If moss is growing on the for sale sign in your front yard, your house is not moving like you thought it should. It should not matter if your market is depressed; the market will always allow for a great home to be sold quickly. What makes a great home, and why is your home not counted among them?
You may be tempted to blame your realtor, but step back a moment and look at your home from a potential buyer’s perspective. Would you buy your home right now? If you’re going to hire the movers because you’re going to sell your home quick, you have to have an objective answer. Here’s how to get the answer you need.
Are there weeds in the yard?
Is there clutter of toys, leaves, cobwebs near the entry and around the house? Are there smudges on the walls? Does the kitchen sparkle or play dead? Do the bathrooms shine or smell? Is there clutter in the rooms? Do you think homebuyers look beyond these minor issues and accept that the “bones” of the house are terrific? Think again.
A home usually does not move quickly in the market – in excess of 100 days – because there are flaws that home buyers are not willing to overlook. If your realtor is successful in keeping a string of potential buyers coming to your home, but the moss on the sign continues to grow, your realtor is doing his or her job, but your home is not doing its job.
The “bones” may demonstrate a great house that anyone would want to buy, but there is more to a house than great bones. These issues noted above are usually inexpensive to eliminate and will turn things into a quick sale. But because of these issues, the home is not ready to be occupied by a new owner. Home buyers, especially first time home buyers take “as is” with a grain of salt.
Clean up, fix up, shine up. This may cost $100 or it might cost you $1,000, but that investment makes the difference in several thousand dollars in a higher offer. It is the difference between a growing old for sale sign and an overlaid sold sign.
Is your price too high for the market?
What are other homes like yours in the neighborhood worth? It is possible that your home may actually have the value in it you are asking, but if you have applied embroidered silk on the walls and marble floors throughout when your neighborhood is typical of paint and carpet, your home is out of the neighborhood depth and will never sell at your asking price. With rare exception, the neighborhood market sets the price regardless of your personal investment in the home.
Many times, if a home truly shows well and is priced right, in a competitive market it will attract bids higher than the asking price and move more quickly than you may anticipate.
Negotiate a compelling counter-offer
If you have something in the home that your realtor advised was of interest to a buyer, but they did not make an offer, consider including that item in the sale. It is likely the compelling feature they would like to have. It may be the washer-dryer. Maybe it’s the patio set or a piece of furniture. Regarding the latter, if it is an heirloom piece, a buyer should understand that it has personal significance to you, but that is not usually the case. If an item means the difference between a sale and your home sitting on the market even longer, make the sale.
Put appeal on the bones
Face it, many homes that buyers see, appear like ordinary, cookie-cutter residences that just do not have distinguishing features that compel them to buy. There are other homes that appeal when you first open the door. Everything is in its place, and the décor looks lived-in and inviting.
It pays to tour home models in new home developments to see how professionals stage a home for sale. The furniture, the paint, the wallpaper, the accessories, the art on the walls are not any more expensive than what you may have in your home, but they all blend into a cohesive design that punches up the impact of the home. No, they are not selling the furniture. When the buyer moves in, the home will be empty, but as represented to buyers, it has immediate appeal. You know it when you see it. Is that your home?
Keep the phone number for the moving company handy; put it on your speed dial. If you follow these tips and your realtor’s suggestions for a quick sale, you had better be ready to hire the movers; you’re going to sell your home quick.