One of the biggest mistakes people make when selling a house is not understanding real estate value. It doesn’t matter at all what you think your home is worth. The value of your home, and any improvements you made, is determined by buyers. What you enjoyed about your house is irrelevant when it’s time to sell it. Think in terms of what other people want, and use some of the following tips.
- Know your market. Find out what other similar houses have sold for, and have those examples ready to show potential buyers.
- Decide on your minimum price – the price below which you will just not move. Don’t tell your agent what this minimum is, but work with any buyers who make an offer above it.
- Clean the most visible things first. Buy a new mailbox, perhaps. If buyers fall in love with the house before they even enter it, they’ll forgive a lot of problems.
- Clean up the neighborhood. If there’s a neighbor who’s yard is a mess, give their kids $10 to pick up the yard. Spend another $20 to put flowers in any common-areas, and buyers will have a better first impression of the neighborhood.
- If you or your agent aren’t getting many calls, find out why. Is more advertising necessary, or is the price too high? Drop it fast, if price is the problem.
- Listen to comments of prospects. They will be more objective than you. If you hear several times that the kitchen is dark, get out the white paint.
- Find out what the average sales time is in your area. If your house is taking longer than average to sell, there is a problem. Usually it’s price.
- Be sure to ask your real estate agent what they plan to do – before you sign a listing agreement. Write down what he says, and hold him to his promises.
- If there are any known problems, such as an old roof, get an estimate for repairs. The sellers may want a $7,000 allowance for a new roof – until you show them your $4,000 estimate.
- Do any improvements that can realisically get you at least a two-to-one return on investment. If $300 to seal the driveway is likely to add $600 to the sales price of the home, do it. Consider first those things that are most visible.
There are dozens of things you can do to sell your house faster, and get a better price. If you don’t have time to do them all, start with the ones that will get the most “bang for your buck.”