Although home appreciation has leveled off in some markets, sellers can still get good prices for their homes. The sale may take a bit longer, but a little creativity can help sellers move homes without having to drop the price.
The professionals at Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC offer the following suggestions for sellers who want to speed the process:
Price Your Home According to the Current Market
Just because a house comparable to yours sold for a very high price last year does not mean you will be able to realize the same price when selling your home now. Work with a fullservice real estate professional to determine the appropriate, competitive listing price for your home. Remember that in this market, your sales associate may encourage a list price in accordance with others currently on the market, rather than those previously sold.
Be Thankful for Appreciation
While price appreciation has slowed in some markets, it is important to look realistically at the financial gains you have made over the years you have owned your home. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, over the last six years the median sales price of a single-family existing home in the U.S. appreciated 7.6 percent annually.
Make Your Home More Marketable
When a buyer sees your house for the first time, a critical first impression is made. If applicable, maximize curb appeal by trimming trees and planting flowers. A fresh exterior coat of paint might also prove valuable. Consider neutral colors for interior walls and carpets. Dark colors on walls, along with unnecessary clutter, make rooms look smaller.
Conduct a Full Home Inspection
If repairs are required, it is a good idea to go ahead and fix the problems. Potential buyers will cast an extremely critical eye over your home and, in a situation when more houses are available on the market, they may take a pass on a home that needs too many repairs. Be sure to have the home inspection report available for prospective buyers itemizing all of the repairs that have been made and the associated cost for each.
Offer a Home Warranty Plan
Homes with home warranties sell 15% faster, sell for a price 2.2% higher and are 29% more likely to sell.* With so many homes for sale in the real estate market, you need a competitive edge. A Home Warranty Plan gives you that, while offering convenient, dependable service when you need it most - helping to protect you from the expense, hassle and frustration of unexpected covered home repairs while your home is on the market. Consider offering a Buyer's Home Warranty once sold, alleviating the hassle of home repair for the buyer. Make sure to differentiate your home from others in your neighborhood with a Home Warranty Plan "Included" sign rider. Ask us for details.
Offer a "Seller's Contribution"
A seller can sweeten the deal by offering assistance to the buyer in ways that do not require lowering the asking price. These tactics can help your home to stand out from the crowd. For example:
- Offer to buy down the interest rate on the buyer's mortgage.
- Offer to pay a portion of the closing costs.
- Cover the buyer's mortgage payments for up to the first six months. Depending upon the size of the mortgage, the buyer can save several thousand dollars and the seller still gets the original asking price for the home. It is generally more financially advantageous to do this than dropping the asking price by $30-, $20- or even just $10,000.
- Many condos and houses across the country belong to homeowners' associations that require annual dues. Paying the first year's fees could be a big incentive to a buyer nearing the limit of his or her liquid assets.
- Offer to pay off a buyer's bills. According to Realty Times, some loan programs allow sellers to pay off the credit card debt or auto loans of the buyer which will help him or her qualify for a better mortgage and prevent the need to buy a smaller, less expensive house.
Properly priced homes that stand out from the competition are selling and demand for homes is still at historical highs. Speak to your Coldwell Banker® sales associate to find out how long an appropriately priced home is expected to remain on the market in your area.
*Just the Facts, 2003
Pricing a Home
If you're planning on selling a house, you'll have to decide what price you're going to ask for the home. This is one of the most important and difficult decisions you'll have to make. Buyers select by comparison shopping, so your home will have to have a fair market price in order for it to sell. A real estate professional can help you determine the market value of your home while still obtaining the top-dollar price for your piece of property.
Some of the things to consider when choosing your home price are:
- What is the age & condition of your home?
- Does it need updating?
- What have similar homes in your area sold for?
- Have homes in your area been increasing or decreasing in value?
- Are there a lot of homes for sale in your area?
Remember, your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. By working with a qualified real estate professional, you can ensure that your property will receive the needed exposure to attract interested parties who are willing to make an offer.
Making your home look its best
When you're selling your home you'll want to put forth the very best product. Buyers aren't coming for just a quick look but for a careful inspection. Keep the exterior neat by painting the trim, clipping the hedges, mowing, edging, and weeding the lawn and you may even want to plant a few flowers.
Inside you'll want to lighten up the darker corners, perhaps add some fresh paint and put the clutter away to give the rooms an open feeling. Make sure there are no "stale" odors in the home. This can be especially important for remote areas such as a basement or attic. On the