So, you are looking to find the perfect buyer for your home but you don’t know where to start and how to get to achieve this goal. Whether you are looking to relocate or simply you need the money from it, selling your house might be tricky especially when you have no clue on how to get around it. There are many options on the market right now that can help you and assist you but that doesn’t mean it is going to be any easier. We’ve all heard about how “bad” the real estate market is. But what’s bad for sellers can be good for buyers, and these days, savvy buyers are out in spades trying to take advantage of the buyer’s market. Here are 13 thing you can do to help sell your house. A hint before you dive into the rest of them would be to sell your house online, as we live in a world in which online marketing is one of the best policies and best alternatives to approach so why not give it a try?
- Audit your agent’s online marketing. 92% of homebuyers start their house hunt online, and they will never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings aren’t compelling. In real estate, compelling means pictures! Studies on the matter show that listings with more than 6 pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that had fewer than 6 pictures.
- Post a video love letter about your home on YouTube or any other selling site that you find interesting. Some of them allow you to post videos and multiple pictures so you will have all the options you need to find the perfect buyer. Make sure you are telling your prospective buyers about the best bits – what your family loved about the house, your favorite bakery or coffee shop that you frequented on Saturday mornings, etc. Buyers like to know that a home was well-loved, and it helps them visualize living a great life there, too. So giving your insight on the matter is always going to help.
- Let your neighbors choose their neighbors. If you belong to neighborhood online message boards or email lists, send a link to your home’s online listing to your neighbors. Also, invite your neighbors to your open house – turn it into a block party. That creates opportunities for your neighbors to sell the neighborhood to prospective buyers and for your neighbors to invite house hunters they know who have always wanted to live in the area. Neighbors can do miracles and have an impressive contribution to your selling process if you give them this opportunity.
- Facebook your home’s listing. Facebook is the great connector of people these days and it can also be a great tool when it comes to selling things, especially houses. If you have 200 friends and they each have 200 friends, imagine the power of that network in getting the word out about your house! But don’t just simply make a post about how you are planning to sell your house. Add your house on one of the selling sites or advertising sites out there, with all the details needed and then share the link to your facebook account that way everyone understands it is a serious matter. If you simply add your house for sale on facebook, you will not have much success as this is not the profile of the social network. But if you share the link to the advertising site you might have real chances of finding the right buyer, especially if you ad is as good as it can get and very detailed!
- Leave some good stuff behind, as a nice bonus for the new buyer. We’ve all heard about closing cost credits, but those are almost so common now that buyers expect them – they don’t really distinguish your house from any of the other homes on the market anymore. What can distinguish your home is leaving behind some of your personal property, ideally items that are above and beyond what the average homebuyer in your home’s price range would be able to afford. That may be stainless steel kitchen appliances or a plasma screen TV, or it might be a golf cart if your home is on a golf course. Depending on what you can leave behind, your buyer might be happier and more interested in purchasing the house especially when they see all the goodies that it comes with.
- Beat the competition with condition. In many markets, much of the competition is low-priced foreclosures and short sales. As an individual homeowner, the way you can compete is on condition. Consider having a termite inspection in advance of listing your home, and get as many of the repairs done as you can – it’s a major selling point to be able to advertise a very low or non-existent pest repair bill. Also, make sure that the little nicks and scratches, doorknobs that don’t work, and wonky handles are all repaired before you start showing your home.
- Stage the exterior of your home too. Stage the exterior with fresh paint, immaculate landscaping and even outdoor furniture to set up a Sunday brunch on the deck vignette. Buyers often fantasize about enjoying their backyards by entertaining and spending time outside.
- Access is essential. Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. And many foreclosures and short sale listings are vacant, so they can be shown anytime. Don’t make it difficult for agents to get their clients into your home – if they have to make appointments way in advance, or can only show it during a very restrictive time frame, they will likely just cross your place off the list and go show the places that are easy to get into.
- Get real about pricing. Today’s buyers are very educated about the comparable sales in the area, which heavily influence the fair market value of your home. And they also know that they’re in the driver’s seat. To make your home competitive, have your broker or agent get you the sales prices of the three most similar homes that have sold in your area in the last month or so, then try to go 10-15% below that when you set your home’s list price. The homes that look like a great deal are the ones that get the most visits from buyers and, on occasion even receive multiple offers. (Bidding wars do still exist!) So, make sure you check the site that you are planning to post your house on and see what are the prices there before you establish your own.
- Get clued into your competition. Work with your broker or agent to get educated about the price, type of sale and condition of the other homes your home is up against. Attend some open houses in your area and do a real estate reality check: know that buyers that see your home will see those homes, too – make sure the real-time comparison will come out in your home’s favor by ensuring the condition of your home is up to par.
- De-personalize. Do this – pretend you’re moving out. Take all the things that make your home “your” personal sanctuary (e.g., family photos, religious décor and kitschy memorabilia), pack them up and put them in storage. Buyers want to visualize your house being their house – and it’s difficult for them to do that with all your personal items marking the territory as yours.
It might be hard for you to say good bye to your home where you spent wonderful times with your friends and family but, considering that you have serious reasons for doing so, you need to make it as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved. A good ad on the right site will bring you the perfect buyer and you will get the best outcome out of the entire situation. All is good when it ends good, like they say, so think about all the efforts that you are making as an investment and not a waste of time. Nothing is wasted when you are trying to sell a property and every detail can make the difference between a successful sale and a failed one.
- De-clutter. Keep the faux-moving in motion. Pack up all your tchotchkes, anything that is sitting on top of a countertop, table or other flat surfaces. Anything that you haven’t used in at least a year? That goes, too. Give away what you can, throw away as much as possible of what remains, and then pack the rest to get it ready to move.
- Listen to your agent. If you find an experienced real estate agent to list your home, who has a successful track record of selling homes in your area, listen to their recommendations! Find an agent you trust and follow their advice as often as you can.