Strategies for Success
By Lisa Lee
The recent turnaround in the real estate market is providing a great opportunity for sellers. Many neighborhoods are seeing increased buyer demand, multiple-offer situations and bids-over-asking price.
If you are selling your home in today’s competitive market, simply listing your house may sell it — but it won’t get you the best deal. As a seller, your goal is to attract the largest number of qualified buyers to secure the highest sale price in the shortest time. Statistics show that the longer your house stays on the market, the lower the purchase price will be.
FIND THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT
“When prices are climbing, a good comparative market analysis is key to setting the best price, so look for an experienced agent who knows your specific neigh-borhood and the properties in it well,” advises Scott Higashi, executive VP of sales at Prudential Locations.
It also is important to find an agent with whom you feel comfortable and can commu nicate well. It’s important to set clear goals together and to decide how involved you will be in the selling process. Talk with your agent about your expectations and a plan for marketing your house.
A good agent can make the difference between a smooth sale and a stressful one.
SET THE BEST PRICE
In a competitive market, you want a price that makes the most of the market but doesn’t overestimate it. This isn’t as simple as taking the last sale price on your street and raising it by 5 or 10 percent. If you price too high, you scare off potential buyers.
In addition to the recent sales of comparable homes, look at factors that affected those sales: Are prices trending up and by how much? Did they have multiple offers? Did they sell for more than asking price? How fast did they sell?
Next, assess your property for features that affect value and desirability: Is there a pool or a view? Beautiful landscaping? Corner lot, cul-de-sac or quiet street? The quality of remodels and con struction materials can affect value, too.
“The bottom line is, the value of a property is not determined by the seller or the agent,” says Higashi. “It’s how the buyer sees the property that matters. Only the buyer can say, “This is a $ 2 million view, and I’m willing to pay that for it.”
PREPARE YOUR HOME TO SHOW ITS BEST
“When showing your home, you want to create a picture in which potential buyers can see themselves living,” says Karen Robertshaw, a partner and REALTOR® at Prudential Locations, who has blogged about effective ways to stage homes.
Robertshaw suggests that sellers walk through their home with their agent as a prospective buyer would. “Are there small or easy cosmetic touches that can help you sell the home? Check flooring, plumbing and lighting fixtures. Are there cost-effective changes that can increase your sales price or the size of your buyer pool? Staged homes sell faster and for more money, so at the very least, you want to de-personalize and de-clutter your home.”
POSITION YOUR HOME WITH TARGETED MARKETING
There are standard tactics to advertise your property: “For sale” signs, print and online listings, and open houses. In addition, a good agent will strategically position your house in the marketplace.
“An agent’s job is to look at the current neighborhood marketplace to see where your house fits in and to create a marketing strategy that gets it in front of the right set of buyers,” says Higashi. “A lot of what Prudential Locations’ agents do to position a property is based on experience and training. Some of it is objective — past sales data, current trends, competitive listings — and some of it is creative.”