How to Attract Buyers and Sell Your Home
If living in Minnesota or Wisconsin has taught us anything, it’s that the housing market is full of surprises. As a homeowner, chances are you’ve thought about listing and selling your home at one time or another – probably long before deciding to actually do it. But what was it that held you back? Uncertainty about the market? Wondering if you’d be able to sell your house for as much as you want? Fear that your property won’t show well?
Rest assured, whatever concerns you may have about listing your property, many other homeowners have felt as well. However, unlike other homeowners, you have an added advantage by working with The Premier Home Team.
To get you started on your home selling journey, we’ve compiled a list of tried and true steps our agents use to help busy homeowners just like you get your house ready for sale, positioned to earn the best purchase price possible, and navigate the sales process.
The first step in any “happy sale” process is making sure that you’re truly ready to sell your home. Of course, as easy as that is to say, it isn’t always easy to do.
One of the simplest ways to prepare yourself for the sale (and get excited about it) is to think about exactly why you want to sell and imagine all the possibilities that will arise as a result of moving. Is your current home too small for your growing family? Or maybe you find you have more space than you need? Do you have your eye on a new neighborhood or city that suits your lifestyle better? Or have you taken a new job and want to move closer to work?
Try to identify all the ways your current home could be better. Be sure to write down whatever you come up with because these will be the features you seek out in your new home and can serve as the catalyst for deciding to sell your current house.
There’s an old saying in real estate “No one wants to buy your problems.” Buyers are going to be on the lookout for any unfinished projects, signs of delayed maintenance, and any issues they can see in photos or during a showing. The last thing you want to do is make the buyers think your home is anything but move-in ready (unless you’re willing to accept a lower price as a “fixer”).
The best way to make a good impression besides cleaning & decluttering your home is to finish all those partially completed projects and complete any maintenance you’ve been putting off. Take a walk-through of your home (maybe even with your Counselor Realtor®) and pretend you’re a potential buyer. What do you notice? Check for missing or broken trim, missing or broken tiles, loose floorboards, unfinished painting, broken closet doors, and similar issues within your house. Then check outside for unkempt landscaping, full gutters, broken planter boxes, and anything that distracts from the beauty of your home’s exterior.
Now that you’re mentally and emotionally ready to list your home for sale and it’s in tip-top shape, your Counselor real estate agent will be able to take photos that show off your property’s best features and walk you through the rest of the listing process.
Be sure to ask any questions you may have before signing a listing contract. A few good ones to get you started are:
- How do you determine the value of my home?
- What is the average days on the market for listings like mine?
- Where will you share and promote my property listing?
- When will my listing go live?
- Will you hold an open house? What days are the best for that?
- Is there anything I can do to make my home more attractive to buyers?
- What is expected of me as the seller?
Figuring out how much to list your home for brings about two main questions. What is the real value of your home? And what are buyers willing to pay for it? The first question is the most important because it sets the bar for how much your home is worth in the current market (which you’re trying to sell in). The second question is valuable because depending on how quickly you wish to sell your home and how in demand the features of your property are, you may decide to list it for exactly market value or even a little more or less.
So, how does your real estate agent determine the value of your home? It’s really quite complicated, but a few of the key details they evaluate are:
- How many homes are available and how many buyers are in the market?
- Is the market falling or rising?
- What is the average days on the market for homes in your area?
- How does your home’s location, features, and property size compare to homes currently listed?
- Are you in a hurry to sell or willing to wait for the best price?
Keep in mind; a seller can ask whatever price they want – even over market value. But that doesn’t mean buyers will pay that price. So don’t be fooled, just because you may see a comparable home listed at a higher price, that doesn’t mean it’s priced according to actual market value. Your Counselor real estate agent is a professional who can help you understand and interpret the market and determine the right listing price for your unique home.
If you’re interested in a free, no obligation market analysis of your home, contact us and we’ll connect you with one of our knowledgeable local real estate agents.
Real estate has changed dramatically over the past two decades. Now that more people than ever have access to the internet, it’s also the place that most home buyers start their search. Which is why it’s crucial that your home is marketed online as well as through more traditional channels.
Some of the most popular and effective methods for promoting a listing are:
- Posting it online through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
- Pushing your listing to consumer-driven online real estate websites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com, and Realtor.com
- Hosting advertised Open Houses
- Circulating the listing via local and regional magazines and newspapers
- Posting an advertisement in HOMES™ Magazines
- Word of mouth in the real estate community
One of the times your Counselor real estate agent’s expertise will be most valuable is during the sales process. From evaluating the initial offer to counter-offers and finalizing the sale, it can be overwhelming without proper guidance. Luckily, most home sales follow the same process.
An offer comes in on your listed property
Depending on the market and the buyer, it could be at asking price, above asking price, or below asking price. Sometimes you may even have multiple offers in short succession. Every offer will have an expiration date and includes most of the details about how the sales process will proceed with the potential buyer.
Buyer’s terms can vary dramatically from individual to individual. Some of the common variables that will change from buyer to buyer are the duration of escrow and closing; contingencies on inspections, due diligence, or financing; and proposed earnest money or down payment amounts.
With the help of your agent, you will respond to the offer(s)
Consulting with your real estate agent will allow you to evaluate every offer and determine how to proceed. You could accept an offer as is, decide to submit a counter-offer and request a different price or terms, decline the offer without a counter, or not respond at all (though this option is rarely used).
Once you agree on terms, the offer will be accepted by both parties with a purchase contract signed by the buyer, the seller, and their agents. Then you will move on to escrow and proceed towards closing by the date outlined in the contract.
Closing refers to the final process in escrow. Provided all the terms and conditions for both parties (buyer and seller) are met, and all the legal formalities such as the inspections, due diligence, title search, title insurance, and financing are completed and approved, your home will close.
At closing both the buyer and seller will review the purchase contract; sign the final paperwork; purchase funds will be transferred; and keys, title, and “ownership” will pass from the seller to the buyer. This whole closing process typically takes around 30-days but can be longer or shorter depending on the terms negotiated during the sale.
Moving is a big job, even if it’s just down the block. Staying organized can make it easier and less stressful for everyone. Start by obtaining a variety of boxes in all different sizes. Bigger boxes should be used for lightweight items like comforters and stuffed animals. Smaller boxes work well for heavier items and things you want to protect and secure better (and you’re less likely to overload it and hurt your back).
Be sure to label every box with the name of the room where you want it delivered in your NEW home, not necessarily where it came from in your current house. If you decide to work with a moving company, this will make it easier for them to put your boxes exactly where you want as well rather than having everything unloaded into the garage or another holding area.
Once your possessions are moved and you’ve said goodbye to your old home you can start settling in and getting comfortable in your new house. If you want to do any painting or quick repairs, start early. Those tasks are usually easier to complete before you unload all your furniture and knick-knacks.
Have fun hanging up your favorite artwork, setting up your cozy living spaces, or just relax and enjoy your new home before it’s full of furniture and life gets busy. These moments pass quickly, so be sure to savor them.