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Preparing Your Home for Sale to Maximize the Sale Price

(Published on - 1/2/2020 6:25:55 PM)

The time comes in most homeowners’ lives when they begin to consider moving out of their house. Whether it’s to relocate for work, upgrade to a larger floor plan, or move into the home of their dreams, sometimes it’s just time to sell!

Whatever the reason, there’s one question at the front of most homeowners’ minds:

“How do I get the best price for my home?”

Navigating the housing market, preparing a home for sale, and knowing what price to ask or what offers to accept can seem overwhelming. Luckily, homeowners aren’t in this alone—local, knowledgeable Realtor® can assist in everything from home preparation and stageing to understanding the marketplace. Your Realtor® can combine their skill sets to help home sellers maximize their property’s sale price, even in a tumultuous real estate market. With their help and the five home tips below, attaining a high price on a home for sale may not only be feasible but even easy!


Before selling a home, the following tips will help homeowners to ensure that they’re maximizing the property’s sale price:

1. Homeowners should take steps to understand the current state of their local real estate market before listing their home.

The housing market is as unpredictable as any other market out there, but with some expert advice and help from a real estate professional, homeowners can nail down a solid idea of their local market’s condition before listing their home for sale. Even having a general idea of whether or not the market is hot can make all the difference in helping a seller determine whether they should immediately list their home or bide their time and wait.

For example, a real estate market might be considered “hot” in a particular area when there are more home buyers than listings. Thinking about this from an economical perspective leads to, at its simplest, an analysis of supply and demand. When any commodity is in low supply compared to the number of buyers, the value of that commodity will rise. The same is true for houses!

A hot market with fewer homes for sale and a high number of interested buyers means that sellers can get away with charging more for their home and still obtain a successful sale. This situation is also called a seller’s market, whereas the opposite (when there are more homes for sale than buyers and home prices decline) is called a buyer’s market.

While the economy is such that there are hot markets all over the country, home sellers should still account for the ebb and flow of their own local market for the best results. Those who sell when the market is hottest will be justified in asking a higher price for their home and, in the end, maximizing the resulting sale price.

2. Making necessary home improvements to a house before listing it for sale will greatly increase its value and appeal to potential buyers.

In most cases, a home buyer doesn’t want to purchase a house only to spend additional time and money on renovations and improvements. The most attractive homes (and therefore the ones which will receive the highest offers) are the ones that are move-in ready.

As with everything else, there’s a balance to strike here. Making major home improvements will certainly increase the home’s value, but spending too much money on these updates and renovations may begin to drain a seller’s pockets more than they can be replenished by a maximized sale price. As a result, it’s best to stick to minor and straightforward home improvements which won’t make a huge dent in the seller’s finances. The goal should be to make the home more desirable, not perfect.
So, how do homeowners know where to begin?

Various home improvement projects will bring more value to a home in some markets than others. Sellers can use tools such as a home improvement value calculator to determine which projects will add the most to a home’s value in their particular city, or they can use averaged data to make an educated decision about the improvements they make to their home.

HGTV lists a minor bathroom remodel as the best home update to make prior to sale, with an average return of 102%. That’s right—not only will an updated bathroom (including bathtub, sink, toilet, vanity, and flooring) make a home much more attractive to potential buyers, but homeowners are likely to make more in their resale than the cost of the remodel itself.

Other home improvement projects with high returns include:

  • A fresh coat of paint on both the inside and outside of the home
  • Fresh landscaping
  • Updated light fixtures
  • New flooring, particularly in areas of high traffic and increased wear

After addressing aspects of the home in need of obvious attention, sellers will be much more justified in asking a higher price for their home.

3. Before listing their home, homeowners can maximize their chances of selling their home for the highest possible price by working with their Realtor® to get a comparative market analysis.

When homeowners list their properties with a real estate company, it is common practice for a real estate agent to perform a comparative market analysis before setting an asking price. A comparative market analysis is a way for real estate agents and homeowners to look at similar homes in the same area which have recently sold. An examination of the prices at which these comparable properties sold will provide insight regarding an appropriate listing price.

