1. Why Are You Selling Your Home ?Your motivation determines how you will approach the process. It affects your asking price. Sellers often fail to understand that your home QUICKLY becomes worth less and less as it sits on the market longer and longer. Pricing your home RIGHT from the outset is foremost in selling a home fast and for top dollar.
2. Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself
Don't disclose too much to a buyer. If a buyer knows you are relocating and need to sell soon, a buyer's offer may be lower. Same with divorce or with financial difficulty. You (and your agent) must be careful to protect your interests---and the equity in your home.
3. Before Setting a Price - Do Your Homework
The best way to learn about your competition is to check out other open houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of lot, location and other features. Research asking prices and then compare what they are actually selling for. Remember, if you're serious about getting your home sold fast, don't price it higher than your neighbor's, unless you have more amenities or desirable features.
4. Do Some "Home Shopping" Yourself
Sometimes a good appraisal can be a benefit in marketing your home. Getting an appraisal is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there's no guarantee you'll like the figure you hear. In addition, today's mortgage regulations require that the buyer's lender order the appraisal from a neutral, 3rd party service....so that neutrality is observed. Neither you, the buyer, any agent or the buyer's lender is allowed to specify a specific appraiser in most all cases.
5. When Getting an Appraisal is a Benefit
Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home's true value. Assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not reflect your home's true value. For instance, the assessor's estimate can't "see" that a home has plantation shutters, granite counters or wood flooring inside a home. All of these features are typically very desirable.
6. Don't Trust the Tax Assessor's Value
According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed-- who sell their own homes-- say they wouldn't do it again themselves. Primary reasons included setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding upon a Realtor® , consider two or three.
7. Deciding Upon a Realtor
Before settling on your asking price, make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. It will likely hinge on your priorities. Is your priority TIMING or the HIGHEST POSSIBLE SELLING PRICE......or a little of both ?
8. Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate
Appearance is critical. The look and "feel" of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor. Prospective buyers react to everything they see and hear. Is your outside AC unit noisy when it runs, or does it appear rusty ? What about the water heater.....is it rusty around the top of bottom ?
9. Appearances Do Matter - Make them Count!
Do your best to see your home from a buyer's viewpoint. Don't be shy about seeking the honest opinions of others. Face it---most home owners feel they own "the best home available. Most all homes have a few weak points or aspects. Be objective by realizing there are "other homes for sale" that compete with your home.
10. Invite the Honest Opinions of Others
Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten and get rid of the clutter. Declare war on dust, repair squeaks,and replace the light switch that doesn't work. Spackle and paint any minor cracks that might concern a buyer that your home has settlement or foundation issues. Clean the carpets. Remember, you're not just competing with other resale homes...there may be new homes available at your price point. Those have that "new car feel" about them....and typically offer a 1 year warranty from the builder This creates piece of mind for most any buyer, and insurance is typically cheaper.
11. Get it Spic n' Span Clean and Fix Everything, Even If It Seems Insignificant
Give them room. Showing your home on your own leaves the buyer little room for making honest comments about what they don't like or what they'd change. Avoid clutter and knick-knacks. Change colorful rooms to neutral colors and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers.
12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home
Traces of food, pets and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. You may have lived with the odors long enough that you no longer notice them. If there's any question in your mind, ask a friend or relative to visit your home----and INVITE their honest opinion without being offended.
13. Deal Killer Odors - Must Go!
Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent lawsuits later on. There's much to be said about sleeping well at night after your closing is completed. Disclose your defects UPFRONT.
14. Be a Smart Seller - Disclose Everything
Pricing your home COMPETITIVELY will likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It's better to have several buyers competing for your home---your price goes up when there's competition for your home.
15. It's Better With More Prospects
Let go of the emotion you've invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You'll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the sale. It's a BIG decision to sell a home and move. Be prepared for the emotions that will accompany the selling process.
16. Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations
The better you know your buyers, the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows you to control the pace and duration of the process..and perhaps the price!
17. Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated
As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her down payment is. If their offer is low, ask their Realtor® about the buyer's ability to pay what your home is worth.
18. What the Buyer Can Really Pay
Quite often, when buyers would "like" to close is when they "need" to close. Knowledge of their deadlines creates a negotiating advantage for you. If the buyer's' home is already under contract, they are likely under a "time crunch" in finding another home. This can put you in a stronger position to negotiate your price and terms.
19. When the Buyer Would Like to Close
Beware of closing on your new home while you're still making mortgage payments on the old one. You might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along. Our Guaranteed Home Sale Program was designed with this in mind. We can Guarantee the sale of your present home so that you avoid owning 2 at the same time. See addtional information on our website, or call us at 405-330-3000 for a friendly conversation about how the program can help you.
20. Never Sign a Deal on Your Next Home Until You Sell Your Current Home
It's been proven that it's more difficult to sell a home that is vacant. Buyers start getting the message that you have a another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.
21. Moving Out Before You Sell Can Put You at a Disadvantage
Don't try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.
22. Deadlines Create A Serious Disadvantage
Many buyers believe if they don't offer low enough to insult you, they are poor negotiators. Don't be upset. Evaluate the offer objectively. Require a sufficient deposit, review the strength of the offer based on the down payment, mortgage amount, closing costs and check these details against the buyer's preapproval letter. Most buyers EXPECT a counteroffer !
23. A Low Offer - Don't Take It Personally
You can counter a low offer or even an offer that's just under your asking price. Remember, buyers are conscious about how long your home's been on the market. The longer it sits, the lower the opening offer is likely to be. Price your home carefully.
24. Turn That Low Offer Around
25. Maybe the Buyer's Not Qualified
The difference in a "pre-qualified" buyer and a "pre-approved" buyer is HUGE. A pre-approved buyer has had credit, income and funds necessary to close verified before the letter was issued. ALWAYS ask your buyer to provide a letter of loan PRE-APPROVAL---and make sure the letter matches the loan amount shown in the purchase contract.
26. Ensure the Contract is Complete
If the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, we recommend against it. Real estate sales fail for a multitude of reasons. Once a buyer is living in your home, they may be far-less motivated to push for a closing. Face it----they are living in YOUR home....which is what they really wanted. What YOU want is your closing completed and your money in pocket.
27. Resist Deviating From the Contract
These tips were written by Wally and Cindy. We hope you find them helpful. If you decide to hire an agent to sell your home, please include us in the list of agents to interview !
Call and ask for either of us most any day at 405-330-3000. Be sure and mention that you have a home to sell. You'll be surprised how quickly you hear from us...! If you prefer, email email@example.com for a prompt response.