I am often asked by sellers “What can I do to help sell my house?”
First, listen to your Realtor! Your Realtor will most likely give you a list of tasks that you need to do to get your home ready to sell. Often, as homeowners, we overlook small things to the point we don’t see them, but buyers will see those small things. An example might be, you replaced the roof 3 years ago but never painted the ceiling that has a stain from the old roof leak. You fixed the leak under the kitchen sink but didn’t finish cleaning and repainting the bottom of the cabinet. A buyer will think these things scream deferred maintenance and will wonder about more deferred maintenance. When you do get an offer on your home the buyer will make an offer low enough to cover the perceived repairs and a great deal more, sometimes 2 to 10 times the amount of the perceived repair. Example: The cost to repair an item may be $500. The buyer will often lower the amount of their offer by $1000 to $5000 or worse yet not even make an offer. Ouch!
Second, listen to your Realtor! If you are still occupying the property, do not be there when the Realtor makes an appointment to show your property. Why? Buyers will not be comfortable. They will feel like they are intruding. They won’t spend as much time in your home as it takes for them to get a feel for the property and envision themselves living there. They won’t do things like open the closet doors and cabinets. Let’s face it, not many people buy a home if they haven’t thoroughly checked out the storage space! Did you?
Third, listen to your Realtor. If after a comparative market analysis, your Realtor recommends a price. Price your home very close to the price. The strategy of let’s price it 15% above that and see what happens doesn’t work well. Buyers and their agents have access to the same information your Realtor does and they will see that your home is overpriced. Most of your activity on your home will come in the first 45-60 days it is on the market. If you lower the price after that you can’t call those buyers back and say “just kidding”, most likely they have already purchased another property.
The goal is to sell your property. Put your best foot forward from the very beginning! Like your Momma said “you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.” The bottom line here is that your Realtor wants to sell your property and will do everything thing they can help you, but it is a partnership. Do your part and take your Realtor’s suggestions to heart.