There are 5 things that every seller needs to understand about what impacts the sale of their home. Some you can control and some you can’t.
1) Location, location, location: They don’t say it for nothing! Sometimes buyers fall in love with a feature of a home and forget this very important piece of the pie. The truth is, you can update and remodel a home that isn’t exactly as you would like it to be but there is very little you can do to fix a home that is sitting on a busy road, surrounded by smaller or less appealing homes, or in a flood zone. ( to name a few) The good news is that if you were considering this when you bought the house, it should not be an issue. The bad news is that you can’t fix a location problem easily.
2) Presentation: There is nothing more important to a home sale than to make it look as beautiful as possible in the eyes of the buyer. This begins by cleaning it up, choosing neutral but not boring colors, de-cluttering, and fixing things. Curb appeal is very important too. I could write dozens of blogs on this topic but for the purposes of this article I would like to point out one thing. The FIRST time a buyer will enter your home is online. So make sure the house is photographed well. If the photos are blurry, dark, or do not flatter the homes beauty and features, the buyer will not come back in person to see the house a second time. I cannot emphasize this enough. Which brings me to the next thing.
3) Publicity: This is not 1980. The way buyers and sellers find information today is online. Why not? It is easy. They can create searches on hundreds of sites, they can drive around town and use mobile apps to see what is for sale in the area they are driving, they can find listings on facebook, pintrest, craigslist etc. They can research schools, amenities, nearby shopping, transportation, bike routes, you name it. But here is the interesting thing. The buyers today like the take the reins but sooner or later they call a Realtor. This is because they either want/need the advice that comes from an experienced Realtor or they, frankly, do not have the time to surf the internet and drive neighborhoods. So a really good agent will a) make sure the house looks great online, b) get it on as many sites and venues as possible, c) and SELL the house to the Realtors first. There are many more things that could market a house; open houses, flyers, postcards, newspapers etc. but if they want to sell the house, they need to sell it to the Realtors.
4) Market Conditions: This is the thing that is overlooked the most by sellers and it is the reason working with a Realtor is important. Sellers look at a lot of things to determine the value of their home; tax records, cost of upgrades, etc. but every time a similar home sells, the value changes. It is a moving target. A Realtor looks at many things when determining market value. They look at the houses that sold AND the ones on the market that would be the competition. They look at the number of homes on the market and the number of homes that have sold. They look at trends. Are the # of days on the market getting smaller? Are the number of homes under contract getting less? Are the phones ringing, are we seeing certain areas hopping or certain price ranges lagging? Are there more new construction homes popping up? The list goes on. It takes someone who is thinking about this every day, all day, to really offer good advice.
5) Price: Finally …the one thing that fixes a bad location or a poor presentation. The one thing that can be manipulated up or down as the market conditions indicate. The one thing that can help a motivated seller or cause a house to sit on the market while the others sell like hotcakes. Every house can sell. You just have to find the right price for that house. A friend asked me once if I would buy his $200,000.00 house for a million. I said of course not. Then he asked if I would buy it for $1. Uh …sure. Then he pointed out that clearly the closer the price got to $1 the better the deal. So it isn’t always what a seller wants to hear but if the house is on the market and all the previous things listed above are being done as well as possible, then there is only one thing left to do. Make that 2 things; lower the price or take it off the market until something changes.