Our guest columnist today is Jackie Colson-Miller, a Keller Williams Agent from Tampa, Florida. I had started a similar article, but found hers, and it’s everything I wanted to say, so we’re linking to it instead:
We are experiencing the first “buyer’s market” in nearly a decade. For some sellers, this is their first experience selling in a buyer’s market. What can you do to position your home to sell in a reasonable amount of time?
1. Spruce it up! Many homeowners don’t see the flaws in their own home. Ask your agent, and several others, to objectively look at your yard and the exterior of your home. Curb appeal is critical, so paint the exterior, make any rotted wood or roof repairs and plant some flowers to make the home inviting. Homes with neutral colors inside are also more appealing. Clean out the clutter, too. Make sure the closets are neat. Rent a local storage space, if you need to. 2. Get a Home Inspection Hire a Professional Home Inspector to check for any defects and make the necessary repairs prior to listing your home. You can provide potential buyers with the inspection report and the list of repairs. 3. (redacted by Uncle Jack, as it was specific to hurricane building ordinances, which of course is not pertinent to Vintage Vegas) 4. Neutralize it! Buyers need to imagine themselves living in your home, so remove as many of your “personal touches” as possible. A “Gator” room is appealing to a Gator, but probably not to a Seminole. The same goes for any religious items, political items or suggestive photos. When I was shopping for my first home in Tampa, many years ago, there was a home with a large photograph of the owner in her “bridal lingerie”. UGH! It was something that should have been removed before they put their home on the market. Read more..
5. Remove your Pets
A dog, or cat, that bothers the buyers when they try to look at your home will send them running! Make plans for your pets to be caged, or out of the house, so the buyers have plenty of time to look without being disturbed. 6. Get Rid of Any Odors I wrote a great article about the many ways to get odors out of your home. Dogs and Smokers are tough to cover up, but you need to make your home sweet-smelling. 7. Price It Right Pricing your home right is the key in this market. Buyers are looking at the recent sales in each neighborhood and they want to pay the lowest price, not the highest price per square foot. If you want to have more traffic than the competition, price it 5 – 10% below them. 8. Be Flexible A buyer’s market means low offers. Don’t be insulted. Be Patient and make a reasonable counter-offer. If they are serious about buying your house, you should be able to work it out. 9. Be Willing to Pay Some Closing Costs Lenders are being more stringent with loan qualifications in this market. Your willingness to pay some of the buyer’s closing costs will increase the number of buyers who are willing to consider your home. 10. HIRE THE RIGHT AGENT Hire an agent with experience in a buyer’s market! That would be someone who has worked full-time in Real Estate for more than 10 years! Ask the right questions. Over 80% of all buyers are shopping for homes on the Internet, so be sure your agent is “tech savvy” and not depending on newspaper advertising, or open houses, to sell your home. Be willing to put your home on a “lockbox”, if that is what your agent recommends. Once you hire a professional, you must be willing to listen to their advice.