05 October 2011

Be a Successful Seller Today! Hints for a Victory in Today's Real Estate Market, Part II

We all hear about how tough it is today to enter the real estate market, yet buyers and sellers are closing on sales everyday.  While there is no single formula to attaining success in the real estate market, there are attributes to a successful purchase or sale.  Here are some general rules of thumb for buyers and sellers in today's market.

  • Pick a Realtor That Can Prepare an Appropriate Marketing Campaign.  Sellers need every advantage they can get, so picking a skilled, full-service Realtor is essential.  A savvy agent helps a seller pick a price that will get more bona fide buyers through the door, understands how and when to react once on the market, and considers on a daily basis how to better position the listed home.  Ask a lot of questions and let your Realtor know what you want, as a veteran Realtor is ready to go to the mat for you.
  • Get Their Home Market-Ready.  If you have a few weeks or months before you must list, knock out many of the little things that will make a home inspector and a buyer take pause:  slow drains, leaky faucets, furnace servicing, etc.  If you have several months and some financial resources at hand, address bigger ticket items, again leaning toward structural and mechanical issues over aesthetics.  Sometimes a fresh and jazzy coat of paint can strike the imagination of buyers, but often the new furnace and water heater make them feel as if they have made the safer bet and that they can tackle the painting themselves later.
  • Pick a Reasonable Price...and then consider listing $10-20K lower.  The point is to understand that buyers are looking for fantastic, even ridiculous value when they purchase in today's market.  They want to feel like they got a great home for a great, great price and that they have "hedged their bet" against potential future depreciation.
  • Attend to the Details.  Buyers these days are calculating every detail and therefore a seller must as well.  So, lights on, heat up, lawn mowed, front door freshly painted, home neat and tidy, and door open pronto to any and all shoppers. 
  • Are Realistic.  Even if it is day three and your have three offers in hand, let's not forget that it is clearly a buyers market. Congratulations!  You've have interested parties!  You have hit the mark.  Now is not the time to get cocky and instead dust off some valuable adages:  "Your first offer is usually your best offer."  "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."  "More market time equals less money."  To get a home sold today, a seller must follow an aggressive path throughout the process.  Keep the big picture in mind:  a battle lost over $5000 or an inspection negotiation can still lead to a victory at the end.  So, take a deep breath, say yes, follow the wave of momentum, and you will get your home sold and move on to the next chapter in your life.