While the temptation to do it yourself may be strong, sometimes an objective voice can make all the difference. By hiring a professional you’ll get honest feedback along the way regarding your proposed price, how well the house will show, and other matters involving the sale.
Just showing the house yourself can be awkward, especially hearing honest — and sometimes painful — comments about your home.
A licensed salesperson will provide you with a market analysis, detailing homes similar to yours and what they’ve recently sold for. These “comps” are critical in helping you set a fair and competitive sale price for your home. In the meantime, taking an objective view of your local market will help you manage your expectations, as well as price and market your home properly. In a seller’s market, you might expect multiple bids above your opening listing price. But in a buyer’s market, you might have to discount your asking price.
Pricing your home is as much art as science; it’s a delicate process. Redfin researchers studied information on more than 12 million home sales in the past five years and found that homes for sale get five times more visits on the very first day they’re listed than they do a week later. That means if buyers believe your home is overpriced from the start, they may not take a second look.
And Redfin says cutting the price later may not be helpful, since just-discounted homes get half as many views as newly listed properties.
Your agent’s local market knowledge is a major advantage. An experienced salesperson can guide you away from making rookie mistakes.
Before your house goes on the market
Preparing your home for sale might be the most important part of the process. From curb appeal to decluttering, make a commitment to set aside sentimentality and focus on maximizing your home’s marketability. A lot of family photos have to be boxed up, walls may need a fresh coat of paint, and that cushy but worn recliner might have to be retired.Depersonalizing your home allows potential buyers to visualize the home as their own.
One of the best ways to show off your home is to let the sunlight in. Be sure to open blinds, shades and curtains and turn lights on in any dark rooms.
Of course a clean home is much more appealing than a dirty one. Make sure the sink is clear of dirty dishes and tables and countertops are free of unnecessary clutter.
Make your home available
Buyers like to see homes on their schedule, which often means evenings and weekends. Plus, they want to tour a home soon after they see it online or are told about it by their agent, especially in a hot market where they may be competing with other buyers. If your home can be shown with little or no notice more prospective buyers will have the chance to see it increasing your odds of a quick sale.
Spread the word
Although your broker will advertise your home online and in other venues that doesn’t mean you can’t help. Your neighbors are often the best salespeople for your home because they love the neighborhood. Make sure that they know that your home is for sale and that they are aware of all of it’s unique features.
Be sure to share your listing on social media and post it on bulletin boards at your community center. You never know where the buyer for your home may be looking.