happened before, but bidding wars for houses are few and far between. There's an old saying in setting a price (for your your house), "you can go down but you can't go up"
The rest of the article is just as useless. Set your price based on comps and ditch the agent.
Don't listen to this bull. When the market first started sinking we wanted to sell a home that we just recently renovated. . We used the same real estate agent that we bought the house from to come in and tell us what we could sell it for. She gave us a price of $200,000. More than what we paid for it but less then what we put into it. Our lawyer said sell it on your own. We put the word out to fellow employees, friends and families. In one day we sold the house for $250,000 and had two full price offers and others who called to say they were disappointed they didn't get a chance to make an offer.
Other times I've had a real estate agent give a high price for the house just so they could get a listing and the house sat there.
I haven't had one that I thought was worth the money they get.