14 IMPORTANT FACTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU TRY TO SELL YOUR OWN HOME
Occasionally, one can see "For Sale By Owner" signs, and some owners think that selling their own home will not only save them money, but believe they have an advantage over the sellers that have their home listed by a reputable Real Estate sales professional. Before you decide to take on this very important and legally complicated process…remember not even most Real Estate Lawyer's recommend selling your own home yourself in today's market. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. You are limiting your exposure to potential buyers (less than 10% of what a good real estate broker will generate) which theoretically means your home will take ten to fifteen times longer to sell on the market.
2. The longer a home is on the market the lower the selling price is. Why? Because most buyers think that if the home has not sold after this long... there must be something wrong with the home.
3. The selling/buying process begins AFTER the buyer leaves your home. Most sellers think that all it takes is for someone to see their home, fall in love with the great decor... and the offer automatically will follow. Remember that the buying process begins after they leave your home. If a real estate sales representative does not represent the buyer, and they are looking on their own…they usually leave the home and start to talk themselves out of the buying process. Real estate professionals are trained on how to overcome buyers remorse--a very common occurrence.
4. Because of the limited exposure you will very likely end up with a lower selling price. Remember, in order to generate the highest price possible for your home… selling means exposure. You need the maximum exposure possible, to generate the highest price possible.
5. Most buyers find it extremely awkward to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore avoid FSBO properties.
6. Lack of negotiating experience and lack of pertinent information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits.
7. The majority of qualified buyers are working with experienced real estate professionals.
8. Many serious buyers will pass by a FSBO home merely because they recognize that it is not in the real estate mainstream, this can some times make them wary.
9. As most local buyers now retain an experienced real estate sales person to represent them as their buyer-agency, you will probably be negotiating against an experienced professional.
10. Expected savings in broker's fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate sales representatives to bring potential buyers.
11. If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer, then your lawyer's fees will be considerably higher.
12. Only real estate sales representatives have access to the up-to-date market information. News reports cannot approach the timeliness or specificity available to real estate sales people. Further, real estate sales representatives are involved in home sales much more frequently than the average homeowner is. This familiarity leads to a degree of expertise that provides an edge on negotiating and successful selling.
13. You only pay the commission to the real estate broker, if they successfully sell your home at the price you are happy with.
14. Accepting an offer is one thing, ensuring a safe and successful closing is quite another. Real estate transactions usually always have problems on closing. At times, expecting the Buyers and Sellers Lawyer's to fight it out or resolve the problems, can sometimes mean the deal is lost. This is the time that your experienced real estate professional, can be the most important. Your Real Estate professional can act as a great mediator. Lawyers MUST act only on their client's instructions and are not paid to negotiate.
Staging ..For Faster Sale ..And Higher Price
Staging… for a faster sale and higher price!
There are many television shows today that focus on home staging. If you have not watched any, do yourself a favor and tune in. They all say the same thing: do not even consider putting your house on the market until you have taken a close look at its condition. Experienced agents know that you only have one shot at impressing potential buyers, so take some time to prepare your sellers for showings. You and your sellers will be rewarded with a faster sale and a higher offer.
Start with the Basics
• Everything from floors to windows must be spotless. Remember to clean the oven and other major appliances.
• Skylights should be crystal-clear, too.
• Kill the offensive odors. They're the first thing buyers notice, and often a permanent turnoff.
• Eliminate clutter.
• Put away small kitchen appliances and other items that are sitting on countertops and tables.
• Remove photographs from table-tops.
• Organize the closets.
• Clean the drain gutters. Buyers almost always comment if gutters are full of leaves and it makes them question other maintenance issues.
• Store or organize items that make the yard look messy.
• Make your front entry inviting. Decorate it, paint the door or buy a new door. It's the first look at your house, so make it a good one.
Tips for Vacant Homes
Vacant homes often greet agents and home buyers with a blast of stale or mildew-laden air. As soon as buyers smell mildew, they are out the door. Deal with the mildew before you list the house.
Have you ever noticed that during colder months the interior of a house without heat always feels colder than it is outside? Leaving the heat or air conditioning running while a home is on the market reduces odors and makes the house more inviting. Keep the lawn and landscaping tidy, even if you have to hire someone to do it.
Don't Take it Personally
Tell the sellers their first step is to separate themselves from any personal feelings they may have about their house:”Mr. Seller, it's not your home now; it's a commodity you intend to market.” As the real estate professional or seller, you must trust your own instincts. Try to evaluate the house as if you are seeing it for the first time.
• If you were a home buyer, what would you think about the house?
• What changes would make immediate improvements?
• What are the house's best features and how can you show them off?
How about a look that says 'comfort or a popular decorating theme, such as the vintage, casual look of Shabby Chic.
Create a Mood
Is there a mood that you’d like to create? If you're near water, how about breezy fabrics and blue-green colors that remind us of the beach? If you're in the mountains, perhaps you could go rustic. Help your clients study the house, brainstorm with them and ask them to speak to friends or family members about possible ideas.
Pack It Up
Pack away most of your family photos. Buyers should be able to imagine their own possessions in the home. When home buyers start deciding how their furniture will fit into your rooms, you're on your way to a contract.
Pack up the bulk of large, personal collections, so that buyers don't get so distracted by them that they forget to look at the house.
Make It More Spacious
• Remove excess furniture to make rooms appear more spacious.
• Clean and organize the closets.
• Store boxes in an out of the way location or rent a temporary storage unit so you can de-clutter every part of the house.
Expose Desirable Features
• Remove rugs if they’re covering up nice hardwood floors.
• Remove heavy drapes that keep out natural light, especially if there's a great view out the windows.
Add Some Life
Living (not artificial) plants go hand-in-hand with nearly any home staging theme.
How about a coat of fresh paint? Are walls in the house dingy? Are the colours dated? Should you clean curtains or other window ornaments?
Create a Mood
• Bake bread during showings, or place a fresh loaf in a basket on the counter to create a warm and homey atmosphere.
• Classical music playing softly in the background is nice, but choose something that enhances the mood you are trying to create. For example, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, locals and out of town buyers react positively to Appalachian folk music playing softly in the background.
Essential Curb Appeal
In addition to keeping the lawn nicely trimmed, there are other elements you can add to grab a buyer's attention before they walk in the door:
• Use outdoor lighting. It does wonders in the evenings when many homebuyers do drive-bys of properties.
• Buy an attractive doorknob set.
• Sweep the driveway; pressure wash the house or sidewalks if necessary.
• Enhance landscaping.
A great overall impression is often enough to make a buyer more lenient about minor repairs that may be required. You want them to fall in love with the house as soon as they see it from the street.
Every house is different, and no one expects you to be a professional home stager--but taking the time to prepare your sellers and help them stage the home will put extra dollars in the seller’s pocket, as well as your own. Your sellers will be impressed!
TIP: Make sure you take some before and after pictures—they can be a great tool to help you close more listings.