Joanne Gerety Rice's Blog
The bad news about selling your home is that there are dozens of mistakes you might make that could result in a lost sale, unnecessary price reductions, and delays in finding a buyer.
The good news is that the vast majority of seller mistakes are completely avoidable -- especially when you have an experienced real estate agent guiding you through the process and providing you with ongoing advice and marketing assistance.
Pricing and Perception
Setting too high of a price for your home is a common mistake -- one that's often difficult to recover from. Since "the clock is ticking" from the moment your home officially goes on the market, it's important to make the most of those first few weeks.
House hunters are often strongly attracted to homes that are advertised as being "just on the market." Those words can be very compelling because they imply newness, a limited opportunity, and scarcity. As the advertising industry has known for generations, consumers are drawn to products and services that are new, fresh, and in demand. However, just like yesterday's news or day-old bread, the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it becomes.
According to a Zillow study, homes for sale priced around or slightly below market value are almost 50 percent more likely to sell within 60 days than those priced 12 percent or more above market value.
Working with a knowledgeable real estate professional can help make sure you don't lose that initial out-of-the-gate momentum by pricing yourself out of the market. They'll base their recommendations on a number of factors, including a comparative analysis of recently sold homes in your neighborhood .
Here's a house-selling mistake that most people probably don't know about: You might be losing potential buyers because you've chosen an "odd selling price." The National Association of Realtors points out that listings may sometimes be excluded from Internet search results if the asking price is just a few thousand dollars above a typical pricing range. "Buyers search real estate websites for price ranges, such as 'homes between $250,000- $300,000.' If you set an odd price to make your listing stand out, say $302,499, you may miss some of your best potential customers."
If you realize after a few weeks that you've incorrectly priced your house, it not only becomes necessary to lower the price, but you also have to contend with a lower perceived value among prospective buyers.
A few other words and phrases that tend to whet the appetites of prospects searching for their next home include "move-in condition," "landscaped," and "updated." Many people also like the sound of granite countertops, maple hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens.
While it pays to know a little about pricing, home staging, and buyer psychology, getting advice and guidance from a seasoned real estate agent is usually your best bet for producing the fastest and most satisfying results in selling your house.
Getting a home inspection is usually built into the purchase contract for most real estate transactions. A home inspection contingency protects the buyer from getting any unwelcome surprises after they buy the home (think water damage or an HVAC system whose days are numbered).
In some cases, home inspections are the defining moment between a sale or moving on to other options.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the reasons you might want to get a home inspection whether you’re buying or selling a home.
Home inspections for buyers
There’s a reason most real estate contracts come with an inspection contingency. Expensive, impending repairs on a home can greatly affect how much you’re willing to offer on a home, or if you’re willing to make an offer at all.
Some buyers opt out of an inspection. This can be done for numerous reasons. The most common reason is that the buyer has a personal relationship with the seller and has faith that they are getting the full story when it comes to the state of the house. The other reason is that a buyer is trying to gain a competitive edge over the competition on a home, sweetening the deal by waiving the inspection and paving the way for a quick sale.
Both of these reasons have their flaws. For one, the seller might not even know the full extent of the repairs a home may need and an appraisal might not catch all of the issues with a home.
Another reason a buyer may waive an inspection contingency is because the seller claims to have recently had the home inspected. While this may be true, buyers should still opt to hire their own professional. This way, they can guarantee that the inspection was done by someone who is licensed and has their best interests in mind.
Home inspections for sellers
As we’ve seen, home inspections are typically designed to protect the interest of home buyers. However, sellers also stand to gain from ordering their own home inspection.
If you’re planning on selling within the next six months to a year, it will pay off to know exactly what issues the home currently has or will have in the near future. This will give you the chance to make repairs or address issues that could cause complications with your sale. You don’t want to be on your way to closing on an offer to suddenly realize you need to pay and arrange for a new roof.
So, whether you’re a buyer or seller, home inspections can be immensely beneficial to learn more about your home or the home you’re planning on buying. It will help you be prepared to make repairs if you’re a buyer. Or, if you’re a seller, you can make a plan to negotiate repairs with the seller based on the findings of the inspection.
Putting your home on the market during fall means that you might have to work a bit harder at attracting potential home buyers to your open house, but the extra effort is well worth it. In fact, 83 percent of buyers' agents surveyed by the National Association of Realtors stated that home staging helps buyers see a house on the market as their new home.
The housing market overall tends to be slower in fall compared to spring and summer, but this time of year offers some great opportunities to add seasonal touches that give your home an inviting appeal. Keep the following home staging ideas in mind to make your open house a success this fall.
Spruce Up Your Home with Seasonal Decor
Adding fall decor to your porch and your home’s interior can create a cheerful environment, but be careful not to go overboard. Putting too many seasonal decor items out can make your home look and feel cluttered, resulting in an unfavorable impression on home buyers. Consider using a light touch instead, such as placing an autumn wreath on your door or putting a fall centerpiece with decorative gourds and seasonal flowers on your dining room table.
Light Up Your Open House
If you have an open house in the evening, especially later on in fall, keep in mind that it might be dark out when your buyers arrive. Your home should be well-lit inside, and your front porch light should be on to greet them. For afternoon open houses, let natural light brighten up your home, and turn on a few lights in dimmer areas as needed.
Create a Cozy Environment
Fall’s cooler days and earlier evenings give you an ideal chance to encourage potential home buyers to stick around longer during your open house. Creating a cozy atmosphere keeps your open house visitors comfortable while also helping them see your home as their home one day. A simple way to do this is by placing soft throws and accent pillows on your sofa and chairs for added comfort. If you have a fireplace, consider using it for your evening or afternoon open house to make your home feel even more welcoming.
Add an Autumnal Aroma
Seasonal scents for fall, such as cinnamon, pumpkin or apple, can give your house a pleasant smell that makes buyers feel at home when they walk through your front door. You can burn a fall-scented candle, as long as the smell won’t get too strong. You can also add a seasonal aroma and give buyers freshly baked goods to enjoy by making an autumn treat, such as an apple pie or cinnamon bread, shortly before your open house.
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market this fall, feel free to give me a call.
3 SANTA FE Road, Nashua, NH 03062