In our last article, we tackled the notion of preparing for your home sale in today’s seller’s market. The market should be moving very fast this spring and summer. However, you must be prepared and have a good plan in place to make the sale as successful and profitable as possible. If you have not read Part 1 yet, please click the link below:
We have already talked about the importance of having a plan and how certain desirable (or undesirable) features can affect your home’s value in the eyes of today’s home buyers. We also mentioned how it could benefit you to make some upgrades and repairs before putting your house on the market to increase its desirability and resale value.
What Are Home Buyers Really Looking for?
There is more to preparing your home than just fixing up some holes in the wall and slapping on a new coat of paint. You really do have to put yourself in the minds of the buyers and understand what they will and won’t like. We are assuming that you are also planning to buy a new house yourself, so you will actually be in the shoes of the buyer soon if you haven’t already started looking for a new home. We’ll cover this part of planning more in Part 3, so stay tuned.
What features are you looking for? What about your current house would appeal to you and what wouldn’t? Of course, whether you are planning to upgrade your living situation (move up) or downsize into a smaller home, you can still tap into your own home search criteria to get a better idea of how appealing your current home will be in today’s competitive real estate market.
The Benefits of Hiring a Realtor®
The next major step of your home selling plan should be to hire a Realtor®. Too many sellers are making the mistake that they can sell their houses on their own. It’s easy to understand the thought process. The market is hot. Home prices are up and buyer demand is through the roof. All you need to do is put a “For Sale” sign in the yard and the offers will be pouring in. You could sure save some money on the deal by not paying real estate commissions.
That may be somewhat true. However, do you know how to sort out the good offers from the bad? Are you prepared to negotiate and complete the contractual details of the transaction? Will you really be saving money or are you potentially costing yourself money because sale doesn’t turn out to be as profitable as possible? Good real estate agents actually pay for themselves by bringing measurable added value to the table. Remember that most buyers will be represented by a real estate agent, who is preparing the offers with their clients in mind. They aren’t looking out for the seller’s best interests. Hiring an agent to represent you during your sale ensures you have a professional working to protect your side of the deal.
Home Staging & Marketing
It’s a common misconception that you don’t need to stage or market your home in a seller’s market. This is simply not true. These important steps will add significant value to your property by attracting more buyers and presenting your home in its best possible light. You want your house to be seen by as many potential buyers and real estate agents as possible. This, in turn, leads to more showings and more offers.
Setting the Right Price
A Realtor® can analyze market trends in your area and help you set the right price for your home. You want to find the “sweet spot” that will attract buyers and draw competitive offers. If you set the price too high, not enough people will be interested. If you set it too low, you will get low-ball offers. Set it just right and you will increase your offers and potentially create a bidding war between buyers who are being extra aggressive in a seller’s market when housing inventory is so low and mortgage loans are still relatively cheap.
Reviewing Purchase Offers
A real estate professional will also be able to help you review the purchase offers and sort out the good ones from the bad. The one with the highest price is not always the best. It could be loaded with contingencies and complications that will make the closing process a nightmare. You also want to look at the buyer’s financial situation. If their offer doesn’t include a mortgage pre-approval letter or cash backing, then you’ll probably want to move onto the next one. Mortgage complications and funding issues will cause delays and can derail a transaction completely. The seller assumes all the risk during closing. If the deal falls through because of the buyer, then you are right back as square one.
Should I Get a Home Pre-Inspection?
This also relates back to getting your house prepared for sale in terms of making repairs. If you know of any issues that you have not fixed, be sure and disclose them in the listing. Home inspections can also derail the transaction if major problems are found that were not previously disclosed. Many of today’s sellers are opting to get home pre-inspections in order to know everything that the buyer’s home inspector will be looking for when that time comes. This allows the seller to be much better prepared and address the issues long before they cause problems during the home sale.
These are just a few more key tips to remember when preparing to sell your home and putting together a successful selling plan. In Part 3, we will talk about your planning from a personal perspective—as in what is next for you after your house sells?
For all your home buying and home selling needs in Southeastern Pennsylvania or Northern Delaware, contact The Cyr Team today.