Selling a house can be a painless process if you follow the advice of someone who has sold hundreds of homes. And at this point, I've sold so many homes that I usually know what the pain points are going to be before putting a home on the market.
Let me jump in here and say that obviously whether your home sells on the first day, or quickly (which is probably a better expectation) has a lot to do with market conditions. If there is a lot of unsold inventory on the market, or your home is uniquely difficult to sell (think 1800's farmhouse or a condo that will only appeal to a select demographic) then taking a few months to sell should be expected. I can lay out better expectations after viewing your home and reviewing your specific market.
Price is the #1 thing that will determine whether your home sells quickly or sits on the market forever. The biggest mistake people can make is to price the property a bit higher "to give some room for negotiation". After hundreds of deals, I can tell you that specific strategy is a loser 90% of the time. The best possible strategy is to price your property at or a bit below market value so that you'll attract the most amount of buyers in as short a time as possible. The quicker you can get 1 or more offers on your property, the more likely I'll be able to sell your home for at or even above list price.
I don't think most people realize how important this point can be. I've seen the market be as sensitive as a few thousand dollars. A property priced at $139,900 sells in one day while a nearly identical property priced at $144,000 sits on the market for months with no offers. When an offer finally comes, the selling price will likely be at or below $139,900. Since time is money, the extra 3 months on the market just cost the seller of that home 3 months of mortgage payments and waiting to move, all for no compensation.
As you can see from the chart above, by pricing your home at market value, 60% of the available buyers will consider your property. Pricing your property just 10% above market value will cause the number of buyers that will even look at your property to drop to 30%. Pricing your home correctly is very important, and a good REALTOR will spend a considerable amount of time researching comparable sold and active properties before listing your home.
Taking great photos is something that will differentiate you from the other homes on the market, and get the most possible buyers to look at your home from the first day on the market. A good real estate photo should be taken with a wide angle lens from an SLR camera. Sorry, but an iPhone just doesn't cut it when it comes to real estate photography.
As you can see in the above photos, a good photographer can make your home look like a dream. Most of the time, my client's comment that their home looks so good in the photos our photographer takes, they barely recognize their own home!
Professional stagers make sense when the home is empty, and the home's price can justify the premium a stager will charge. A professional stager can you run you a couple thousand dollars, which many times will be more than worth the price tag. I just completed the sale of a $270k home in Brownsburg that I'm confident the professional staging helped sell the home.
If your home's price or your budget doesn't justify hiring a professional stager, then I can help you stage your home. Sometimes, this involves renting a storage unit to store your belongings to make your home appear larger by reducing the amount of furniture. Usually it's a good idea to de-clutter your closets by taking your out of season clothes and putting them in storage.
When a home has been on the market for less than a week, buyers understand that negotiating a "deal" is not going to happen. Typically, the faster a property sells, the closer to list price the seller fetches. As a good listing agent, I always use this to my advantage and tell any first day (or week) buyers that they'll need to put in an offer as close to list price as possible, or risk losing a hot property to other interested buyers. After the first week or so, this advantage wears off slightly and it becomes more of a standard negotiation.
If you are interested in selling your home as quickly as possible, and you want the help of an agent with a killer instinct for closing deals, give us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 317-855-0216.