As an investor, selling a home often represents about a month’s worth of hard work and dedication. In many cases, it is the culmination of several months of work. However, while it takes a lot to get to that point, there is still more to do on the horizon. Simply put, the house needs to be sold to make a profit. While extremely rewarding, the fact remains that a transaction must occur. To make sure all of your hard work does not go to waste, here are eight of the best-kept secrets for selling a home:
1.) Price Point
Selling a home can be as difficult or as easy as you want to make it. Assuming you choose the latter of the two, there is one critical step you must take: price the home competitively. While many sellers are hesitant to price their property below market value, it is perhaps the single best strategy when trying to sell a home. Accordingly, use comparables in your area to determine what the home is actually worth, and then consider reducing the price point. Investors are advised to take off approximately 15%, as it will attract buyers in even the worst of markets. The key here is to attract as many buyers as possible. The influx should initiate a bidding war in lieu of the competition. More than likely, they will bid up the price – beyond what it was originally worth. Creating a sense of competition can ultimately increase the price buyers are willing to pay.
As rudimentary as it may sound, lighting is one of the most important factors in selling a home. Having said that, take every step you can to maximize the lighting inside a home. Second only to location, lighting is the one thing that every buyer cites as a necessity. Proper lighting is essential in the home selling process. Fortunately, there are simple steps that can make a home brighter. Take down drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of light bulbs, and cut the bushes outside to allow sunshine in. Conversely, a poorly lit house will have the opposite impact. Improper lighting can actually turn off prospective buyers.
3.) Selling Agent
As an investor, you likely have an opinion on the prospect of hiring an agent for selling a home. However, there is really no downside to hiring a selling agent that knows what they are doing. While they may cut into your bottom line a little, their expertise will certainly be worth it in the end. They may even make you more money on the transaction, despite their commission. Conversely, the wrong selling agent can cripple a deal. Make sure your broker is well informed and knows everything about the local market. Essentially, the more they know, the more they will be able to help you.
4.) Quick Fixes
Financially savvy, quick fixes almost always pay off. It is when sellers overextend their resources and “over-upgrade,” that profit margins begin to shrink. It is much more difficult to recoup expenses on huge home improvement projects before a home is put up for sale. Instead, consider updates that will offer the most return. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout. While these changes do not amount to much individually, their cumulative presence can dramatically increase the aesthetic value of a home. Perhaps even more importantly, they do not eat up a lot of your budget.
5.) Avoid Personal Touches
One of the most important things to do when selling a house is to “de-personalize” it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of most of your stuff – put it in storage if you have to. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. In fact, get rid of everything you can. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space. Staging a home’s interior is just as important as improving curb appeal, as it provides a welcoming impression.
6.) Prioritize The Kitchen
Some experts may go as far as saying that you are not selling a home – you are selling a kitchen. The importance of the kitchen can’t be underestimated. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. When people see one high-end appliance, they may be inclined to think the rest are expensive too.
7.) Always Be Prepared To Show
As they say in the business, “always be showing.” At the very least, any house that is up for sale should always be “show-ready.” There is no way of knowing when a potential buyer will be stopping by. Therefore, not only is it critical that your home is always ready to show, but also yourself. You must make yourself available to any prospective buyers that show an interest. The alternative is basically being unprepared. You are essentially shooting yourself in the foot if you neglect to make your home available. It could be potentially devastating to your business if you miss the one buyer that could have helped your property.
8.) First Impressions
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal.
by Than Merrill