By John Stemlar
Marketing and selling a home is a collaborative undertaking between you and your agent. Success requires commitment, attention to detail and follow through by both you and you agent. Consider these tips to get your home sold in the shortest time and at the highest price.
1) Price Strategically
Research, market knowledge and experience are the foundation of a successful pricing strategy – one that gets your home sold quickly and for the best price. Your home’s unique attributes, competing listings, recent comparable sales, and market momentum all come into play. Resist the temptation to over price. A home priced “out of its league” can’t compete against those priced to the market; it will likely languish on the market before selling for less than it would if priced correctly from the start.
2) Make the Obvious Repairs
From a buyer’s perspective, a home that appears to be well-maintained probably is. Dripping faucets, flickering light fixtures and cracked window panes will make prospective buyers leery of the parts of the home that they can’t readily see. Make the obvious repairs to your home; the objective is to impress upon buyers that your home has been lovingly cared for day-to-day.
3) Stage Your Home
Home staging is simply preparing a home to appeal to the broadest range of buyers. Staging a home generally involves neutralizing the decor, de-cluttering, de-personalizing, adjusting lighting and arranging the existing furniture and accessories. Staging accentuates a home’s best features and downplays any marketing challenges (like small rooms or an awkward floor plan). Staged homes are proven to sell quicker and for more money than those that are not staged.
4) Have a Professional Photography Strategy
Professional photography is the cornerstone of any serious home marketing effort; it is an absolute must, regardless of a home’s price point. Great photography delivers traffic – it generates buyer excitement and makes your home a “must see.” Even after touring the home, buyers often revisit online photos and forward them to family and friends, who can influence buying decisions. Keep in mind that the primary objective of the photo strategy is to “entice” buyers, rather than to simply convey information; most agents fail to understand this and bog down the listing with too many photos.
5) Keep Your Home Show Ready
Agents often give little notice before a showing, your home should always be show-ready. Keep the kitchen and baths sparkling clean, the trash empty, odors controlled, lightbulbs working, carpets clean, yard manicured etc. Every showing matters!
6) Make Agent Showings Easy
The easier it is for agents to show a home, the more often it will be shown. The more often a home is shown, the quicker it will sell. Make it convenient for agents to show your property by minimizing showing time restrictions and notice requirements. Most agents schedule multiple showings per buyer outing; if your home is difficult to fit into the tour, it may get skipped.
7) Actively Manage the Listing
Marketing and selling a home is an on-going campaign. The marketplace is dynamic; new buyers enter and the competition changes daily. Following up on agent showings and staying current on the competition are critical. Strategic repositioning in the market, including price adjustments (up or down), modifying descriptive text and even seasonal updates to exterior photography are often called for. Success requires your agent’s commitment to actively managing your listing day-to-day.
8) Negotiate the Best Deal
An agent’s contract skills, negotiating savvy and transaction experience are professional qualifications that are too often overlooked. A quality purchase offer is worthless if it is not successfully negotiated to a contract and/or the transaction is not professionally managed through closing. Make sure your agent has the qualifications to negotiate and close the best deal for you.
John Stemlar is a Principal and the Managing Broker of Sage Real Estate Advisors, a boutique Atlanta residential real estate firm.