Selling a home is a complex process. It has several moving components including legal aspects as well as emotional areas. You will need to make the best decisions for yourself and your future. Yet, it is important to remember this is a business transaction. Sometimes, you will need to remove the emotion from the transaction to ensure the best possible outcome occurs.
Emotions are a big part of the transaction. This is your home, where you have memories. You may have put a lot of money into it as well. Yet, emotional selling mistakes are costly as well. Creating a bit more of an emotional distance is perhaps the most important step you can take throughout this transaction.
This is very important if you are in a highly competitive market. In some communities, sellers tend to have the upper hand. However, increasingly throughout the U.S., the communities are buyer’s markets, which means it is more likely that a buyer will have the upper hand in the process. There are several steps you can take to make sure you are selling your home with the best possible outcome.
Avoid Hiring an Inexperienced Real Estate Agent
In a highly competitive market with low inventory, the experience of an agent may not play a role in whether a home will sell. However, it always plays a role in the outcome of the transaction. Experience gives the real estate agent the ability to know how to treat each offer and opportunity. This is very important in a slow market. When a home is sitting on the market for a long stretch of time, it can become very difficult for an inexperienced agent to attract enough attention to the property to lead to a high offer
For this reason, you need to choose the right person for the job. In any market, it is important to look for an agent with a wide online presence. You want national buyers, local buyers, and interested investors to know of the property’s listing. The agent needs to be experienced in selling homes in all types of market conditions. This includes distressed markets, seller’s markets, markets with limited inventory, as well as markets that are incredibly fast moving. Each market requires a different marketing approach and negotiation process.
A skilled agent knows if open houses are beneficial or if building an international market for your home is best. He or she knows what it takes to find the ideal potential buyer for you and develops a comprehensive marketing plan to make this happen. By avoiding an inexperienced agent, it becomes possible for you to ensure your home gets the very specific attention necessary with a marketing plan targeted at the ideal buyer.
Asking the Right Price Matters
The asking price on a home for sale may not be the final number you get when the process is complete. However, what you start out as matters significantly. It is a very big mistake to overprice a home. Overpricing can limit the number of people who come to see the property. Even though you may be building in some negotiation room, it may kick some would-be buyers out of the range. For example, if the home is listed at $495,000 instead of $510,000, it will attract buyers who have a budget up to $500,000. But, those same buyers are not likely to look at homes priced over this figure even if they can afford to spend that much.
The bottom line with home pricing is that you will never get more for the home than what a buyer is willing to pay. No matter what you believe your home is worth, it cannot be worth more than what a buyer offers.
In nearly all markets, the price a buyer is willing to pay is the most important figure to determine. To set this price, your agent will consider homes in the area like yours and how much they recently sold for in the current market condition. The agent takes into consideration other factors as well, such as the size differences or the feature differences of the home. Pricing your home at a level comparative to others like yours which recently sold can ensure the best pool of buyers for it.
To price your home, listen to your agent. Ensure a comparative market analysis is done. And, do your research.
Ensure Your Home Shows at Its Very Best
The first impression a person has when walking into your home determines just how willing he or she is to consider buying it even if it has the right price and features. But, home buyers do not just come during open houses or long in advanced scheduled tours. Rather, they come unexpectedly and with a simple phone call just a matter of minutes before they wish to arrive. You want your home always to be show ready. This is not easy as many home sellers are working, have families, and are busy. However, the better the home looks, the more impressive it will be to the buyer.
How can you manage this process? It starts by making a cleaning schedule and working to stay on top of your home’s organization and cleanliness on an ongoing basis. Your home needs to be impeccable – with nothing in the sink, the floors always clean and the laundry caught up. This is a disruptive component to your life. However, it is the best way to ensure your buyers get the real view of your home and what it can offer to them.
Emotionally, you may not be willing to put in this amount of hard work. But, from a business perspective, it is a critical step in ensuring your home sells well.
Do Not Overlook the Low-Ball Offer
When offers come in, be ready to react to them – all of them. A low-ball offer is one many home sellers become overwhelmed and frustrated with. Sometimes, it can even seem insulting. How could they offer you such a low price on your home? They obviously do not appreciate what it has to offer or the hard work you put into it. These are emotional facts that can hurt your success in selling your home in the long term. Instead of allowing this to limit you, see it as an opportunity.
A low-ball offer is an opportunity for you to negotiate with the home buyer. In nearly all situations, they know specifically that you will not accept the initial offer they are providing. But, they may be willing to negotiate a better deal with you. Even if the price is 15 to 30 percent away from where you want to be, put in a counteroffer.
Sometimes, the best way to get a better offer is not to discount your price, but to offer some type of concessions on the sale. You may be able to offer to pay some of the closing costs. You may be able to offer a faster closing timeline. Or, you could even offer owner financing. A low-ball offer does not mean you have to discount your home significantly. You may come down some, but you never have to take such an offer.
Carefully consider what this means to you and what you can do with it if anything.
Don’t Get Upset if the Home Inspection Finds a Problem
Another time when emotions get in the way happens during the home inspection. Nearly every home will have a comprehensive inspection before it is purchased. The process allows for the home buyer to have a professional come in and determine the condition of the home. And, nearly all inspections will result in some areas of concern. Even if you think the home you put on the market is perfect – and you put the time and money into making it that way – step back and recognize what is happening.
First, inspection problems do not mean the deal is off right away. It does provide the buyer an opportunity to walk away if the problem is undisclosed, though. If you know of a concern, be upfront with your agent about this, so a plan is always put in place.
Some concerns may require repairs such as dangerous heating systems, poor ventilation, chipping paint, or unsafe living conditions. You can choose not to make those repairs, though the deal may be off at that time. Additionally, you may be able to offer concessions. You may agree to discount the home’s selling price by the cost of the repair and let them handle it later – if they agree to do so. Work with your agent to determine the best course of action for any repair necessary.
Removing the emotion from any transaction is a challenge, but a necessary one. It can give you the advantage you need to move your home further through the selling process and ensures you get the highest value for it when a buyer does come into play. Remember, you remain in control of this process, but your agent is less emotionally involved and may be able to offer more insight to you.