In today’s economy, it is not uncommon to see homes take longer to sell. So whether you are the listing agent or the homeowner, you probably know the realities of your own market area. Be aware that the days of posting it on MLS with a couple of photos and waiting for a buyer are over. However, there are some great, straightforward suggestions and strategies that can help you sell your home faster and for more money.
#1: Take new photos. Make sure your photos are current, in good light, include neighborhood photos or anything else that helps show off the pluses to the home, not the negatives. People make a mistake when they assume they must have a photo of the kitchen or master bedroom, even when they are not a positive image…..use only photos of the positive features of the home!
#2: Change wording in MLS, on Realtor.com, all ads. There is no need to repeat floorplan info like number of bedrooms, since that is always available. Use current wording like: Warm and neutral, earth tones, open floorplan, light and bright, outdoor living, gathering space, study, multipurpose living area, separate children area, granite, stainless. Some more out-of-date phrases include: Built-ins, tile countertops, formal living or dining, wallpaper.
#3: Blast it on the internet including Craig’s List and Facebook. Remember to include the best photos and the best phrasing.
#4: Call your sphere of influence – whether you are the agent or the seller. Impersonal e-mails and internet postings do not generate the same response that a personal call will generate: “I have a home listed for some great people and I am really trying to get it sold for them”… or “I love my home but I have it for sale.” You can then invite them to an open house or just tell them a bit about the property. Do they know anybody who might consider looking? If nothing else, people will definitely remember you when they go to sell their own home!
#5: Check the price and check it again. View any comparables on the market personally. Use searches to compare all homes at similar price points in the same neighborhood, the same school zone, all with master bedrooms upstairs, all with a pool…..really dig deep to be sure you are considering all factors in your pricing. Gather showing statistics by price range and zip code to detect any patterns that might generate more viewings. Also be sure that you take advantage of the fact that almost all buyers today begin their search online: price your home directly on a price point like $200,000 so that you get those searching above the price and those searching below the price point……$199,900 is yesterday’s strategy!!
#6: Get serious about condition and presentation. Today’s real estate market seems to require a WOW factor to get a home sold…..either a wow price, a wow location, a wow staging presentation…look for your WOW! Average in pricing or presentation or location is having a hard time selling today.