The 2018 selling market is seeing rising prices, but inventories according to Kiplinger are still low and length of time on the market may be an issue for home-sellers.
So, how should prospective sellers proceed?
Professional organizers will always advise that before you begin a project, you need to have a plan… and selling a house is no small project. Here are project steps that you can apply right away to get that house on the market!
Know Your Goal
Ask yourself: What is my goal? Okay. Admittedly, that sounds like a silly question – my goal is to sell my house of course! Well, naturally. But “selling” the house is the goal put into one, sweeping, broad term. The true goal is much more specific than that. In clearer, more explicit terms, I could say:
My goal is to sell my house for a minimum of $375K, as quickly as possible (in less than 1 month) so we can go to closing before August 15th this year, because my kids start school on September 6th, and we are closing on the house we’re buying on July 28th and don’t want to carry 2 mortgages for over a month.
This is a specific goal. It answers the questions: What? How Much? By When? and Why? These are questions that, with a little thought and discussion, provide a realistic goal. So, I ask you as a home seller, what is your goal?
How will You Reach This Goal?
Okay, so you’ve identified your goal. Now, the next question to answer is: How will I reach it?
To use or not to use a realtor, that is the question.
- Will I use a realtor or list it myself (FSBO – For Sale By Owner)? Refer to your goal to make this decision and find out the benefits and risks of each.
For instance, if you’re in no rush and your goal is to make the most money possible, you may want to list on your own. Consider that listing on your own means you cannot count on a quick sale since you do not have access to the powerful listing sites that agents are privy to – and in today’s digital world, don’t doubt that that will make a difference. It will also mean that you have no way of doing any sort of background checks on the people who come to view your home. Wasting weeks or months with an unqualified buyer can cost you. On the up side, you can save as much as 6% of the sale price by listing on your own.
Can I list my home ‘as is’ or do I need to make updates before selling?
- Is it money or timing that is your primary concern? Once again, you will want to refer to your goals.
An updated kitchen or bathroom with certainly add value and increase your sale price. But, do you have time for construction delays? If you don’t have the time or cash, there are many smaller, cosmetic updates you can make. Either way, if you do not take time to look at your home with a critical eye – the eye of the buyer – you are most certainly going to be leaving money on the table.
Does my house need to be staged?
- Do you really need to take the ‘extra step’ and have your home staged? Back to your goals again!
Need to “get out of Dodge” right away? – Starting a new job next month in a different state or country? Well, then you really do want to go the extra mile. Why? De-cluttering, organizing, staging and listing with a successful realtor in your area are all proven keys to selling your home quickly and for the best price. An article in Forbes even goes so far as to remind sellers to keep the toilet seats shut. Yes, every impression makes a difference.
What about the FIRST impression?
- There is just no getting around it, making a good first impression is what is going to bring a prospective buyer through your front door. And, it is more than likely that this first impression will be made when your house is seen online. Whether you’ve hired a realtor, made home-improvements or used a stager, get this one right! Make sure your pictures are clearly focused, well lit, clutter-free and taken at angles that show off your home’s best features.
You’ve set your Goal and made your Plan, don’t miss your opportunity by second-guessing yourself. Since selling time is unpredictable and may require some patience and time, take advantage of this hot spring 2018 market and make your move. List it!