How does a potential home seller make his or her house stand out, so it will be the one in your neighborhood or on your street that sells? Here are seven things that will put you ahead of your competition if you do them. If you don’t, you’ll just be another home owner with a For Sale sign in the front yard.
1) FIND THE RIGHT AGENT – This is critical. Any agent can list your house, and in a booming market that house will sell. When the market is slow, however, you really need a first-class real estate agent on your side. An agent who knows what she’s doing will get your home sold in a timely manner for a fair price, saving you months of carrying costs.
2) CONSIDER HOME STAGING – While the quickest way to add value to your home is a fresh coat of paint in a light, neutral color, once that’s done consider having your home professionally staged. A home stager will be able to look objectively at your house to determine how to make it attractive to potential buyers. They usually use what you already have and make suggestions for storing unneeded items while rearranging the others to make your home show better.
3) Which brings us to GET GOOD PHOTOGRAPHS – Your agent will take pictures of your home to post to the Multiple Listing Service. There are many online sites available to search for homes and chances are these pictures will show up on some of these sites, too. Be sure you look online at the pictures your agent took of your home. If they are below par, ask him or her to retake them or run them through a photo editing software program then reload them to the site.
Not all agents are good photographers, but since now more than 90% of buyers begin their home search on the internet, most people will look at pictures of the inside of your house to decide if they want to see it in person. Make sure the photos your agent is using show your house to the best advantage.
4) DON’T FORGET CURB APPEAL – A potential buyer may have seen your house online and liked what they saw enough to make an actual visit. Or they may have driven the neighborhood looking for houses on the market. The curb appeal of your front yard and entry will set the tone for their opinion of the inside of your house. If you’re not sure how your house measures up, drive through your neighborhood with a critical eye. How does your home compare on the outside? If it doesn’t stand out from the rest, then it’s time to call the landscaper.
5) HAVE A PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTION– You may have lived with the little idiosyncrasies of your home for so long that you don’t even notice it, but a potential buyer will. The faucet that won’t turn off all the way, the door that squeaks, and the bathtub caulking that’s missing all need to be repaired.
These days, however, you must go beyond fixing the little things. The money spent to have a professional home inspection will be well worth it. Any problems with the systems of the house will be uncovered and can be taken care of before listing. Problems uncovered with the electrical, plumbing, and heat/air systems by the buyer during their home inspection have the potential to be deal killers.
Also, you might consider replacing such things as the roof and the carpeting if they are old, worn, or not functioning properly. Sometimes sellers will offer cash at closing for repairs like these, but with so many homes on the market, I’m finding that buyers are making offers only on those homes that are in move-in condition. Bite the bullet and fix these things before listing your house.
6) PRICE YOUR HOME TO SELL or be willing to REDUCE THE PRICE QUICKLY – When there are few houses and plenty of buyers, sellers can ask high prices and get them. Even in a market where houses are overpriced, some offers will come in from buyers who become desperate to find a home that meets their needs.
When the inventory of homes is high and things are slow, however, correct pricing is absolutely essential. Don’t be tempted to “test” the market with a high price, thinking that you can reduce it later. The greatest amount of interest in your home will be in the first week it’s listed. If it sits on the market and you finally agree to reduce the price, buyers will begin to wonder what’s wrong with it and why nobody else wants it.
Price your home in the mid-range for homes that are comparable to yours. If you need to sell your home as quickly as possible, consider pricing it in the bottom 25% of comparable homes. This will attract the attention of serious ready, willing, and able buyers. Pricing your home too high will cause many buyers to pass it by without even looking at it.
If there have been few showings, that’s an indication of no interest, and a price reduction is in order. Don’t wait for your agent to suggest it. You don’t want your home to languish on the market for the reasons stated above.
A significant price reduction will show that you are serious about selling your house. If your agent is on the ball, he or she will make sure any agent that has shown your home in the past knows about the price reduction. Their client may still be looking, and it might be just the thing that tips the scales in your favor.
7) And, of course, if I’m the agent your working with, all of the above will be done to some extent depending on the condition of your property and the competition in the neighborhood. Call me, and let’s get the ball rolling!
GoodWin Team Realty
Heather Goodwin, Broker
Serving all of Shreveport and Bossier City
Specializing in Southeast Shreveport Gated Communities
St. Charles Place, Hidden Trace, Norris Ferry Landing, Provenance, Norris Ferry Crossing,
Twelve Oaks, Acadiana Place, and the Ellerbe Road Corridor
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission