Pretty Much A No-Brainer. So Why Do So Many Sellers Forget To to Follow These 8 Top Tips When Selling Their Home?
At Buyer's Edge, all our real estate agents are exclusive buyer's agents. We work with home buyers, never sellers in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. Our buyer brokerage real estate company never takes listings. None the less, our past buyer clients often ask us to share our top selling tips when they are ready to sell their home. We've worked with hundreds of buyers in our 26-year history. With over $1 Billion of home purchases under our belts, we can honestly tell folks what selling tips can make a HUGE difference. It's a no-brainer!
No-Brainer Selling Tip #1: How to Find the Best Listing Broker
Interview a minimum of three listing agents and make sure the home is listed in the Multiple List Service on day one. Work with an honest, experienced, full-time, knowledgeable real estate agent that has an excellent reputation in the real estate community. They should have outstanding communication skills, easily accessible and a tech-savvy marketer. With text, email and cell phones there should be no excuse why a listing agent shouldn’t be accessible 24/7.
Choose the listing agent that loves the profession. The best listing agents are those who love what they do. Make sure your listing agent is a tough negotiator – one who will always negotiates hard on behalf of their sellers in order to sell their homes on the best possible terms.
No-Brainer Selling Tip #2: Price Your Home Right
Work with a listing agent who has a history of pushing the market price of properties up. Sellers should work with agents that have a pulse on the current real estate market conditions. An excellent listing agent has a history and motivation to consistently raise the bar on the homes and condominiums that they list for sale. Ask them to show you the statistics of their sales - the original price, the final sales price and the days on the market. Whatever you do, don’t believe the listing agent who recommends that you shave 15% to 20% off the price in order to get stampeded by buyers and multiple bids. What if no one shows up for the Multiple Bidding War Party and you then get a full-priced offer at the 20% discount? Lovely! Terrific for the listing agent and the exclusive buyer’s agent – but not so great for the brilliant seller! Price your home right from the 3 Guesstimates that you got from those realtors you interviewed. You’ll get multiple bids from crazed buyers, without being discounted by 20%, if your market dictates it.
No-Brainer Selling Tip #3: Clean, Declutter and Depersonalize
Your home should have the ambiance of a 5-star hotel. Wash the windows, tear down dusty, light grabbing drapes and let the sunshine in. Increase the wattage of all your dull, light bulbs. Refresh, paint and replace the carpet when necessary. Your home should be so fresh and spotless that buyers actually believe they can eat off the floor! Like a luxury hotel, your home doesn’t have laundry, wet towels, filled trashcans or yucky toothbrushes. Walk-in closets, linen closets, kitchen shelves need to be decluttered, perfectly organized, flawlessly folded, color-coded and alphabetized! Clear every counter of all debris. Remember you have no mail, dog leashes, cat odors or bowls of plastic fruit or crunchy dog food. In fact, you don’t even own a barking Doberman or a yappy Shiatsu! Minimize trinkets and clutter off dressers and end tables. Remove all pictures of your famous Great Aunt Eleanor or your family standing arm and arm with “President You Name It.” Your perfect buyer may not be a member of your political party.
No-Brainer Selling Tip #4: Stage Your Home Inside and Out
There’s a ton written about staging and curb appeal (Don’t forget the backyard or balcony!). Yes, it takes a lot of work but it makes a huge difference! A good listing agent will advise you on this. Your home should tell a story the moment the potential homebuyer approaches the front door. After all, the front door of a home is where love, luck, laughter, and joy will flow in and out each and every day a homeowner lives there. Some say that these first few steps towards the front door are just the beginning of a magnificent journey for the homebuyer and future caretaker of the property. They will live there, add their love story and then pass the home on to another happy buyer down the road. Don’t miss this opportunity the first time buyers walk through your front door!
No-Brainer Selling Tip #5: Use Professionally Shot Photos of Your Home
Your listing agent should use a professional photographer for all promotional pieces, brochures, videos and Multiple List Service MLS submissions. Now that your home is immaculate, the pictures should reflect its beauty and perfection. Top selling dollars are at stake!
No-Brainer Selling Tip #6: Make it Easy to Show.
Just do it! Nap time, dinner time, party time, shower time….. If you have a door, a lockbox and you want to SELL your home as quickly as possible - open it. If you think your house is “oh-so, super, duper fancy”, then, by all means, remove your grab and go valuables, but don’t make it difficult to show. That’s one of the reasons you’re paying your professional listing agent and her highly, efficient assistants a small fortune. They can supervise showings. An international, cash buyer may only be available a few hours to see fancy, smancy properties while they’re in town taking care of their tremendously, important business. If you or your listing agent snoozes, your “oh-so, difficult, $7,500,000 home to show” may sit on the market for another 220 days while that impulsive, international, cash buyer negotiates a contract for his daughter and his new son-in-law on another luxury, estate property down the road. True story!! Make it easy!
No-Brainer Selling Tip #7: ON DAY ONE - List Home on All Major Online Portals like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Put it in the MLS!
It’s so simple, don’t you want ALL QUALIFIED buyers to see and bid on your home? That’s the only way you’re assured what the true market value is. Remember the list price is only an educated Guesstimate from your experienced, listing agent! If you don’t want to get the highest price at the best possible terms for your home, go ahead and sell it directly to a builder or to a buyer the listing agent’s brokerage company has before it hits the market. That way the listing broker who determined the list price can get both the buyer and seller sides of the transaction. Didn’t you want to hire a real estate agent to represent and protect your best interests throughout the entire process? Yes, dual agency is legal in most states, but it doesn’t make it right.
No-Brainer Selling Tip #8: Place Fresh Cut Flowers Throughout the Home
Flowers are like icing on a cake. They tell your guests and potential buyers that they’re welcome in your home. Flowers express to others that you love your home and you hope they will too.