- When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
- There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
If you are getting your home ready to sell you may wonder if remodeling or making upgrades to your home makes sense, or which upgrades will bring the best return on the money you spend on upgrades.
I usually coach my Sellers not to spend on major upgrades to sell a home. Cleaning, fresh paint and minor repairs go a long way toward making a home salable. Typically you will find that smaller projects give a greater return. Still, there are times when it may make sense to consider a major upgrade if the feature in question is seriously defective or out of date and is preventing the sale of the home.
For specifics on the cost vs. benefit of many upgrade and remodeling projects please refer to the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report at www.costvsvalue.com
In today's Seller's market if you haven't received an offer in the first week or two something is wrong. Either the home is overpriced or there is something about the home that is giving potential Buyers pause. Your Realtor should be reaching out to Buyers' Agents and asking for feedback on their showings. This could give you valuable information on corrective action to take.
We had a listing a few months ago that received very positive feedback, including feedback that the home was priced right, however no offers came in. One recurring theme in the feedback though was that the kitchen did not have enough cabinets and counter space. The Seller installed additional cabinets and the home sold to the first person in after the work was complete.
Generally speaking, waiting is not the right thing to do. Either take another look at your price and adjust accordingly or look at the showing feedback and see if there is something you can do to make your home more appealing.
Is Your Home Price on Target?
Statistics show that the best opportunity to sell your home is often within the first few weeks of putting it on the market. This can be good news, or bad, depending on your motivation. Some homes sell right away, while others sit on the market for months without a single offer.
To maximize your selling opportunity, it is important that your home be priced right. What is the right price? Several factors will determine your home’s best asking price.
The current real estate market has a lot to do with it. Additional factors such as location, recent sold data, current market trends, and your home’s special features that set it apart from the competition are all taken into consideration when pricing your home
“What’s wrong with pricing my home a little high?”
Price your home too high and most buyers won’t even bother looking at it. Over priced homes tend to sell the competition first. This scares away many qualified buyers simply because they can go elsewhere and get more house for the money. As the house sits on the market, people will shy away from it thinking there must be something wrong with the home.
"Should I under-price my home?"
Price it too low and you could lose thousands of dollars. There are times when you will attract multiple offers, but this is only recommended when you need a faster-than-average sale. In most circumstances, pricing your home correctly from the very beginning will net you the best results in both time and money.
Last week we talked about closing costs and the possibility of negotiating with the Seller to pick up a portion of the Buyer's closing costs. If you are the Seller you may be asking "Why should I pay for the Buyer's closing costs?".
Ideally you won't if you find a Buyer who can. The reality though is many Buyers do not have the funds to come up with a down payment and also pay all of the closing costs. Often the decision comes down to helping the Buyer to make the deal work or rejecting the deal and hoping a better deal comes along.
If you think the home will appraise, the closing costs can be added to the purchase price to offset the cost and improve the Seller's net. Your Realtor will be able to help you think through this or other strategies to find a solution that works for both you and the buyer.
If you are a Seller and you read last week’s post you may think the Due Diligence Period in the contract gives the Buyer an unfair advantage. If you remember, during the Due Diligence Period the Buyer has an option to terminate, however, you the Seller are locked in. How can you protect yourself from frivolous Buyers who may tie up your house with a contract, taking it off the market, and then cancel on a whim?
One thing you can do is learn all you can about the strength and motivation of the Buyer before you go under contract. Find out if they are pre-qualified or pre-approved. There is a difference. Do you recognize the lender? Ask if you can speak with the lender to discuss what was reviewed to pre-qualify the Buyer. How much are they putting down? These are all good questions to help understand the financial strength of the Buyer.
Is the Buyer buying the home as his/her personal home or for investment. A Buyer with an emotional connection to the home is less likely to walk away on a whim than an investor might be.
Another tactic is to require a substantial earnest money deposit. Although earnest money is usually returned to the Buyer if they terminate within the terms of the contract, a significant earnest money requirement may be enough for the Buyer to think twice if they are not sure about the home. The fear of losing their earnest money may prevent a rash offer that is not well thought through.
The last thing you can do is anticipate the deal will run into a snag or two before closing (because most deals do) and try to be prepared for them. Fix what you can around the house before putting it on the market. Anticipate the home inspector will find additional items that the Buyer will want fixed. Build these expectations into the price you accept for your home and be flexible to work through issues with the Buyer.
If you have any questions about this post or the selling process just give me a call or click here and send me a note.
When you sell your home you will be asked to complete a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. This is a statement where you will disclose the condition and any defects in the various systems in your home. Although Georgia is a buyer beware state, you may be liable for any defects that you are aware of that you don’t disclose to the buyer.
The disclosure will be an exhibit to the Purchase and Sale Agreement for your home and will probably be verified by the Buyer’s home inspector, so it is important that you take the time to fill it out completely and accurately.
The disclosure begins with Instruction to the Seller in completing the disclosure. Please take the time to read this and be sure to call your Realtor® if you have any questions. For many of the items you will be asked to check Yes or No. If you are unsure try to find out if you can. An unchecked box can open a can of worms and scare away a potential buyer.
The last part of the disclosure is where you disclose what items are staying with the home. Generally speaking “fixtures” stay with the home. Fixtures are usually items that are secured (fixed) to the home. If you have a fixture that is not staying such as a favorite chandelier you must disclose this. Or if you have an item that is not a fixture (such as a refrigerator, washer, or dryer) but is staying with the home, you should disclose this.
If you have any questions about the Sellers Property Disclosure or the selling process just give me a call or click here to send me a note.
Five Maintenance Resolutions for your Home
We may be a little removed from New Year’s Day, but it’s
not too late to make some new resolutions for your home.
1. Start a home repair slush fund: Things in your home are going to break and need to fixed. It’s just a fact that comes with home ownership. Rather than letting expensive repairs take you by surprise, start planning for them. Set aside some money each month that you can eventually draw from when an appliance breaks or unexpected.
2. Inspect your fireplace: Even if you have a gas fireplace, you should still inspect the valves and ceramic logs yearly to ensure that everything is operating safely and correctly. If you have wood fireplace, hire a certified chimney sweep to do the job.
3. Maintain your garage door: Garage doors are big and heavy, and that puts a lot of stress on the hinges and tracks that are use to open and close the door several times a day. A regularly scheduled $50 inspection could save you hundreds or thousands in the long run.
4. Tune up your furnace: Regular furnace inspections will help identify minor problems before they turn into major ones. Also, set reminders to replace your furnace filter.
5. Clean your coils: The No. 1 refrigerator maintenance task should be cleaning the condenser coils. They can get clogged with hair and dust, reducing your fridge’s efficiency. Have you cleaned yours lately? You can hire a professional to do it, but it’s also an easy do-it-yourself job.
A key part of providing the best service to our clients is to provide them with knowledge, guidance and the support needed throughout the entire selling or buying experience.
We want to provide the very best service to our clients. This means that for the home seller, we want to ensure that every home listed through us is given the attention necessary to properly promote it in the market place, and that every buyer that we assist receives everything they need to find the home they’ve been looking for.