Here are 18 extraordinary ideas for anyone considering selling their homes. These could save you much time, money or stress.
1. Do not reveal you reasons for selling. “Loose lips sink ships” was a mantra during World War II. To explain why you are selling may alter leverage toward the buyer.
2. Define your motivation to sell. This will help to set your expectations as to whether you prefer a quick sale or will be satisfied to sit back and fish for awhile.
3. Select the right real-estate agent. We can’t repeat this enough: “95 percent of the success of buying or selling homes comes from selecting the right real-estate agent who knows how to customize plans and strategies to get you what you want.”
4. Use smart marketing. Smart marketing involves knowing how much your home is most likely to sell for and creating the energy that compels buyers to compete against each other with a sense of urgency.
5. Understand the influence of a powerful marketing strategy. Houses rarely sell themselves. It is essential to deliver the right message — using the right medium — and launch the marketing campaign in tandem with other high-impact selling activities.
6. Use an aggressive selling plan. The goal is to sell your house within the first 30 days on the active market. The selling plan must appeal to, attract and influence potential buyers to physically visit your home for preview.
7. Determine the market value of your home. Home shopping in La Jolla is more like shopping in an art gallery where each piece differs from another and has a unique value. It is important to understand what benefits a buyer will perceive by purchasing your home.
8. Set your pricing strategy. The pricing strategy can make the difference between a quick sale or having your home sit endlessly on the market. Too high a list price will likely not yield any offers. Too low a list price gives the option to negotiate with multiple buyers.
9. Keep a realistic opinion of your house. We all fall prey to having an inflated opinion of our home, so let’s be honest. A few new flowers in the yard do not qualify as “WOW” landscaping. Installing a new toilet-paper holder does not qualify as a “WOW” upgrade. Be careful not to overprice your home based on your opinion.
10. Stage your home. Staging or furnishing your home is like “curb appeal” for the inside, and it can make a huge impact, whether the buyer chooses to look longer or leave more quickly. You need to help the buyers visualize how their lives will be if they choose to buy your house.
11. Increase your home’s curb appeal. Let’s face it — you do not want your house to be a “drive-by.” A recent real-estate article appearing in a trade publication suggested that 63 percent of people who drive by a for-sale house will elect not to go inside because of the negative curb appeal.
12. Bring your house up to selling standards. Don’t be confused — repairs and maintenance items like replacing a malfunctioning heater/air conditioner or a worn-out roof is not an example of upgrading your house, it merely maintains its integrity. Sellers often come out on top because most buyers do not think to justify a lower offer price on the basis of aging systems and structures.
13. Be wary of upgrades before selling. What assurance do you have that, if you were to upgrade, the buyer would appreciate it and furthermore, they would be willing to pay you at least your investment cost? Not likely!
14. Know your competition and price concessions. Your house will be judged against your competition. If your house is not well-maintained, is outdated or has functional issues, it is better to deal with these issues up front and adjust your expectations about selling price.
15. Consider timing. Listing your house for sale is not unlike a major product launch by a corporation. It has to be done right the first time. Retracting your home from the market then returning with price adjustments or improvements does not make it “new and improved.”
16. Keep emotions in check during negotiations. Understand that during the negotiation process, everyone is trying to use some leverage to their advantage. Recognize it for what it is and avoid jeopardizing the deal because of your reaction.
17. Learn your buyer’s motivation. Try to find out about the buyer’s needs. Do they need the location of your house or are they on a tight timetable? The right questions will help to unveil secrets that may help you in negotiating.
18. Live up to your commitment and then follow through. This may not seem to be a valuable tip. It is, however, perhaps the most important. Maintain a high degree of ethical and moral conduct and present yourself with the utmost of integrity. In a world where it seems as though profits trump virtues, we believe just the opposite. We urge you to disclose all truths, to act with reliability, to honor your word and to deliver on your commitments. To do otherwise could result in costly consequences.
If you have any questions about real estate in San Diego, send your inquiries to Charles Schevker or Natasha Alexander at Cschevker@san.rr.com. They will respond directly to you, and those questions that have a broader public appeal will be published along with our next column in La Jolla Today.