Setting the Right Price for Your Home
A key part of your marketing plan is setting the list price. Quite simply, if a home is priced too low, you miss out on potential profit. If a home is priced too high, qualified buyers will look elsewhere.
To determine the best asking price, review the prices of recently sold, comparable homes in the area; evaluate the competition, and study marketplace trends. I have ready access to this information, and can provide the big picture to help you determine the right asking price.
It is also helpful to discuss other terms and conditions that can be included in the sale of the home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. For example, an owner can offer to pay points or complete a major repair – such as a new roof – to make the deal more appealing to a qualified buyer. A home warranty is another useful marketing tool, providing protection if an appliance or other covered item fails after closing. Home warranties are a relatively inexpensive way for a seller to add value to a property.
Other factors to consider:
- Real estate is local. I can explain current market factors in your community, including what's selling, what isn't selling, and why. This information is critical to setting an optimal price and terms.
- If your house is located in a desirable area you will be able to get a higher price than you can for the same house in a less desirable area.
- If a house has amenities that are currently popular in the marketplace, it will bring a higher price.
- A house that has been better maintained and “shows” better will always sell for more than one that has had deferred (neglected) maintenance and needs work.
- Buyers expect everything to work. It’s an important trust factor, and worth the time and expense to make basic repairs.
- Markets differ by location and time. When interest rates are low and the local job base is growing, it's great to be a seller. But when times are slack and mortgage rates are rising, homes also sell. The trick is to be realistic, to get as much as market conditions will allow.
TIP: A formal written appraisal can be useful if your property is unique, or there hasn't been much activity in your area recently. It’s also helpful when co-owners disagree about price, or there is any other circumstance that makes it difficult to put a market value on your home.
Showing Your Home
You want potential buyers to feel at home from the minute they walk up the driveway. Give them a canvas to fill. It’s showtime!
Start with a good cleaning, eliminate clutter, put away the knickknacks and add fresh coats of a neutral-colored paint to brighten rooms. Oh, and tidy up the yard. I can give you all sorts of tips to help boost your home's curb appeal and impress potential buyers once they're inside. Here are a few basics:
- If the weather permits, open the windows (if there is too much noise outside, close them). If it's cold enough to wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat. You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more of a reason to linger, especially on hot or cold days!
- Light a fire in the fireplace, have chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, or use lightly scented aromatherapy – such as lavender – to set the scene for a tranquil home.
- Open all the window coverings to let in light. If a particular window overlooks undesirable scenery or obstructed views, keep the blinds partially closed.
- Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
- Play soft background music.
Move your cars to an alternate location, and allow your real estate agent to conduct the tour: potential buyers usually feel more comfortable – and less pressured – when the owners are not present.
TIP: One way to make a home more attractive is to purchase a Home Protection Plan. This insurance protects you, the seller, from paying repair or replacement costs of major items during the listing period. It also protects the buyer during their first year of home ownership.