When you need to sell your house, you must look at the house from a “buyers” prospective. You must see what they see. Many of us overlook things in our own houses that are obvious to potential buyers. Let’s discuss a few of the important things that keep houses from selling and ways you can increase the chances of selling your house quickly.
1) Pricing Your Home
This is the single biggest roadblock people have when selling their homes. In order to sell your house you must price the house realistically. The best way to do this is to have a realtor do a CMA or a Comparative Market Analysis. This basically will tell you what prices other similar houses in your area have sold for recently.
The key here is “sold” and not “listed.” Listed houses mean nothing to me. It’s the sold prices that tell you what people are willing to pay for a house similar to yours. And remember, it must be similar to your house. And it must have been sold within 3 to 6 months from now.
You must offer a better price or a better house than what has been recently sold for fast sales.
Bottom line: If you want to sell your house, price it competitively or it will sit!
2) Clean Out the House
After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. Many times the homeowner doesn’t even realize all the clutter that is around. But you know who sees it? Right, the potential buyer.
If you don’t think you have clutter, ask the real estate agent what they think about the condition of the house. Or better yet, if you want a brutally honest opinion on the condition of your house, ask someone who doesn’t like you!
3) The Kitchen
This should be one of the show places of your house. Clean it good. Let the kitchen look bright and clean with no clutter. Clutter makes the kitchen look smaller as well.
A nice touch if you don’t already have one is to install a retractable spray faucet on the sink as well. Or a high goose neck faucet to get larger pots under for easier cleaning. Clean the tile floors and grout.
4) Bathroom and Plumbing Fixtures
Here is another simple thing to clean or replace in your home. You can replace bathroom faucets very inexpensively. Putting a nice fixture in place of the old one is very appealing to buyers as well. Most sellers don’t even think of doing this simple task. And please, have the tub and toilet sparkling clean. Have an unattractive toilet? Replace it! It’s not that expensive and I guarantee it will get noticed. Toilets can be purchased and installed for under $250.
5) Interior Walls and Ceilings
Make sure there are no water stains anywhere. It doesn’t matter if there was a leak and it was fixed. Get rid of the stain. Stains put doubts about the plumbing and the roof right into the minds of the buyer.
New paint makes a home look fresh and new on the inside and never fails to impress the buyers. An off white or tan with white trim is a great look. The off white and white trim makes a house look bright and comfortable at the same time. As I like to say, it makes the rooms “pop”.
6) Carpet and Floors
Many times your carpet is probably old and worn or outdated. Either replace it, or have it cleaned. If the carpet has any odors, please clean or replace it immediately! Buyers will smell it quickly and be turned off. If you replace the carpet, keep it neutral.
If you have wood floors that are old and scratched, you can have them refinished for a nominal amount. Nothing looks better than wood floors that have been refinished. It’s beautiful.
7) The Exterior
First impressions count! Welcome the buyer as soon as they pull up to your house with fantastic curb appeal. This is the most important part of selling the house. A homebuyer’s first impression is based on his or her view of the house from the real estate agent’s car. When they stop at your house give them the impression that this is the house for them. Remember its all about “curb appeal.”
8) Roof and Siding
If your roof is leaking, fix it or replace it. If it looks old and worn, put a new roof on. It will increase the value of your house plus look great from the street. If you can’t afford the roof let the buyers know you will deduct the cost from the sale for a new roof. If a roof needs to be replaced it will always come up at the buyers home inspection.
9) Real Estate Commission
A customary 5 to 6% commission is charged on the selling price of the house. A lot of people cringe at the thought of paying commissions but I say the opposite.
A good real estate agent can be your best friend. I have found that offering the selling agent a “bonus” makes them work even harder.
Don’t worry about the cost of the bonus. If they bring you a buyer in 30 days, they deserve it and you have sold your home. And in a buyer’s market, the bonus is just the thing you need to offer out to get a buyer fast. Trust me on this one. It works!
When I sell my investment properties I offer a bonus up to $3000 or more to the agent who brings me a buyer in 30 days, I have hundreds of agents waking up each morning thinking about me! Well maybe not me, but certainly my house and the $3000 bonus that I have offered.
Remember, not everyone will tell you what they don’t like about your house. They will just not buy it. So try to make it irresistible and do the necessary repairs and clean out before time and you may just sell your house before everyone else!
|Glen Gallucci is president of Peak Properties,LLC and a full time real estate investor who buys, renovates and sells distressed and bank owned properties for over 25 years. Mr. Gallucci continues to serve as board member of real estate investor associations. He is also engaged in real estate education. From the trenches, and with his “tell it like it is” format, has taught hundreds of beginner and seasoned investors how to invest in the Quick Turn Real Estate” market. His annual bus tour of investment properties has been featured on the front page of the real estate section of the New York Times™. Mr. Gallucci offers programs for beginners as well as the busy investor at: http://www.PeakPropertiesllc.com
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