There are several considerations to address when preparing to sell a home.
Let’s take this one step at a time:
1. Setting The Asking Price:
You decided to sell but, have you decided how much to ask? Is your asking price too high? Is the asking price too low? Will your home sell right away or sit for months? Your asking price will be the #1 factor on how many leads you generate. Of course the asking price “must” relate to your market. Setting your price needs to be more than just a short thought… Once your home hits the market, you could score a potential buyer right away or loose your buyer to a property that is comparable for a lesser price.
Your asking price “will” determine how long the property will be on the market.
When setting the price you should always consider these factors:
Location, Condition, and the amount of comparables on the market.
Location: In the Quad Cities there have always been areas that seem to obtain higher home values than others. You have hear it before, and will hear it again: it is all about location, location, location. With that being said, be sure that you are not using comparables from a different area than your own. Try to stay within a certain radius. Try 3 miles, 5 miles, or even 10 miles within your area first before moving outward.
Condition: The condition of your property may or may not compare to those that are currently on the market. Take a good look at your property. Evaluate the overall condition. Address any and all deterrents. If you have a deterrent – there are only two ways to handle them: 1) fix the deterrent 2) offer an allowance to remedy the deterrent. How do you know if you have a deterrent? If your home needs expensive repairs, does not have a garage, does not have central air, etc – you have a deterrent.
Amount Of Comparables On The Market: Current comparables on the market will be your competition! Yes, you will compete for the buyer… make no mistake about that. When gathering comparables, be certain they are actual comparables. Do not compare your ranch home to a two story or villa. Do not compare your 2012 home to a 1984 property. Do not compare your 2 bedroom home to a 3 bedroom home without allowing the monetary difference of an additional bedroom.
Comparing recently sold properties will always be your best bet. Those properties found sellers at that price. Always check the county assessor’s page to get the actual sales price. Some websites only post the last asking price and never update the actual sales price.
What if you have done your homework and are still unsure about the price?
Consider getting a professional appraisal.
Unlike comparative market analysis, a professional appraisal is the cornerstone for any financial institution’s decision to loan money on a home. If they use a professional appraisal to obtain current market value – you should consider this as well.
2. Getting The Property Ready
Having all the property information readily available will save you time and will surely help you in your sales campaign. Take the time to gather all the details.
Create an information sheet:
Be sure to include all pertinent information such as: room measurements, square footage per level, lots size, current taxes,, etc. Also be sure you list all the updates, the year the update was made, etc.
Stage the property:
Whether the home is occupied or vacant, there are ways to improve appeal.
Exterior Staging: “Curb Appeal” is very important and a lot of sellers do not give this enough attention. Buyers want to pull in and go “wow I would love to live hear”! Take a look around to see what you can do to increase your property’s appeal. Get opinions from friends and family, remove any and all clutter, kid & pet toys, spruce up the landscaping by adding some mulch or do some trimming. Try searching for curb appeal online… There are lots of great tips out there and it is worth the time to get that “wow” factor.
Interior staging: Go room to room looking for ways to make each more appealing. Move furniture around to show more flooring… you are selling square footage – make it look spacious and not crowded. If the room has a dark spot – add a light… If there are scuffs or scratches – fix them. Small repairs can add up to overall increases in appeal. You want buyers to see you have “Pride of ownership”.
3. How To Sell: By Owner “or” by Agent “or” Both?
The next biggest decision after setting the asking price will be how will you sell the home? Most sellers attempt to sell by owner initially in order to save equity. Let’s take a quick look at the biggest advantages & disadvantages of selling by owner:
Pros of selling by owner:
– Save Money! Saving a high percentage of your equity drives most people to selling by owner.
– There are a lot of options for fsbo sellers to use these days.
Cons of selling by owner:
– Doing the work! This takes a lot of time… Setting the strategy, doing the prep work, completing all the documentation, generating leads, finding comparables, gathering all the correct and current information, setting up appointments, getting ready for showings, having open houses, and dealing with all the legalities, etc, etc. All of this can be completely frustrating for some sellers and they just want to move on with their lives the easiest way possible.
– Some of the fsbo options lead to dead ends or are more trouble than they are worth! Take the time to review each option you have and be certain the site or company is working in your best efforts. If they are info gathering and sending leads to premier agents – you may have received a free online ad, but are sending your leads elsewhere! You would have to do all the work just to give the leads away? Free isn’t always free… seems sites like that are costing you more than you know.
– If you don’t have success selling by owner, typically you end dropping your asking price and end up paying a large commission. This situation happens more that you would think. The homeowner moves to a quick decision to eliminate their frustration. Sometimes, a professional can get you on the right track right away… selling quickly and at an acceptable price… eliminating a lot of wasted time and unwanted frustration.
If you are struggling with the idea of selling fsbo vs paying a commission – visit this website: www.halfthecommission.com
The brokerage that owns the site offers a program that allows you to sell by owner and have agent services. Most people are not aware of this option and often ask: “how does that work” ? In short: You pay an upfront fee to get your property on the local MLS, Realtor.com, and all the real estate sites that feed off the MLS. If you sell the home, you do not pay the agent another dime. If an agent sells the home, you pay a negotiated commission that is roughly half of what most agents negotiate. Yes, you heard that correctly… roughly half!
4. Getting The Home Photographed & Advertised “Properly”
National vs Local: Pros & Cons
Pros of using a national fsbo site:
– The cost is typically free.
Cons of using a national fsbo site:
– Free isn’t always free… sites that collect and deliver leads to premier agents are the cost of a free advertisement. You may not want your leads going anywhere but to your owner mailbox… If I were selling by owner – I know I would not want my leads going anywhere except to “me” or “my” agent.
– You have to do the work. Getting & loading photos, entering details, maintaining the listing while they collect the data and sell premier services.
Pros of using a local fsbo site:
– Professional photography. Good photos are extremely important to gaining leads. Most sellers believe their photos are good enough… but, are they really? You wouldn’t have your child’s senior photo taken with an iphone would you? It is “that” important… and could be the deciding factor for those viewing your online advertisement.
– You get quality local leads. Most properties are bought & sold locally.
– You can contact a local person with quick answers and assistance. Try that one on the national level… and I wish you “good luck!
Cons of using a local fsbo site:
-You will have an upfront cost. But, if the site is operated properly – the cost will cover getting professional photos, signage, printable flyers, local assistance, and more.
Over the years, there have been numerous websites popping up that assist for sale by owners. Take the time to look closely at these sites, their terms, and what they actually do for you. See this link below to do some side by side comparisons of local fsbo websites on the Quad Cities.
4. Setting A Strategy
You have got everything ready and the home is on the market – now what?
Set a strategy! It is always good advice to prepare for all the “what ifs” that may come your way.
One huge tip – know your bottom dollar price!
Don’t second guess it – know it. Ask yourself: If a potential buyer offers you $2000 less than your bottom dollar price – will you turn them away with the possibility of loosing the sale and maybe being on the market for a longer duration? Knowing your bottom dollar price will help you set a better strategy.
A typically strategy would be:
– If the home does not sell in 30 days, I will drop the price to $…
– If the home does not sell in 60 days, I will do another price adjustment and add “Motivated Sellers” to my online ad.
– If the home does not sell in 90 days, I will list the property by owner & agent on whyusqc.com / www.halfthecommission.com to sell by owner & agent.
These tips are just that – tips… For over 20 years, I have assisted fsbo sellers and have found these few tips should always be considered when selling a home. Whether you sell by owner or agent (or both) – make good decisions and prepare for all situations.