Selling your home in a buyer’s market can be tough. However, there are several things a seller can do to ensure that they get the highest value in the shortest period of time. In today’s market, buyers are educated about property values and are stealth negotiators armed with comparable sales information.
Hire an agent that you like
The most important thing a seller can do to improve the value of their home is to hire a knowledgeable and friendly realtor. Realtors have been in a lot of homes, they know what buyers are looking for, they know what sells, and they can spot problems or buyer turnoffs right away. It’s important to work with an agent that you actually like. You will have to spend a lot of time with this person, so it’s best to find someone with whom you feel comfortable.
Do your homework and be a nosy neighbor
It is crucial to set an initial asking price near market value. Ask your agent for a market competitive analysis to assess the actual value of your homes worth. By using home sales information of similar properties in your area, you can establish the appropriate price. By setting a price too high, sellers run the risk of turning away potential buyers. If the home does not sell as quickly as expected, many sellers reluctantly reduce their asking price. Potential buyers often look negatively upon homes with a reduced price tag or one that has been on the market too long. If you set your price too low, buyers may not see the actual value in your home. Homes that are priced right increase buyers’ confidence of that particular property.
Make some minor improvements
Making minor improvements helps to keep the seller in more control. Buyers tend to overestimate the cost of improvements. If the home is already in great shape it can reduce the risk of a potential buyer finding several thousand dollars worth of repair work.
Choose low-cost improvements that will pay off big when it comes time to sell. Moderately priced home improvements made in preparation for a sale actually increase a homes worth. It is proven that a kitchen or bathroom update will help sell a home better than any other improvement. Minor remodels in these areas can provide returns of more than 100%. Be cautious not to price yourself out of the neighborhood with too many or extremely costly improvements.
Do It Yourself
Do-it-yourself projects can also have a significant impact on a homes value. The cleaner, brighter, and more spacious a home appears, sells a lot quicker and for a lot more than a house in a “homey” state. A few coats of touch-up paint, clean windows, manicured lawns, weed-free gardens, and clutter-free rooms, can offer greater rates of appreciation than more expensive improvements.
Ride it out
Real estate will always be a safe investment. If you can hold on to your property during the markets current state of softened appreciation rates, you will see the market turn in the sellers favor in the not-so-distant future. Your home is your biggest investment. If you’ve done all of the above, and are still not happy with what is being offered, sit it out and ride the wave.
By: Sharon Rizzo, President of Rizzo Realty Group (www.rizzorealtygroup.com)