The key to success in anything is being knowledgeable and well prepared. Those who are have a definite advantage. Yet, many times home sellers sabotage themselves by overpricing or under preparing their home to hit the market.
‘Just Listed’ – Home Seller’s Best Window of Opportunity
A new listing, particularly one that is not overpriced, has the most showing activity within the first 3 weeks on the market. It could take another 3 months to get that many Buyer showings again. Those Buyers will be comparing your home to others, so when your home hits the market it needs to be priced right, be clean, fresh, and neat. The correct placement of furniture can also make a big difference in how the home looks and feels.
Overpriced Homes Help The Other Homes Sell
Rarely do Buyers buy the first and only home they see. Generally Homebuyers will choose to visit between 10-20 homes before making a decision. By then, they know what they’re looking for in a home. With their own research and with the help of their agent, are informed about market values. If a Seller has overpriced their home it should be adjusted down accurately and early on, since they have already missed out on most of those initial Buyers that compared and chosen competing homes. If the reduction is not done accurately the first time, smaller reductions thereafter can encourage Buyers to wait for another lower price. There will always be those who are turned-off by the Seller’s ploy of inflated value or from fear of what might be wrong with the house.
Unfortunately, having a tendency to think our home is worth more than others is rather common. Our emotional attachment skews our thinking and judgement. Some can have a pie-in-the-sky mentality and set the list price (not based on the true market value) but based on the amount of money they NEED to payoff debt accumulated over the years. Others are just wishing for an extra $20,000-$50,000 to buy new furniture for the next house. For what ever the skewed reasoning might be, having an experienced can save people 1,000’s or even 100,000’s of thousands in the long run, depending. The true market value is not what someone wants, it is established based on the most recent sold homes comparable to the subject property. Whatever price the Seller and Buyer agree upon is, most always, subject to the Real Estate Appraiser’s appraisal of the property.
First Impressions – You Only Have Seconds
Preparing a home for the market is about engaging the Buyer’s senses, and you’ve got only one chance for a good first impression. Think about how you can improve on drive up appeal, curb appeal, and front door appeal. If you can make a good impression on the outside of the home you’re halfway there.
Let’s face it, it’s much easier and quicker to spray some room deodorant or light a candle, hoping to cover up odors. Don’t do it because it doesn’t fool anyone. The homeowner may not even be aware of how their home really smells to others, because they are use to it. Ask the opinion of a professional (not your best friend) how your home really smells, then eliminate it. No one has ever walked into a home and been drawn to the odors created by our sometimes smelly dogs or dirty kitty litter boxes. The lingering aroma of strong spices or the fish from last nights dinner probably wouldn’t appeal to their sense of smell either. If a home doesn’t pass the 7-second smell test most turn around and are on to the next house.
Equally important is the visual sense. A messy house, dirty dishes or piles of dirty laundry on the floor can be a warning sign in direct reflection on what they can’t see. Deferred maintenance on such daily chores, in the minds of a Buyers, equates to deferred maintenance on big ticket items. Many people are busy working, taking care of kids or both and understandably housekeeping is not the highest priority. Just focus on the end goal of selling your home for the highest price possible; It’ll be over soon and well worth the extra effort.
Get a Fresh Perspective from an Expert
What are the chances of a Buyer not comparing homes or prices?
What are the chances of a Buyer knowingly over paying for a house?
What are the chances of being drawn to dirty kitty litter or fish odors?
This is why it’s so important that everything be perfect when the listing first comes on the market.
Marketing a home for sale is a team effort between the Real Estate agent and a Seller. An experienced and successful Realtor’s job is to be clear and concise with information on current home values, has a proven plan to promote the home and negotiate the best price possible for the Seller. The Seller has the ultimate say on setting the list price and ultimately how well the home shines and appeals to the Buyer.
Pricing and preparation is key. First impressions are everything. Your “Just Listed” Status doesn’t last long so don’t waste it.