Tips for Sellers
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t shoot yourself in the foot and list your home at $260,000 when it really should be $200,000. You’re going to be competing against homes that are valued close to $300,000 and your home is probably not going to look that great in comparison. Fight in your own weight class – compete with Bryan/College Station homes that are actually comparable to yours.
The market may be slow and selling more challenging, but you can speed up the sale by pricing realistically and making use of other tips and tricks like the ones below:
1. Get the Signage Right
Don’t put up just any old for sale sign. This is usually the first thing that prospective buyers look for, so make sure that it’s two-sided, legible, and is in great shape (it can reflect badly on your property’s appeal if it isn’t). Do you have plenty of pedestrians in your neighborhood? Take advantage of foot traffic and include sales brochures. Sure everyone will know how much your asking price is, but nothing beats word of mouth advertising. Are you offering a deal sweetener or two? Add that to the sign too (just keep it brief).
2. Have a Backup
It’s a challenging market and you want to hedge your bets. Go right ahead and accept a second/backup offer, just make sure that you can live with whatever terms it has in case your primary buyer decides to step out of the picture. A second offer can act as the catalyst that will urge your primary buyer to close the deal. It can also make your buyer more willing to ignore issues that can pop up during pre-closing and make them think twice about renegotiation. Just bear in mind that accepting a backup offer carries an obligation to continue with the sale if your primary buyer backs out.
Today’s market isn’t exactly swimming with pre-approved buyers panting to give full-price offers. Those days are long gone and sellers now have to face up to the challenges of an uncertain, slow-moving market. While you can’t do anything about market forces, you can certainly control things like the state of your roof and pricing. Most of the time, homes don’t sell because they’re overpriced. Your sales strategy should involve making sure not only that your home is in the best shape, but also that it’s priced realistically.
3. Sweeten the Deal
Here are some things you can offer that can help speed up a sale:
A pre-sale home inspection and a home warranty. This is a knockout combo and provides prospective buyers with the assurance that your property is in great shape and that insurance will cover important repairs. Have copies of the relevant documents at hand.
Have a buyer that loves your house, but has a hard time getting over the living room carpet or the kitchen wallpaper? Throw in a decorating allowance.
Consider a lease option. With this option, buyers can lease your home for a stipulated period, with the option to buy (you’ll be paid option money). Part of the rent will apply to the purchase price and you can use the rest for your mortgage payments. One way to help make sure that the sale pushes through is to set aside at least 30% of the rent as down payment.
Seller or owner financing. This is best considered by those who already have considerable equity in their property or who already own it free and clear. Essentially, you’ll be acting as a lender, except you’ll be extending credit, not cash. You can opt to buy down the interest rate, set aside funds in escrow for mortgage payments, carry back a second mortgage, and more. It’s best to consult with your realtor and an attorney and to thoroughly assess the buyer’s creditworthiness.
Covering nonrecurring closing costs like the prepaid interest charge is a great incentive. You can also offer to cover property taxes for the first year. Note that paying points may also be tax deductible. While most lenders will have a say on the closing costs that you can cover, cash-strapped buyers will appreciate the offer.
TIP: If your home has been on the market for a month and you still haven’t had an offer, don’t wait to take stock. The longer it’s on the market, the lower the chances of selling it full-price. One way to renew interest is to make sure that whatever incentives or major improvements you’ve had done is reflected in your realtor’s advertising material.
TIP: Has your home been up for sale for several months already and you’re still not getting offers? Then it’s definitely time to talk to your agent. Ask him/her to ask other agents who’ve shown your home for feedback. Take note of recurring issues and correct them. Is it the price that’s keeping buyers away? Have it reduced as soon as you can.
TIP: A good agent will keep you regularly informed about their progress in marketing your home. If this isn’t the case with your agent, don’t hesitate to ask for regular detailed reports.
MAKE THESE 14 REPAIRS BEFORE LISTING YOUR HOME
Before putting your house on the market, you should first make sure that it’s in good if not great shape. A leaky roof, a sagging porch, or even just peeling paint – these are all major turn-offs. Get repairs done before listing your home as its condition is going to reflect on you. Here are the areas you should look into first:
1. Whatever worn or damaged flooring you have, whether cracked tiles or faded linoleum, needs to be fixed or replaced. Too expensive? Ask the buyer if they’d consider a renovation allowance.
2. Are there plumbing issues? Whether you just need to replace a washer or a toilet, get those taken care of.
3. Repair whatever cracks or holes the walls have and put a fresh coat of paint over it all.
4. Make sure that all your light bulbs and electric sockets are in good working condition.
5. Definitely repair or replace broken and/or creaky stairs.
6. Doorknobs and locks that stick are frustrating, replace them. It should be easy for buyers to explore the house.
7. This goes for doors as well, including the garage door. Don’t forget to repair or replace a malfunctioning garage door opener.
8. Torn screens and cracked windows are like black eyes. In short, unsavory. Get them repaired or replaced.
9. Cracks or stains in the entry walkway or driveway? Have them fixed or cleaned up. Is the required repair too extensive? Consider offering an allowance.
10. A newly painted exterior is always appealing. You can touch up specific areas or get a complete repaint done.
11. You’re not going to pass a home inspection if you don’t have good drainage. Have broken gutters replaced and make sure there are no missing downspouts.
12. Get broken stairs fixed or replaced. It looks good and you’ll avoid safety issues.
13. Deck looking faded? Often all you need to do is reseal it. Get broken boards fixed as well.
14. Don’t neglect roof repairs. Sometimes you’ll just need to replace or repair shingles and flashing, other times you may want to replace everything. You can add this to the sales price.
Staging is Essential to a Successful Home Sale
Check out the Energized Seller community website where you’ll find all kinds of practical advice on home staging and the many ways you can implement improvements in your home so it will sell fast and for the best possible price. Here you can get answers to specific questions – whether it’s about decorating tips or major home remodeling projects. Topics discussed range from the benefits of deep cleaning to how to live in a staged home.
A quick and successful home sale will require you to be proactive. A house that’s in good condition and is effectively staged sells faster and better – and in order to achieve this, you’ll have to get a handle on all your home’s details and strive not to get frustrated or discouraged. If you need inspiration, just head over to EnergizedSeller.com for real-life solutions and practical resources that will help you make the smartest and most cost-effective home improvements. If you want more insights, connect with Michelle “Myke” Leatham today.
OFFICIAL US POSTAL SERVICE CHANGE OF ADDRESS FORM
Need the official Change of Address Form from the USPS? You can get and complete the form online via the official website. Here you can enter all your change of address info and then just print the completed form. What’s more, you can also print out Address Change Notification Letters that you can send out to those whom you want informed about your move.
You should definitely plan your move ahead of time. Take a look at Packing Tips, Mayflower’s Six-Week Checklist for a Smooth Move.
Whether you’re moving in, out, across town or across the country, you’ll find the advice you need at Great Tips for the Move. While written for an Elders Quorum helping people with their moves, these tips are helpful for anyone preparing to move. Quorums may want to alter this list as well in order to meet their specific needs and distribute it to families who are about to move. Should you have comments or ideas you would like to add, please forward them to [email protected]
Take a look at What Did You Forget? and find out which 10 items are most forgotten in a move.
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