These five tips are imperative to consider when selling property. If your property is lingering on an active market, chances are that one of the listed tips could really make a difference. In truth, all sales hinge upon the first step listed below. Accurately pricing your property is extremely important because the initial activity and interest on a property is most robust at the beginning. If a property sits on a market too long, it may become hackneyed and shelf-worn to potential buyers; they may assume something is wrong with the property. This is escpecially important in an active market, like the Tacoma-Pierce County Area.
- Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.
- Prep! Get your house market-ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
- Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a seller.
- Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.
- Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been advertised for more than 30 days without an offer, be prepared to lower your asking price. If you think your price is fair, you need to get it more exposure. Remember there is a reason you have not received an offer.
Let me put it this way: if your property is priced accurately, it will sell.
5 Items to Have on Hand for the New Owners
These items may seem self-explanatory to give to new owners, but very few people actually follow-through with all five. My favorite on the list is number 3, especially if the new owner is from out-of-area.
- Owner’s manuals for items left in the house.
- Warranties for any items left in the house.
- A list of local service providers—the best dry cleaner, yard service, etc.
- Garage door opener.
- Extra sets of house keys.
Though all sellers should transfer ALL keys to any new owners, I always advise my clients to change the locks! You never know if someone else has an extra copy of a house key!
Unless the buyer who makes an offer on your home has the resources to qualify for a mortgage, you really do not have a sale. You should determine a buyer’s financial status before signing the contract. Consider these five questions:
- Has the buyer been prequalified or preapproved (better) for a mortgage? Such buyers will be in a much better position to obtain a mortgage promptly.
- Does the buyer have enough money to make a down-payment and cover closing costs? Ideally, a buyer should have 20 percent of the home’s price as a downpayment and between 2 percent and 7 percent of the price to cover closing costs.
- Is the buyer’s income sufficient to afford your home? Ideally, buyers should spend no more than 28 percent of total income to cover PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).
- Does your buyer have good credit? Ask if he or she has reviewed and corrected a credit report.
- Does the buyer have too much debt? If a buyer owes a great deal on car payments, credit cards, etc., he or she may not qualify for a mortgage.
Do not be afraid to ask these questions. It is a waste of your time to show your property to people who cannot buy it. If they can’t buy the property, you can’t sell it. Asking these questions will save you time, safeguard you from unneeded frustrations, and provide you with assurance that your property is under contract with qualified, able, and ready buyers.
If you are thinking of selling your property on your own — without a real estate professional — it is prudent to consider all aspects of the selling process, which inevitably includes the buying process as well.
Do you have the time and energy to sell your own property?
One of the keys to selling your property efficiently and profitably is complete accessibility. Many For Sale by Owner homes sit on the market for months on end, if not years, because the owner is unwilling or unavailable to show the property to potential buyers. Realize that a certain amount of time each day is necessary to successfully sell your home.
Can you overcome the “emotional attachment” that you may have for the property being sold?
Your home might be where your kids grew up, or where the family pet is buried. It might also have been designed, decorated, or landscaped to your personal tastes. Are you prepared to hear and accept buyer criticisms of your home? Are you unbiased as to what your home is really worth in today’s real estate market?
Are you prepared to deal with an onslaught of buyers who perceive a home for sale by owner as a potential bargain?
One of the challenges of selling is screening unqualified prospects and dealing with the bargain hunters. Selling for a bargain price may be worse than paying the agent commissions.
Are you prepared to offer financing options to the buyer?
By offering financing options you give the home buyer the ability to work on their terms and open up the possibilities of selling your home quickly and more profitably. You should brush up on your knowledge of different types of loans: ARM, FHA, USDA, PHFA, Conventional – and, also, know for what loan your property will qualify. Not all loans may be used with all properties.
Do you fully understand the necessary steps required in selling a home?
Many home sales by conducted solely by the home owner have been lost because of incomplete paperwork, lack of inspections, inadequate contracts, etc. If you are not completely informed of all the steps necessary to sell real estate for sale by owner, then contacting a legal professional is recommended. However, this option might eventually run you more financially than hiring a Real Estate Agent. Furthermore, it could be more time consuming . Selling real estate also includes several other professionals to be involved like, title company, inspector (home and pest), attorney, and escrow company, so make sure you know who to call when the time comes to close the deal.
These are just a few questions any potential seller should consider!
Make your home more appealing for potential buyers with these quick and easy tips. Some may seem self-explanatory, but you would be surprised!
- Trim bushes so they don’t block windows and reduce natural light
- Buy a new doormat!
- Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch
- Put new doorknobs on your doors
- Put a fresh coating on your driveway
- Edge the grass around walks and trees
- Keep your garden tools out of site
- Be sure kids put away their toys
- Buy a new mailbox
- Upgrade the outside lighting.
- Use warm, incandescent light bulbs for a homey feel
- Polish or replace your house numbers
- Clean your gutters
- Put out potpourri or burn scented candles
- Buy new pillows for the sofa
- Buy a flowering plant and put it in a window you pass by.
- Make a centerpiece for your table with fruit or artificial
- Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.
- Buy new towels.
- Put a seasonal wreath on your door.