When selling a home, the objective is not to get the highest price, but to make the most money possible and sell within your required timeframe.
Following are five sure-fire ways to protect your bottom line as you sell your home. But first I’d like to urge any of you thinking of selling your home in the near future to contact me right away.
Many homeowners decide to put their homes on the market in January and February. These are actually good selling months, as the buyers who shop during the winter are serious about buying, and there’s less competition in your price range.
However, most sellers don’t know how to choose the right Realtor. Some choose an agent because he or she offers the lowest commission, or promises the highest list price. Those are two of the worst reasons.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to save money, but remember that you’re hiring someone to help you make money. Would you pick the cheapest doctor to perform your operation? Did you buy the cheapest car on the lot? What would you gain by picking a bottom-of-the-barrel agent?
If an agent offers some complicated commission structure that seems too good to be true, chances are this “deal” favors the agent at your expense. There are catchy names like Millionsaver, Flexplan and Sellers Blend (as if selling your home was like making a pot of coffee!) If you read some of these carefully, you’ll see that the agents are saying, “Hey, if you help me make more money, I’ll cut you a little deal.”
That may sound great, but consider that rarely if ever in theses schemes do the agents mention that they’ll do the one thing they’re legally supposed to be doing for you – represent your interests to help you generate the highest net profit within your required timeframe.
So if you want to make more money in the sale of your house, follow these five key steps.
Price It Right. Many sellers try to set a sales price according to what they think they need, rather than what the market will bear. In the end, after lingering on the market and getting stale, an overpriced home may sell for a lot less than its true market value.
Make It Shine. Even in a hot market, don’t skimp on paint, carpet, landscaping and especially cleaning. These four elements will showcase the property at its best and attract a quicker sale at the highest price possible.
Don’t Over-Improve. Major remodeling or adding luxury features are not likely to increase your home’s sales price enough to cover the costs. Why spend money you won’t get back?
Take The First Offer Seriously. Sometimes the first offer is the best offer you will get. In a buyer’s market or a transition market, if the first offer is only a few thousand dollars off the asking price, it is well worth considering. In a seller’s market, you may have the luxury of comparing multiple offers over a longer period of time.
Get What You Pay For From Your Agent. The average agent spends about $400 marketing a listing. It’s no wonder sellers feel cheated when so little is spent marketing their home and they pay tens of thousands of dollars in commissions. Ask every agent you interview for a written marketing plan of how they will promote your property, the dollar amount they spend on an average listing, the list-to-sale-price ratio, and the percentage of homes they listed in the past twelve months that didn’t sell. An agent might sell a lot of homes per year, but if they also list a lot of homes that don’t sell, you may become one of those statistics.
At MapleCliff Real Estate Services, we normally spend many times more than the average agent spends on marketing our listings. This is our money we put at risk, with no return unless we sell your house. So we take it very seriously.
Since nearly 80 percent of buyers use the Internet in their home search, we have invested heavily in putting our listings in special top-tier placements on Realtor.com, the leading website. We have more than five times the placements of the next-nearest local agent. If your agent doesn’t have one or more of these special Featured Homes spots on Realtor.com, your property won’t gain full advantage of this important medium.
Because we have so many ad spots on Realtor.com, we must increase our inventory of homes for sale. That’s good news for you if you’re selling, as you can benefit from our powerful marketing and full-service representation.
We’ll be happy to work with you to price your home to capitalize on local market conditions. We can also advise you on what would make your home more sellable. Most important, we can put our expertise to work for you when it comes time to negotiate with potential buyers. Those are just a few of the services we provide our clients. We hope you’ll take advantage of them!
Peter Bohush is broker/owner of MapleCliff Real Estate Services, located in Northboro. Visit MapleCliff.com, or call toll-free (866) 44-MAPLE.