Price it right! Thinking that you can start high and lower the price if it fails to sell in the first couple of days or weeks is a mentality held by ignorant homeowners. That may sound strong, but recognize that you have one chance to introduce your house to a potential buyer. Maybe that buyer seen and ad, stopped at an open house, or even seen the lawn sign go up. The potential buyer is interested and excited about your home, until they call and discover that you are optimistically overpriced. That buyer will not likely ever revisit the property, phone on it again, watch to see if the price moves down to a realistic level, etc. You have one chance, don't mess it up.
Position yourself in the right price range. Buyers search by price range, such as between $200,000 and $225,000. Make sure your property is properly positioned so that it is the best value within a standard price range. For example, pricing it at $230,000 could miss the people looking for a bargain on a home in the $200,000 to $225,000 range. Look at homes in the price range, is your home the largest, the most upgraded, have the most inclusions? If you cannot name concrete and specific reasons why your home is better than similarly priced homes, neither can a buyer. (and I am not talking about anything that personalizes the home!!!)
You also need to be prepared. Delay on the seller's part is one reason that deals often fall apart. Before you list your home, have information readily available about your schools, taxes, utilities, condo documents, homeowners association info, any neighborhood covenants and information about liens that have to be released prior to closing. Be ready to hear an offer immediately and to deal with it at a moments notice.
Market to people who are likely buyers, not everyone who reads the paper. In addition to placing an ad in the newspaper and using the multiple listing service, you should advertise to people who are already in the market for a house. For example, have your real estate agent pull a list of people who have just listed their own house within a five mile radius of your home. People are likely to want to stay within the same school district if they have kids.
Any schmuck can plant a sign in the yard and put an ad in the paper. If that is what your agent is doing to sell your house, start looking for a new one now because you might find a wiser one after your listing expires for the first or second time.
In 2009, buyers want traditional values and modern techniques. They are more sophisticated and educated then half the industry members and so called 'professionals'. Hire an agent who has some skill!!!!!
If possible, offer terms. Cash buyers are becoming harder to find in a market where financing is tougher to get. Offer creative financing terms to attract more buyers. Sometimes a skilled agent can overcome many buyer objections by utilizing financing terms. If your real estate agent has no idea why TERMS beat PRICE, get ready to watch your house not sell.
Stay tuned, in my next blog I plan to give Jeff Foxworthy a run for his red-neck job, lol.
Here are a few of my favorite past articles from my Lethbridge real estate and mortgage blog you might have missed or wish to recommend them to a friend.
Common Financial Problems - Avoid these financial mistakes
Get Your Credit Score UP - Invaluable insight into your credit score
Mortgage Guidelines Get Tighter - Harder and harder to borrow money
Is Your Mortgage Company Out of Business in 2009? - What to do when your bank goes broke
What is wrong with MLS - Is your info being abused?
Survivor - Real Estate Edition - Let's vote a few more off the island
Robert May is a Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed mortgage associate and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as mortgage financing, refinancing/renewals, preapprovals, and home equity financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at www.LethbridgeLoans.com
Let me share my 15 years experience in the local Lethbridge real estate and financing market with you! It is the first step towards making a profitable real estate decision.