What tips can help property owners sell their homes in 2014?
More importantly, what tips and factors can help homeowners sell their properties faster, for the most money, and keep the most net proceeds in their pockets?
1. Price it Right
This cannot be stated enough. If a home isn’t priced right, it isn’t going to sell. If a home isn’t priced right, not only will it not attract viewings, or offers, it likely won’t be seen by the right home buyers and real estate agents at all. This just means rotting on the market, while continuing to pay for it, and ultimately devaluing in terms of appeal. Price it well, price it smart, and it will sell promptly.
2. Preparing the Home for Sale
Selling a home is somewhat of a big deal. In most cases, it is worth making the extra effort to present it in its best light. Some surveys show that many home buyers will refuse to make offers for ‘issues’ as simple as beds not being made! When a quarter or half a million dollars is on the line, it’s worth making the bed. Depending on how the home will be sold, and who to, cleaning, making repairs and upgrades, and even investing in home staging are wise moves. There is an entire industry of professionals dedicated to this for those that need expert help.
3. Real Estate Photography
Today, photography makes or breaks the sale of real estate. With almost all home buyers, photography makes all the difference. No pictures normally means there is something to hide. More pictures can help pull prospective buyers in. It is definitely worth investing in photography for more home sellers, and even professional property photography. If photographers can’t be bothered to flush toilets or put the lid down, don’t expect buyers to bother calling. In contrast, a little Photoshop tweaking of lighting can add six figures to the perceived value of a home, and make it stand out head and shoulders about everything else.
4. Choosing the Right Sales Channel
There are at least three strategies for selling a home. Each has their pros and cons for different property owners. It is about choosing what is best for you.
- Listing with a real estate agent
- For Sale By Owner to the public
- Selling direct to a real estate investor fast for cash, as-is
The right choice really depends on personal marketing talents and budget, how much time you have to sell, and whether you want to invest in fixing it up and have the expertise to know what really adds value and won’t, or if you just want to sell it quickly and put cash in your pocket without the hassle.
5. Convenient Showings
Once interest is generated, sellers need to be able to enable showings fast and when convenient to prospective buyers. Those that are the best qualified and most serious will want to see it immediately, and will keep on looking at competing homes until they get in. Also, consider who the best person to show the home is. This is rarely the owner, as it intimidates buyers, and can cause friction.
6. Able to Move Fast
How quickly are you able to move to sign contracts, provide access for inspections, and get to the closing table? Every day means potential for issues to arise. Reduce risk by closing as fast as possible. If you need more time to move, you may be able to negotiate a lease back.
7. Respond Quickly
Responding to phone and email inquiries quickly is critical. It doesn’t matter how great a marketer you are, how much you spend on improving your home, how spectacular the real estate photography, or how great the price, if inquiries are not responded to immediately. An inability to respond fast is enough to break any deal.
8. Consider Owner Financing
There are many reasons to consider selling homes with owner financing. This can mean selling outright and holding a second mortgage, land contracts, rent-to-own arrangements or lease options. This helps overcome the issues many buyers currently face with obtaining mortgages, and can help homes sell faster and for top dollar. It can also become a source of ongoing income, and potentially reduce the short term tax burden.
9. Sweeten up the Neighbors
Neighbors are responsible for at least half of the worst home turn offs, according to some surveys. From trashed yards, to teenagers in the street, to noise, and even house color, neighbors can make or break many real estate deals. This is the time to bury the hatchet, take over baked goods, bribe them, and whatever else it takes to ensure they aren’t blocking your sale, or turning off buyers.
10. Straighten Out Issues First
The most experienced real estate investors might not have a problem with many issues, and may actually be the best qualified to solve them. However, sellers can overcome the challenges that can prevent sales and decrease perceived value by tackling them ahead of time. This can include settling mechanic’s liens, cleaning up a cloudy title, fixing structural issues, paying up delinquent HOA fees, negotiating down code enforcement fines, and obtaining short sale approvals in advance.