American Eagle Realty's Blog
Although there are a lot of sound reasons for hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home, objectivity is near the top of the list.
Homeowners, when left to their own devices, tend to overprice their property and overlook easy, inexpensive ways to improve curb appeal and overall marketability.
There's both an art and a science to effectively selling residential real estate, and when either of these aspects are neglected (the art or the science), opportunities for a speedy sale are often missed.
Whether it's because of emotional attachments to the property or a lack of knowledge about real estate marketing, home sellers sometimes undermine the sales process and send prospective buyers scurrying. If you're considering putting your house on the market in the near future, here are a few tips to help you maximize your chances for producing the best possible results.
- Avoid the temptation to price your house too high. Other than emotional attachment, some homeowners inflate their asking price because they're not on a strict timetable and can afford to wait. They incorrectly assume that if they wait long enough and show their home to enough interested prospects, they'll eventually get their high asking price. While that strategy may seem to make sense at first, it's actually based on a false premise. Once an overpriced house lingers on the market for months, its desirability drops sharply. Not only will prospective buyers assume that something's wrong with it, but they'll also catch on quickly to the fact that you're asking too much for the property. Unless an eccentric millionaire comes along who is absolutely in love with your house and has no qualms about writing out a large check for more than the house is worth, chances are your property will linger on the market indefinitely. In the vast majority of cases, house hunters are looking for a home that makes financial sense and provides a decent amount of investment value. Also worth considering is the fact that a property priced well above its fair market value could make it difficult or impossible for an interested prospect to obtain bank financing.
- It's usually a mistake to assume the house will sell itself. Failing to price a property competitively, maximize its curb appeal, and keep the interior looking impeccable at all times is a recipe for disappointment. Since first impressions are crucially important in attracting prospective buyers, no detail should be overlooked when putting a home on the market. When you consider the competitive nature of the real estate market and the fact that most serious prospects are going to carefully evaluate all aspects of a home before making an offer, it makes sense for you, the home seller, to avoid placing barriers, stumbling blocks, or disincentives in the path of potential buyers.
The bad news about selling your home is that there are dozens of mistakes you might make that could result in a lost sale, unnecessary price reductions, and delays in finding a buyer.
The good news is that the vast majority of seller mistakes are completely avoidable -- especially when you have an experienced real estate agent guiding you through the process and providing you with ongoing advice and marketing assistance.
Pricing and Perception
Setting too high of a price for your home is a common mistake -- one that's often difficult to recover from. Since "the clock is ticking" from the moment your home officially goes on the market, it's important to make the most of those first few weeks.
House hunters are often strongly attracted to homes that are advertised as being "just on the market." Those words can be very compelling because they imply newness, a limited opportunity, and scarcity. As the advertising industry has known for generations, consumers are drawn to products and services that are new, fresh, and in demand. However, just like yesterday's news or day-old bread, the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it becomes.
According to a Zillow study, homes for sale priced around or slightly below market value are almost 50 percent more likely to sell within 60 days than those priced 12 percent or more above market value.
Working with a knowledgeable real estate professional can help make sure you don't lose that initial out-of-the-gate momentum by pricing yourself out of the market. They'll base their recommendations on a number of factors, including a comparative analysis of recently sold homes in your neighborhood .
Here's a house-selling mistake that most people probably don't know about: You might be losing potential buyers because you've chosen an "odd selling price." The National Association of Realtors points out that listings may sometimes be excluded from Internet search results if the asking price is just a few thousand dollars above a typical pricing range. "Buyers search real estate websites for price ranges, such as 'homes between $250,000- $300,000.' If you set an odd price to make your listing stand out, say $302,499, you may miss some of your best potential customers."
If you realize after a few weeks that you've incorrectly priced your house, it not only becomes necessary to lower the price, but you also have to contend with a lower perceived value among prospective buyers.
A few other words and phrases that tend to whet the appetites of prospects searching for their next home include "move-in condition," "landscaped," and "updated." Many people also like the sound of granite countertops, maple hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens.
While it pays to know a little about pricing, home staging, and buyer psychology, getting advice and guidance from a seasoned real estate agent is usually your best bet for producing the fastest and most satisfying results in selling your house.
For home sellers, it may be easy to fall into the trap of overpricing your property. And if you're not careful, you may encounter a number of price-related problems, including:
1. Homebuyers will shy away from your house.
Homebuyers want to find high-quality and affordable residences that they can enjoy for years to come. However, if you overprice your house, you risk alienating large groups of homebuyers instantly.
Price represents a key factor for homebuyers, and as such, you'll want to offer a price that matches homebuyers' expectations and budgets. If you assess the real estate market closely, you should have no trouble establishing a fair price for your home.
For example, home sellers can compare and contrast their houses with residences that currently are listed on the housing market. By doing so, home sellers can evaluate the prices of comparable houses and set prices for their houses based on the current real estate market's conditions.
2. Your home may remain on the real estate market for an extended period of time.
Overpriced homes frequently take longer to sell than other residences. This means your house may linger on the real estate market for months, weeks or years if you fail to price it appropriately.
When it comes to pricing your home, you'll want to make a great first impression on homebuyers. Ultimately, if you establish a fair price from the get-go, you can accelerate the home selling process.
It also is important to note that homebuyers frequently can sense desperation. And the longer your home remains on the market, the more likely it becomes that a homebuyer may assume that a home seller is desperate to get rid of a property. Thus, you might wind up receiving offers far below your initial expectations if you overprice your house.
On the other hand, if you price your house aggressively, you can boost your chances of generating plenty of interest in your residence and receiving multiple offers that meet or exceed your expectations.
3. Your home will be difficult to promote.
There are many great features that help you home stand apart from others. Conversely, an above-average price will hurt your chances to differentiate your home in any real estate market and detract from your real estate agent's ability to promote your house.
For home sellers, it is crucial to listen to your real estate agent. This professional understands what it takes to promote a house and will be able to offer pricing recommendations based on the current housing market. Furthermore, your real estate agent has your best interests in mind and will do everything possible to help you optimize the value of your house.
Work with an experienced real estate agent to ensure you can determine the ideal price for your home – you'll be glad you did. With a real estate agent at your side, you can set a fair price for your residence and move one step closer to selling your residence.