contributed by Jen Reed
You’ve been considering it for a while and you’ve decided now is the time to sell your home. You want to downsize, move to different neighborhood, or even a new state. Regardless of the reason, you are certain to have questions – and that’s not uncommon. Below are some challenges that sellers can face.
Selling Your Home Alone
Although it may seem like an easy way to save some money on the sale of your home, a real estate agent is actually your key to success. A real estate agent provides you with a wealth of knowledge – the market, attracting the right buyers, offering contacts, and guidance in the process of selling your home.
Did you know that those looking to sell a home for its full market value benefit from the professional expertise of an agent? According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers released in November, homes sold by the owner sold for an average median price $200,000, as compared to a median sale price of $280,000 for properties that sold with the assistance of an agent.
Setting Unrealistic Pricing
How do you know what your home is really worth? Where do you find the information? Are you deciding on a price because you are emotionally attached to the home and believe it’s worth more than the market will bear?
If you’ve overpriced your home, chances are you’ll eventually need to lower the number, but the peak period of activity that a new listing experiences is already gone. Of homes that sell in their first week on market, 57 percent sell for the full asking price, according to a 2017 report by Zillow. By the fourth week, that share drops to 32 percent, and only 18 percent of homes that sell after eight weeks receive the full asking price.
Ignoring Key Changes Needed to Sell Your Home
We all want to buy and flip homes and turn them into beautiful new dwellings, right? Let’s face it, with HGTV and DIY Networks exposing us to everything from house hunting to fixer upper-type programs, buyers are well versed in “open floor plans” and expect everything to be in “move-in condition.” Whether it’s new construction or a mature home, buyers aren’t interested in making changes before they are able to move in. So, selling your house “as-is” likely won’t yield the highest possible sale price.
At the very least, look at kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, and the colors throughout the house. Sometimes simple cosmetic changes can make a big difference.
Skipping Major Repairs
But while replacing your floors and painting the walls are fairly easy tasks to tackle, major issues need to be addressed as well. Cracks in the foundation or a new roof are expensive fixes that you may be wary of taking on, especially when you won’t likely recoup the entire cost in the sale. However, fixing these things will enable you to sell your home without a credit for work that needs to be done. It will also give you more to promote about your home and reinforce it’s a top-quality place to live.
As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And that is true of your home. Many potential buyers will do their research online and presenting photos that are less than flattering could mean the difference between looking at your home and your neighbor’s home – because they invested in professional photography.
Yes, smartphones are equipped with excellent cameras and can take great shots. But unless you know a bit about lighting, staging, and coloring, chances are the photos will not be as appealing as they can be.
According to the NAR study, some 87 percent of buyers who researched properties online said they found photos of the property to be very useful and had an impact on their opinion of the home before they actually set foot inside. Always ask your agent if funds for photography are included in the realty marketing budget.
These are just some things to consider when you are planning to sell your home. Whether or not you actually do go it alone, you at least owe it to yourself – and your home – to have a conversation with a real estate professional.