What separates the good from the bad in today’s market?
There are three factors that make all the difference:
In a market like this, it is critical that you are realistic about your price. That said, it may not always be so clear what your home is worth. What it was worth 5 years ago or 2 years ago may not be even close to the value it is today. The only way to find that out for sure is to do your homework and compare the prices that other comparable homes in your area have recently sold for. Sites like Zillow.com can also help you estimate your home value, but don’t rely on their data alone. Use it in conjunction with your other research. Take a look at your home compared to your competition, and imagine if you were a buyer. Would you make an offer on the house at the price you have in mind?
10 years ago, only the most aggressive home sellers used techniques like staging. In today’s market, staging is a must. You need to give your home the right look and feel so it will be attractive to potential buyers. A good stager can help you achieve that look. While you’re at it, it is also useful to pay a home inspector to go through and identify any and all minor repairs, so you wont have a potential sale fall through for some trivial reason like not enough calk around the chimney. Do any and all fix ups and painting you can afford, as well as cleaning up the outside. Do everything possible to make your home stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.
The most important factor in getting your home sold at a price you can live with is to choose the right real estate agent to represent you. Contrary to what many people believe, not all realtors are created equal. Some work for a large company, others own their own office. Some are full-time, to others it’s just a weekend “sideline” to earn extra income to supplement a 9-5 job they have during the week. If you want to get good representation, you want to select a realtor that is full-time and owns their own agency.
Why is that important? Because most realtors who work for a large company split their commissions 50/50 with their head office. Realtors who own their own office keep most of their commissions. This gives the self-employed realtor the budget to invest in a much larger marketing campaign and drive more traffic to your home. The more exposure your home gets, the more likely it is to sell faster and at a higher price.