6 Helpful Tips for Motivated Sellers

Remember, Todays real estate market is more competitive than ever.  At Steve Snow Real Estate, we pride ourselves on being upfront and honest.  We want to prepare sellers by giving them the honest truth about selling your home so there aren’t any surprises down the road.  Today’s buyers are selective and have more tools in their tool belts. They know what they want, and when they find it, they tie it up quick.  Because of this, sellers have to spend more time and energy making their homes as market ready as possible. For first-time sellers who have never been through the process before, it’s a difficult world. Below are 6 helpful tips for sellers that will make their valued home a competitive commodity on the real estate market.

Tip #1 – Price right from the start:

The largest number of showings is likely to occur in the first two or three weeks.  The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Internet tend to drive the majority of showings.  Most buyers (or their agents) do the majority of their research from home on their computer.  As soon as something new comes on the market that fits their search description, they immediately want to see it.  It’s important to keep this in mind when pricing your home.  A competitive price from the start will attract multiple showing and multiple offers.  On the other hand, a home  over priced won’t even get looked at, never mind an offer, people don’t want to waste their time giving low ball offers that they know will be rejected.  When price reductions are finally made after many days on the market, consumers become skeptical.  Multiple offers are a seller’s best friend because it often means you can negotiate and get over asking price. REMEMBER, this all depends on the seller’s motivation, if your home has high sentimental value, as they often do, and you’re in no rush to sell, price it accordingly.  Meeting your expectations is always our priority.

Tip #2 -Pictures are worth a thousand words:

When looking for an agents to represent you, make sure they understand that good photo marketing will make a world of difference.  Find out how they plan to visually market and display the listing to consumers.  Are they knowledgeable with photography, or do they use a professional?  Look at some of their prior listings and see if you’re impressed.  Don’t neglect the “modern version” of curb appeal.  Using lots of pictures on your marketing website will attract consumers, and not leave them disappointed when they come see your home. However you market your house, you need a good number of clear, well-lit, professional-quality pictures that show your house at its best.

Tip #3 – Sweeten the deal:

When preparing to sell, create an inventory of all the property that won’t be going with you to your new home.  Often it’s wise to begin decluttering months before your home hits the market.  Sometimes you’ll see it’s hard to get rid of things like that extra basement refrigerator, or backyard swing set.  You could leave those items around to sweeten the deal for a potential buyer.  If it becomes an issue and the buyers decline the donations, your Realtor should be happy to assist with any last minute cleaning or property removal before the final walkthrough.

Tip #4 – Clean the Clutter:

It’s important to keep your home neat at decluttered while it’s on the market.  This is true with any sized house, large or small; clean and cluttered can be the difference between cozy and cramped.  It’s wise to remove any nonessential pieces and clear items that may be useful to you but not necessary to others.  Removing a few pieces of furniture will make your home appear more spacious.  Clearing the kitchen and bathroom countertops will make your home seem more organized and inviting.  You may also want to de-personalize your home, take down family pictures and refrigerator drawings.  The idea here is to create a space that any potential buyer can imagine themselves in, and visualize themselves personalizing it.

Tip #5 – Appeal to turn-key buyers:

Most buyers are lazy; they are looking for a home that is “turn-key” or ready to go.  Some buyers and looking for a fixer-upper, but most are not.  The last thing a new home owner wants is to have a to-do list waiting for them right after their move.  Take a walkthrough of your home and think objectively about what needs repairs or replacement.  Remember, you are trying to create the vision of a potential buyers being in this space, they are not going to want to picture themselves making repairs right off the bat.  If the mailbox is falling over, repair it.  If there’s dusting to do, do it.  If there are lightbulbs out, replace them.  It’s easy to make excuses, and assume the consumer won’t think too hard about it, but the reality is, on a subconscious level they will not be impressed.

Tip #6 – Put upgrade money where it counts:

Often sellers want to do basic home improvements to make their home increase in value and leave a more lasting impression.  This isn’t a bad idea; just make sure you’re spending the money and time in the right ways.  First of all, kitchens and bathrooms are the number one way to increase value by modernizing, however, make sure your home is in a market that will allow the increase.  Some homes (based on location and condition) are going to remain the same regardless of how much money you put into those new countertops.  Talk to an area expert before attempting any major home renovations.  To simply make the home more memorable, try a fresh coat of paint.  By leaving the lingering smell of fresh paint, buyers will have another reason to remember your impressive home.

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