Selling your home can be a stressful time. It’s even more stressful when you have had your home for sale for a while, and it hasn’t sold. Eventually your listing expires, you feel frustrated and confused and you’re left wondering why you see other homes with sold signs on them and not yours. There are typically factors that affect the sale or marketability of a home. They are location, condition, price and the agent marketing your home.
The first is something you have heard plenty of times in your life, “Location, location, location.” It’s also the only one of the four factors that you have almost no control over (short of moving the house). Location is one of the first criteria that my clients mention in their quest to find their dream home.
The next factor is condition. When you sell your home you have to put your best foot forward. It starts with curb appeal: if the house doesn’t look good from the street, it’s going to be tough to get buyers inside. The means keeping the lawn mowed and watered, trimming bushes from in front of window, maybe applying a fresh coat of paint if needed, possibly planting some flowers … you get the idea. Once that is ready to go, it’s time to move inside. When you want to sell your home you need to allow the buyers to picture their items in the house. You may enjoy your commemorative plate collection that takes up an entire room, but it’s distracting the buyers from imagining it as a nursery or home office. Some personal possessions need to be packed away and put into storage to “declutter” the house. Next comes a few fix-it projects: lube the squeaky door, replace the broken outlet cover, fix holes in the drywall and touch up paint. These things are very inexpensive but are often neglected. The last item on condition is cleaning. Clean houses sell; dirty ones don’t.
Another factor that controls the sale of a house is price, and it’s important. The home needs to be priced based on the current market and needs to be priced right from the start. You need to use similar properties that have recently sold, preferably in the last few months. One trap that many home owners fall into is pricing homes based on the listing price of other homes. The only price that matters is what the home actually sold for, not what the asking price was. Another trap is pricing based on what you bought the house for or what you need to get out it. Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes. If the home you are looking at should sell for $150,000, but the previous owner bought it for $160,000 and wants to sell it for that now, should you pay the $160,000 asking price?
The last factor that controls the sale of your home is the agent you list you home with. Good agents will help you determine the best path to follow on price and condition. They will be honest with you on what is needed to get your home sold. They will also be the marketing push to get your home sold. It’s important that your agent is up-to-date on all the various ways to market your property. Today there is more than just are more than signs, open houses and an entry on the multiple listing service. There are also Web sites, agent tours, cable ads and social media. Be sure to choose a Realtor® who has a custom marketing plan for you as one size does not fit all.
As you can see location, condition, price and your agent are all important factors in selling your home, but there are others too. Keep in mind that you control three of these four factors. If you have had your home for sale and have been unsuccessful in getting it sold, I would suggest contacting one of the qualified Realtors® at HOME Real Estate today.