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The market is always right!
A home seller often thinks they know their home and its value better than anyone. The truth is, it’s the market that decides a home’s value. I have yet to find a home to which this rule does not apply. It doesn’t matter if it is a dilapidated shack or a glamorous estate.
Regardless of the property’s condition, there is a “low-ball” buyer who will come along, (they usually call themselves “investors”) and say the “price is right” and offer a contract for sale. The market will decide when the price of the house matches the product. Is your home priced accordingly? Is it updated and in proper repair?
Is reluctance to complete repairs going to force you out of the retail market and into the wholesale market? Do not invite investors or buyers in unless the repairs have been made. The buyer and other agents will compare your home against its competitors in the marketplace.
If you have no source of liquid or borrowed funds to make these changes, then lower the asking price, reflecting its present “as-is” condition. The property will entice someone solely on value.
Conversely, as we saw before, when a house is overpriced the market will respond with a lack of interest and fewer showings. Price fixes everything.
Preparation is the key Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Prepare the house and your emotions for the long haul. A home sale involves showings, cleaning, lifestyle, and process flow. Be prepared for everything.
First, you and your entire family, including pets, need to be able to easily vacate the house for a showing with an hour’s notice without an ounce of stress. If there’s stress involved, it is less likely you’ll say yes, and more likely you’ll avoid showings. The goal is to say yes to showings —every time. Don’t miss an opportunity.
Sharpen your axe and make sure you’re prepared for last-minute showings. Don’t be so strict in your boundaries that it becomes a pain to show the house.
Have a plan to execute quickly. And just as important—get everyone in the family on the same page.
When a buyer walks in, how will they see your home? The condition of your property will be inviting, repellent, or neutral. Neutral means nothing special. We want the buyer to KNOW your home is something special when they first set foot inside.
Remove, fix, paint, or patch anything that makes the house look as if it isn’t ready to be sold. In Sales and Marketing 101, product positioning (the placement of your home, in this case) will make or break the sales experience and profitability. Present your home in its best condition, competitively priced with the best terms available, and the sale will be much more fluid. Home buyers seek a fresh, clutter-free environment with which to fall in love, one that appears to be well cared for and in good repair.
As in fine dining—presentation is everything.
In today’s world, preparation applies to the virtual environment, too.
The average home buyer has already spent hours on the Internet searching for homes. They’ve watched the virtual tour and have seen inside your living room. Online, the photos may make your house look like a showroom or a model home. Will the on-site tour live up to the online images? Both impressions are equally important.
The condition of your property starts with clear pictures on the Internet, professional photography that captures all the positives, diminishes any negatives, and relays visually-stimulating scenes in every area of your home. By continuing this same mindset with the first face-to-face visit with the home, you create confidence with the prospective buyer and build upon that initial image of credibility. This is a home they liked online, and when they visit this becomes a home they like when they’re standing inside of it. Real estate agents call it curb appeal. There’s that 10-second rule when meeting people, where you sum up who they really are immediately . . . that first impression. Houses are the same.
Make sure your home is inviting, and have it cleaned from the curb to the front door. Once the buyer enters, let nothing be offensive or disorganized. Pay attention to the details! How does it smell? Make sure there’s no odour, clutter, picture, sound, or furnishing that is overpowering. Make every detail positive and memorable.