Selling Tips

SELLING WITH BUYERS' EYES

"When you live in a house daily, you miss the fingerprints on the cupboards, or the smells in the bathroom... Take off the blinders, and step out before you step in," says Martha Webb author of the best selling book, Dress Your House for Success. Webb also suggests that when a buyer initially steps into a home, they make an emotional connection. You, the seller, have the option to decide what that connection will be.

One of your first steps in understanding what a buyer is feeling is to visit a model home or an open house. "Ask yourself if you feel comfortable in the house." Webb says. "And examine why you do or why you don't."

One of your first steps in understanding what a buyer is feeling is to visit a model home or an open house. "Ask yourself if you feel comfortable in the house." Webb says. "And examine why you do or why you don't."

Your next step is to go back to your own home and experience your home as if you were a potential buyer looking at your home for the first time. What is your emotional reaction to it? How do you feel about this space? What do you see? What do you smell or hear? Would you want to come home to this house every day? What tells you "no?" What makes you say, "yes" or "maybe?"

First impressions make a big difference. What do you experience as you:

  • Drive up to the house?
  • Walk to the front door?
  • Experience the entryway?
  • Walk through the kitchen?
  • Take note of the bathrooms?
  • Take note of the closet space?

SHAPING UP FOR THE SALE

When it's time to sell your home, think "curb appeal" through the eyes of a buyer. What first impression does your house make when a prospect drives by or comes up the driveway?

Even if you're nervous about the look or condition of some parts of the home or yard, keep in mind that you're out to make money, not spend it. Get the place well "spruced up," price it right, and it will move.

"Sprucing up" your home doesn't mean making costly improvements. Keep your lawn mowed and your hedges trimmed. Sweep sand into concrete cracks and chips, and roll on a coat of sealer if you have an asphalt driveway. Hose down patios, house walls and other outdoor surfaces. Repair any broken windows. Clean up any yard debris.

Some repairs justify the cost. Painting a home exterior to increase its curb appeal often reaps big rewards. According to the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, a new paint job returns a 60 percent profit above the cost of having it done professionally, and up to 100 percent if you do the work yourself.

Unlike major remodeling work inside a home to attract buyers, minor redecorating is recommended. For every $100 spent on interior painting, wallpapering or carpeting, sellers earn back $190 on average.

This doesn't mean major improvements count for nothing. If you have done substantial work on your home recently, it may be just what you need to clinch a sale. Among the highest rate-of-return items are kitchen remodeling, central air conditioning, and adding-on or extending a room. Some of the worst home-improvement investments are converting a basement and building a swimming pool.

--Mike Morris, former editor of one of the top home magazines, and the recent author of a home improvement encyclopedia.

SELLING FOR THE RIGHT PRICE

ARRIVING AT AN ASKING PRICE

When estimating what might be an asking price for your home, it is easy to overestimate because you are emotionally attached. Keep in mind that a buyer will have a very different idea of what your house is worth than you have. If you arrive at a price that is too high, you may end up having to lower the price in order to sell. When this has to be done, it leaves buyers uneasy and wondering what is wrong with the house that the price has been reduced. At the same time, you need to keep in mind your plans and your finances after the sale.

ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING

  1. What is the age and condition of my home?
  2. Does the home need updating?
  3. What have similar homes in our area sold for?
  4. Are there a lot of homes for sale in our area?
  5. How large is our home? (Homes with 2,000 square feet or more of finished square footage and with 3+ good-sized bedrooms are very much in demand.)

Your CENTURY 21 Pacesetters Real Estate agent can help estimate the value of your property by doing a comparative market analysis. This market analysis involves comparisons of your house to other homes with similar features which have sold recently. These comparisons include size, location, features and amenities.

FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE THE PRICE OF YOUR HOUSE

  • Location, Location, Location.
    Homes in desirable locations always demand higher prices.
  • Economic Conditions.
    The stronger the local economy, the higher the price.
  • Supply and Demand
    If the demand exceeds the supply, prices are higher.
  • Seasonal Influence
    When everyone is looking it's a seller's market.
  • Local schools
    Homes that are near good public and private schools have a higher sale value.
  • Competing homes for sale in the neighborhood.
    If not many homes in your home's price range have been sold lately or are currently for sale, the price can be higher. If several homes have sold recently or are currently for sale, however, you may have to set the price a bit lower.
  • Your home's amenities
    Fireplaces, central air, a large garage, gathering areas for entertaining, finished lower level, or a pool may increase your home's listing price.