Today’s buyers have more information available at their fingertips (literally) than ever before. They are more discriminating, sophisticated and skeptical. So what are the secrets to selling your home for top dollar in today’s market?
Get the Facts – Get a Professional Market Overview
It is important to understand what is happening to the Real Estate market on a national level, because this is primarily the information the public hears on a daily basis. This is what your buyers (and most sellers) believe is happening in Real Estate today and it is important to understand their perspective.
Next, evaluate the overall picture of your local market (city or town) and how your community compares. While sale prices of homes in your community are most important, you also need to understand your competition and that will include other areas of your local market.
Finally, narrow down the statistics in your neighborhood. This can be critical as appraisers as well as savvy buyer’s agents will use this information when determining value. If there are a high number of distressed sales (bank-owned and short sales) in your community they will most likely be used as comparable sales.
Be sure to use actual facts and statistics from reliable sources. Take into consideration whether home prices and time on the market are going up or down and by how much, as all will be important when pricing your home.
Start at the Right Price
Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible when selling their home and their first inclination is to price their home high, thinking they can always come down in price later.
Statistics provided by the National Association of Realtors annual survey of Buyers and Sellers show that a listing that is too high frequently nets the seller LESS money at closing.
Buyers are looking for the best price and many have access to view homes in the multiple listing service. They are comparing home prices online and can see all of your competition.
Just as you compare prices and features when buying a new computer, television or car, buyers are looking at home after home looking for the one with the most features and benefits for the best price.
The same reasons that make a home sell fast, make a home sell for the most money. Your home attracts the most interest from buyers and agents during the first 4 weeks on the market and then interest begins to wane. A home priced well when initially listed with the best features can attract multiple offers and can sometimes result in a sales price over the list price.
A home that is priced over market value may be viewed and used by buyers to justify the purchase price of a competing home. If you need to sell your home, you will eventually lower your price. When you do get an offer it will probably be below your new asking price, resulting in a sales price even lower than if you had priced it there initially.
Appraisals can also be a consideration so price your home on value not cost. Keep in mind that it is unlikely that you will get a dollar for dollar return on home improvements. What you would like to net from the sale is not a consideration to the appraiser. If your home is under contract and it doesn’t appraise, you and the buyer may have to renegotiate the sales price in order to close on the sale of the home. This can be extremely stressful for all parties.
The REAL value of your home is what a buyer is willing to pay for it, and what you will accept. One final thing to keep in mind is that if interest rates rise by a percentage point, people who could otherwise afford your home may no longer be credit qualified to purchase your home.