There’s a long list of ingredients needed to sell your home quickly. Obviously, you want to make your home as clean and uncluttered as possible. You should also make sure any outstanding repairs are done. And, of course, all the little things you can do to make your home “show” well are important, too.
But the number one ingredient needed to sell your home quickly is the right price tag. If you set the price of your home just right, buyers will come to see it, and there’s a good chance you’ll get some good offers. If you price your home too high, however, few buyers will take an interest in your property and it might languish on the market for months. Worse, it might not sell at all.
So how do you determine the right price at which to list your home?
One of the best ways is to do an analysis of what similar properties in your area have sold for recently. What people are actually paying for homes like yours — in communities like yours — is the best indicator of the true market value of your home.
As you may know, it’s common to include a home inspection as a condition of an offer you make. It protects you from issues that you might not otherwise see during a viewing.
What do you do if the home inspector finds something wrong? The inspector might find a leak in the foundation, or windows that are old, drafty and need replacing.
Must you pass on a property that you otherwise like?
Not necessarily. Just because the home inspector discovered a deficiency doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t purchase the home. You should, however, bring the issue up with the seller.
Your REALTOR® will do that on your behalf, and look after your interests.
In many circumstances, your REALTOR® will be able to negotiate an agreement that is satisfactory to everyone involved. This will usually be in the form of a reduction in the sale price to cover some or all of the costs of the repair, or a requirement to have the seller get the repairs done before you move in.
So don’t worry if the inspector finds something wrong. Chances are you can still get the home and have any issues dealt with to your satisfaction.
What kind of stool is most likely to keep you from toppling over when you sit on it? Of course, two-legged stools won’t even stand on their own. Three-legged stools are okay, but still unstable. Four-legged stools are rock solid.
What does that have to do with shopping for a new home?
Well, if you want to find the right home quickly and for the best price, you need to have four things in place – the four legs of the stool. They will help ensure the experience goes smoothly.
The first leg is your wish list. You need to have a clear picture of the type of home you want. A bungalow or two stories? How many bedrooms? A large deck? Don’t forget about the neighbourhood. Need to be close to major highways for ease of commuting? Need good schools and playgrounds within walking distance?
The second leg is a pre-approved mortgage. Getting the financing handled upfront takes the guesswork out of what you can afford. Sellers and their REALTORS® are more likely to take any offers you make more seriously too.
The third leg is realistic expectations. Of homes that sell, 99% sell at or near their current market values. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal. It does mean you’re unlikely to find a “steal”. Fortunately, there are likely several wonderful properties available within your price range.
The final leg of the stool is a great REALTOR®. Choosing the right real estate professional is crucial to making your home shopping experience less stressful and more productive.
So when you’re hunting for a new home, make sure you start with a stable “four-legged stool”. It will dramatically increase your chances of finding a home that fits your needs and budget.
When shopping for a new home, create a wish list of the features and characteristics you want. After all, there’s no sense looking at properties with kitchenettes when you won’t settle for anything less than a full-sized kitchen that Julia Child would envy.
But there are probably some features that are nice-to-haves but not must-haves. For example, you might like a large wrap-around deck in your backyard, but would settle for a home that doesn’t have one. (After all, you can always install one later.)
That’s why it’s a good idea to create two wish lists. One list would include all the features you absolutely would not do without in your new home, and the other would list all those things you’d like to have, but are not necessities.
With two lists, you’ll make better decisions. Your shopping will be easier because you won’t be wasting time viewing homes that don’t meet the criteria on your “must have” wish list. The second list will come in handy when you’re comparing properties and deciding which one to buy.
Two lists also help to ensure you get most, if not all, of what you really want in your new home. And that makes all the difference.
You turn on the television and watch a news story about housing prices going down. Then you receive a flyer in the mail about a property around the corner that sold for a decent price. Next you read a newspaper article about the housing market on the upswing again.
It’s a little like being on a roller-coaster ride!
Unfortunately the ride isn’t much fun if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home. In fact, it can be very confusing and frustrating. You just don’t know if “now” is the right time to make a move.
In reality, the housing market has been fluctuating for decades. Yet, people sell their homes every day for good prices, and just as many people get into their next dream homes affordably.
When you hear news of market fluctuations, there are two important things to consider.
First of all, a lot of media information about the housing market is national, or at least regional. If the housing market is trending up or down nationally, remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean that your LOCAL market is doing the same.
In fact, it’s entirely possible for housing prices to be rising in your neighbourhood while they are falling nationally, and vice versa.
Secondly, if you’re selling a current property while buying another home, then the net effect of market fluctuations may cancel out.
Say, for example, that the local market is on the upswing. You’ll probably be able to sell your current home for a good price. However, the home you purchase will likely also be priced to reflect the upswing.
The same holds true when the market is down.
All that being said, there are some circumstances in which you need to consider market fluctuations when deciding whether or not to make a move. A good REALTOR® will help.
If you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach, or enjoying a bus tour through historic Paris, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. You should think about security tips for your vacation.
Most people know the basics of keeping a home secure while away. Here are some additional tips that are easy to miss:
Tell your kids not to boast about your fabulous vacation plans, especially on social media. The fewer who know that the house will be empty, the better.
Ask a neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers dropped at your doorstep. But don’t rely on that alone. Also call the newspaper and post office to temporarily halt delivery.
You can buy timers to automatically turn lights on and off. However, most will stop working if the power goes out and restart with the incorrect time when the power comes back on. That’s why you should keep at least a couple of lights turned on continuously, and not connected to timers.
If you’re leaving in the evening, or before dawn, don’t forget to open the blinds. Closed blinds during the day are a dead giveaway that the owners are away.
Usually when you list your home, you would prefer to sell your home quickly. It’s like being the first one served at a crowded ice cream parlour. It’s satisfying.
However, sometimes there’s more to it than that. There may be a truly urgent reason why you need to find a buyer for your property as soon as possible, such as a sudden job relocation.
If that’s the case, it’s important to explain your situation to your REALTOR®, who will be able to put together an action plan for selling your home quickly and for the best price possible.
During that conversation, ask what you can do to help the process along. For example, you may be able to:
Spread the word to your friends and other connections on Facebook.
Canvass your neighbours and tell them about your listing.
Stage your home so that it’s more attractive to prospective buyers.
When it comes to price, be prepared to be flexible. That doesn’t mean you must settle for a price far below your home’s market value. However, you do need to be prepared to accept a good offer rather than try to hold out for a great one.
Also be open to as many viewings and open houses as possible. Having many prospective buyers come through your home within a short period of time may be a little inconvenient, but the payoff might be an offer!
Finally, work with your REALTOR®. A good REALTOR® will know the local market well and have many ideas for selling your property fast.