Selling Top Tips from Top Agents

helpful tip postitSelling your home can be a very emotional experience for you. But often, those emotions can be the very thing that wrecks a great deal.

How can you best position yourself for a great sales experience?

First, listen to your agent. Realize that you’re hiring a professional who knows how to do this. The key is to separate emotional qualities from your home from the basic functional qualities, and your agent can help you do this. Yes, your house is unique – but so is everyone else’s. But if the goal is to sell, and sell quickly, then you’re best off trusting your real estate professional, even if some advice may seem trivial – such as painting a wall – or counterintuitive – such a cutting the price.

To help you get started, these tips are from experienced agents who say these are areas where sellers often need persuading:

1. Price it right; price it low This seems counter-intuitive. Often, the market will take care of it. For example, an agent recently priced a house at $235,000, even though it had been appraised at $250,000. The house sold within days, for $265,000. “The lower price quickly drew competing bids, which drove the final price up.” If you start higher and lower the price later, it will never get the same interest. When you start lowering the price, people wonder what’s wrong, and if it’s been on the market for a while, people will lowball their offers. Get an independent, certified appraisal and list it there, no higher. “Some sellers think if they price it 20% higher, it will give them room to negotiate. But the rule of thumb is to price it where the last comparable home sold or right below.” Your agent can give you a Comparative Market Analysis to help you price your property right.

2. Try a fresh sales approach Sometimes, an agent can have ideas that seem completely strange out out of the box. Sellers think you need to have ads in the newspaper and an open house every weekend, but that has nothing to do with the real value of a property. So listen to your real estate agent and trust if they have ideas that seem “new” – it may be the exact thing that is needed to generate interest in your property.

3. Don’t try too hard to fight the market Sometimes, a market can seem “unfriendly”. Perhaps there are problems with your property that are not your fault – such as some type of business was built nearby that lowered the value of your property; or a sinkhole opened up next door; or there was a chemical spill nearby. At some point, if you really want to move, you may have to consider taking a loss – there’s only so much an unfriendly marketplace can offer.

4. Remember, renovations aren’t a magic bullet Sometimes an owner will think “if I renovate these 10 things, I can sell for this amount I want”. But without lowering price, renovations alone often aren’t enough. Price is still what’s moving houses for sale. And find an agent willing to be brutally honest. Some agents want to give an owner as big of a number as they can to get the listing, but have no chance of delivering on that number.

5. Don’t skip the online sales push A home that relies on its good personality alone won’t cut it. One agent received a listing that had been on the market for longer than needed, and when he reviewed the property photos online he realized it looked terrible. So he took new professional photos and helped stage the home, and it sold – without lowering the price.

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