Selling your home can be tough even in the best of markets and in our current market it can be extremely difficult and frustrating. But by following a few basic guidelines you can maximize your chances for success.
Price it Right – This is the one no one wants to hear, the one brokers are famous for saying. But today it’s truer than it’s ever been. With the vast majority of buyers searching for homes online these days it is literally a price war to the door. Many seller will say “we’ll try a little higher, people can always make an offer” but the reality is that if your house is priced way above similar properties in your neighborhood no one will ever even come to look at it.
Curb Appeal – You never get a second chance to make a first impression. A clean well landscaped yard and a nice entry says one thing to potential buyers. Pride of Ownership. On the other hand a poorly maintained yard with trash, leaves and limbs, a damaged mail box and loose and peeling trim paint can turn a buyer off to your house before they even walk through the door. I have actually had buyer’s tell me they didn’t want to see a house because they didn’t like what they saw when we pulled up to the property.
Be Ready to Show – Believe it or not buyers form opinions of your home within seconds of entering. Major turn offs include, but are not limited to, pet smells, cooking odors, any kind of unclean smell, clutter, dirty bathrooms or kitchen, unmade beds, sink full of dishes, too much furniture and unusual paint colors. I understand that in most cases you are still “living” in your home while trying to sell it but you have to understand that most buyers are also looking at professionally decorated new model homes. Also, buyers believe what they perceive and a dirty or messy home gives them the perception that you don’t take care of your home so they may think lots of deferred maintenance. Speaking of maintenance, take care of those minor household repairs before you put your home on the market.
Be Accessible – People, whether potential buyers or their agents, are like water or electricity. They take the path of lease resistance. Agents show the houses that are easiest to show first, and buyer look at the ones that are easy to see. If you place too many restrictions on showings like limited hours, no lock box or requiring a very long advanced notice you will severely limit the number of buyers who will look at your home. Sometimes you cannot help putting some limits, like if you work nights and must sleep during the day (I understand, I worked nights for years my first job out of the Army) but always have the house show ready and be as flexible as possible.
Get out of the Way – It’s true that no one knows your home like you do but hanging around and talking to buyers during showing can make the buyers uncomfortable. Also buyers need to discuss your house with each other and their agent and they will be reluctant to do that with you there. If possible leave the house during showings. This is a great time to run errands or take the dog for a walk. If it’s not possible to leave then go outside or stay in one room and let the buyers and their agent explore on their own. Its okay to answer a direct question about your house if the buyer asks but if they ask about terms of the sale tell their agent you’ll have your broker call them later to discuss.
Copyright ©2011 Patrick Willard and Rio Rancho Realty & Investment. All Rights reserved.
Rio Rancho Realty & Investment (505) 892-7510 ▌ 2212 Western Hills Dr. ▌ Rio Rancho, NM 87124