Putting yourself in the right mindset to sell is essential. Once your house goes on the market, it’s no longer “Home Sweet Home”, but a product that will be seen by prospective buyers and their agents who have no attachments to the house. It’s the most difficult aspect of selling for most sellers.
Detaching yourself emotionally from your home is difficult. Clearing out years of clutter, depersonalizing your home by removing personal memorabilia and staging your home for sale can help you view the home as a product that needs to be sold rather than as your personal sanctuary.
In addition to having your home in top showing condition, proper pricing is critical. Your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay, which may not be what you think it is worth. Putting your home on the market at a price that reflects what you want and not what the market will bear can cost you time and money as it sits on the market unsold.
The home-sale market is very local. The only way to get a clear picture of what your home is likely to sell for is to find out which properties sold in your neighborhood and for how much. The most recent sales — those that closed within the last three months — will be the most reflective of what you can expect for the sales price of your home.
Pay close attention to your competition – those properties that are currently on the market. Don’t fall into the trap of pricing your home higher than your neighbor’s home because yours is “better”. If your neighbor’s price is too high for the market, neither of your houses will sell. And if your price is too high and the neighbor’s isn’t, you’ll just help your neighbor sell their house more quickly.
Your home is most marketable when it is new on the market. Buyers and their agents monitor the market for new listings and, as a result, the greatest activity is usually during the first few weeks. If your house isn’t attracting buyer and agent interest in the early weeks, it’s likely overpriced. A property that gets a lot of showing activity when it first hits the market but gets no offers is also probably overpriced.
Properties that don’t sell relatively quickly often languish on the market. And despite price reductions, often end up selling for far less than market value then if they had been priced right from the start. Your home needs to be perceived as a good value to a buyer to sell in this market. Buyers have lots of choices and the homes that are selling are priced right and are in great condition.
So, what’s the best strategy to get your home sold in today’s market? First, get it in top condition. Then price it right… from the start!