In a tough market (dare I say…ehem…recession??) it’s difficult to get a sale, never mind a sale that’s close to your asking price. And with so many homes on the market that are competing with yours what should you do?
Here a few tips and tricks you can do to help the process and eliminate stress.
- PAINT YOUR FRONT DOOR: the first thing a buyer (and their Realtor) sees is your front door. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard my buyers comment on the front door. The most common comment being: “if the front door looks this bad, I’m afraid what the rest of the house is like.”
- CURB APPEAL: the exterior of the house is just as important (maybe more) as the interior of the house. On the maintenance side of things, make sure your gutters are clear of debris. Nothing says ‘potential problems’ like a full gutter. (I’ve even seen some gutters with green sprouts growing in them!). Make sure sidewalks are clean and free of anything that might be tripped over (this is no joke. Many a client is turned off a property when they’ve fallen and hurt themselves). Keep grass gut, dog poop picked up, and garbage in the trash cans.
- ELIMINATE CLUTTER: get rid of every non-essential. Most buyers need to be able to see themselves in your house, not your stuff. As cute as they are, I recommend removing fridge magnets and (yes, I’m sorry) children’s drawings from the refrigerator. If you have turned a bedroom into an office or a storage room, consider putting in a temporary bed (blow up mattress on a few boxes will do the trick.) to show how spacious the room is instead of how much stuff you’re able to cram in there. Simple is better.
- GO GENERIC: continue the simple, uncluttered look throughout your home by hanging generic pictures on the wall instead of brightly colored ones or family photos. I don’t mean boring, just depersonalize it a bit.
- RENT A STORAGE UNIT: if your basement of garage is full, it’s a big turn off for buyers. The best way to help maximize your space is by renting a storage locker and packing up your stuff. You’ll appreciate it later anyway, when it’s time to move.
- DO YOUR OWN FIXES: it isn’t the time to sell your property ‘as is’ or trying to get by with offering a ‘decorative allowance’ for new carpet etc. Do it yourself and you’ll have a faster sale with more money in your pocket. There are very few buyers around right now who are able to or willing to invest time and money into a ‘fixer upper’ or TLC house.
- PRICE IT RIGHT: the single biggest mistake that sellers make is not properly pricing their home. Buyers will not pay an extra 20K for your property because they ‘have to have it.’ Those days are long gone. Buyers are looking for that deal. Your home should be the best priced property on the block. If it’s not, you’re only helping to sell the other properties and you’ll be left wondering why yours is still for sale 6 months later. This is harsh…but true.
- BE FLEXIBLE: in a tough market, it’s normal to take less than your asking price. Try to be realistic when negotiating. Don’t let a moment pass when an offer comes to your table. Keep the momentum going with the buyer until you reach an agreement. Take too long and the buyer could lose interest and move onto another property. Or if you’re too rigid in your price, you may scare the potential buyer away and be left waiting another few months (and more mortgage payments) for someone else to come along (who will likely offer you even less).
- PRICE CUTS: if you price your home properly you may avoid the dreaded price reduction. Don’t price your home on your own. This is similar to performing your own open heart surgery. Leave it in the hands of a professional who has years of education and experience.
- DO A PRE-INSPECTION: Buyers are using professional home inspectors more and more these days (and Realtors recommend getting a home inspection). So why not be ahead of the game and offer a pre-sale home inspection. Potential buyers will love the savings to them, and you’ll get a sneak peek into what your home needs addressing before a buyer does — and of course, you’ll fix anything that needs fixing. Right? 🙂