There are four main ingredients to be successful in getting your house sold and all of the other nonsense is just personal promotion and justifying hefty commissions.
It sounds so simple, but it’s so true. If you have a property in a desirable location, it’s much easier to attract qualified buyers. Don’t underestimate the value of a quality school district either.
You really don’t have to look any further than a sample home in a new development to have some idea of what buyers want. Some call it curb appeal, while others refer to it as the WOW factor. Keep in mind, even though you’ve decided to move on, you want perspective buyers to fall in love with your house. We live in a world where if you want “top dollar” for your house it better have all of the upgrades and modern amenities.
If your house is worth $200,000 dollars and you’re asking $225,000 because “that’s what you need to get,” you’re probably wasting your time. I know of someone who once said; “the market will not determine what I get for my house, I will.” Well, two years later he’s still on the market, still overpriced, and working with his fourth real estate broker.
Be realistic and price the home within 3% to 4% of where it should ultimately sell. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to list it higher and negotiate down. If you get a “low ball” offer, so what, no one says you have to accept it. Chances are that when you place an offer on your next house, you’ll be looking for a deal as well.
If you’re selling your house and using a real estate broker, you need the house to be listed on the MLS, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. Over 90% of perspective homebuyers start their search here and then hire an agent to get them in the front door. The For Sale sign on the front lawn, the “just listed” postcards, and the classified ad in some fancy magazine… it’s all personal promotion and has very little, if any, impact on getting your house sold.
If you’re trying to avoid the traditional 4% to 6% sales commission and want to market the property on your own, you can still advertise on Zillow and Trulia. Once you find a buyer, a good title insurance/settlement company can handle the rest and assure ownership is properly transferred. They can prepare your agreement of sale and get your deal to the settlement table at a fraction of the cost of a traditional broker.
Remember, real estate agents don’t sell houses; they sell you on their ability to get your house sold. The difference between the house that sells in four hours and the one that sells in four months has more to do with these four ingredients and the current market conditions than it does a sales person with a magic touch.