Our featured article this month is for all the keen sellers out there, we have 5 fantastic tips to help you sell your property in 2011. The most important step is obviously to register it on Myigloo.ky, it is free!
Here are 5 things you can do to position yourself for home selling success in 2011.
1. Reality check yourself . . . before you wreck yourself (and the sale of your home, that is). The age-old real estate advice to wanna-be sellers is to get real about pricing – and like my sweet Grandma’s advice about always rinsing the cake batter out with cold water, never hot, the caution against overpricing is advice that will stand you in good stead. Before you even get to pricing, though, first you should get real about what your goals really are. Why do you want or need to sell? And how badly – how important is it to you? What would it take to make selling make sense? If you even think you may want to sell your home next year, get clear on these items in your own head before you even talk to anyone outside of your household. Your very next step is to look at your mortgage account statement online and find out what you owe, and find out what your payoff amount would be.
Step 3? Get a reality-based idea of what your home is worth – by talking with several local real estate agents who have a strong, recent track record of successfully selling homes in your area; these are the folks who’ll have a strong idea of what recent sales are the most comparable to yours, and what a local buyer would agree to pay for your home, as well as what it might appraise at. If 3 agents give you one range, and one gives you a bizarrely higher number, be skeptical about the outlier; there are rare bad apples out there in the agent world who will tell you whatever it takes to get the listing. Get real and stay there – don’t fall prey to the fallacy that your home is worth more than others, for no substantive reason beyond the fact that, well, it’s yours.
2. Figure out the lay of your local land. National blogs and media outlets offer all sorts of useful advice about whether, how and when to sell your home, but there’s one thing that sort of advice cannot convey: what’s going on in your local market. Ask questions and read blogs in your local market and start talking with the real estate brokers and agents from your area who are actively blogging, listing properties and answering questions. They can give you the hyperlocal essentials you need to know. Sure, it’s a buyer’s market globally, on average. But if you live in Omaha, that may mean that homes sell at or near asking in 45 days or less; in Grand Cayman, your home could stay on the market 3 months and sell for 20% below asking.
Every market is different, and you can neither know what to expect when you list your home for sale, nor implement smart strategies for getting your home sold without knowing what’s going on in yours.
3. Tour nearby Open Houses. Your job, as the seller of your home, is to present a compelling package to buyers – compelling enough to make them sign away 30 years of their lives and the vast majority of their worldly possessions in exchange for your home (kinda ups the ante, doesn’t it?). To do that, it helps to get inside the minds of your home’s target buyers. And to do that, you need to think how they think and see what they see.
4. Formulate a plan: in A-B-C order. Collaborate with your broker or agent to put an action plan in place. Make sure you address: list price, list date, showing arrangements and the property prep work (see #5, below) that your agent recommends you do prior to listing the place. To minimize the stress of a somewhat inevitably stressful experience (i.e., selling your home!), work with your agent on Plans B and C now, too! What is the average number of days a home stays on the market in your area before it sells (DOM)? (Hint: don’t look at the ones that never sold, because you don’t want to be part of that group!) Decide up front if your home sits on the market for X number of days with no offer, you’ll lower the price to Y. Also cover alternative marketing plans/vehicles for your home, and even calendar when you might start to offer transactional incentives, like closing cost credits, interest rate buy-downs, throwing in personal property and even making reverse offers to buyers who have expressed an interest but can’t seem to get off the fence. At some point along the timeline, include a pause where your agent can interview buyer’s brokers who have shown your home to collect buyer feedback, so you can course correct your pricing, marketing or staging strategies accordingly.
5. Do your prep work – fix and pre-pack. If you are sure you’re selling in 2011, and want to put your holiday vacay time to good use, make a list of all those little repairs you’ve been wanting to do forever, call up your neighborhood handyperson and get ’em done. Loose knobs and handles, double-hung windows that are painted shut, the frayed carpet on the steps, that broken bathroom tile – fixing those things can give your place just the patina and polish it’ll take to compete with the ample, low-priced competition you’ll have next year.