This analysis will not only make it more likely for a home to sell but it can also help those selling their homes to maximize their profits and avoid accidentally setting a price point that undervalues the property.

Some might say that this comparative market analysis is an alternative to requesting a professional appraisal of the home and its property. Real estate agents performing the analysis will take into account factors such as location relative to important landmarks like schools and shopping, the quality of a neighborhood, estimates of the property value, and the number of comparable homes that have sold, expired, or are undergoing pending sale.

Comparable homes included in the analysis include houses with a similar square footage, the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the same school zone assignment, a similar lot size, and a similar age.

The more similar homes (called “comps” in the industry) that a Realtor® examines, the more accurately they can determine an appropriate listing price for a home; even just three comps should be enough, though, if the home is unique and without many similar partners in the recent market.

It is important for homeowners to work with a Realtor® who will will provide a complimentary comparative market analysis to an interested seller. Included with the analysis will be a marketing plan for the home once the property is listed for sale in the multiple listing service (MLS).

4. Work with your Realtor® to agree on a successful marketing strategy.

As a homeowner interested in maximizing the sale price of your home, it is critical that your Realtor® has a complete marketing strategy to provide your home with the greatest exposure. Your real estate agent will develop a written marketing strategy and implement the plan as soon as your home is listed for sale.

Sellers, in fact, can be in a position to make their own contributions.

Selling a house is hardly different from selling any other good or service—that is to say that many aspects of marketing and advertising will be the same. The core of the matter is the generation of interest and excitement about a home.

For example, homeowners can work with their Realtor®s to:

  • Share with your real estate agent what it is that attracted you to your home. What in your opinion are the best features of your home and what benefit did your family derive from those features. This will assist your agent in knocking the home’s description out of the park. By using ad copy that highlights the best features of the home and its location, your Realtor® can invoke emotion and excitement in potential buyers even in a home that’s priced higher than its market average.
  • Maintain interest with retargeting. Retargeting is an online process your agent can utilize that attaches a pixel to visitors of a web page—in this case, anyone who spends some time browsing your home’s listing. Once this pixel is attached, these users will begin to see pictures of your home listing on ads as they browse the web. These ads create additional reminders and visual prompts that may get potential buyers thinking twice about your listing.
  • Advertise their home for sale on social media. That's right—Facebook isn’t just for messaging Grandma these days! Facebook, in particular, is equipped with ad features that allow Realtor®s and home sellers to hone in on users who become their most likely buyers. Advertising a home smartly online is a must.
  • A knowledgeable Realtor® will ensure that home photographs are professionally shot and edited for the most ad-worthy results. Experts recommend, for example, that a virtual tour of a home begins with a street view of the house and end with the backyard. This takes listing visitors on a journey of the home from start to finish, even prior to seeing the home in person. Plus, the returns of professional photos are staggering—listings with photos taken by a pro are liable to sell anywhere from $934 to $116,076 higher than similar listings without a professional photo strip.

 

5. Home staging can make all the difference in the way that a home buyer perceives a house and makes an offer.

Believe it or not, there’s some proven psychology behind every sale—this is especially true for home sales! As a home buyer attends an open house or a private viewing, they’ll connect more with a home that looks furnished and lived in rather than a barren landscape of square rooms, plain walls, and empty floors. Your Realtor® can make professional recommendations for proper home staging.

Please take note that “lived in,” in this case, does not mean that it's okay to have some clutter or mess around the house. The home’s interior should still be immaculate, but a home stager will know how to turn a bland house into a cozy home. They’ll choose and arrange furniture sets which will bring the best out of each room in the house.

Then, when a potential buyer is touring the home during a showing, the psychology of this staging comes into play. As an interested party peruses the home, they’re likely to imagine themselves occupying the space—well-placed furniture and atmospheric (but neutral) home décor will help them to do just that!

“I could see myself sitting on that couch,” they might think, and that’s where the attachment to the home and the drive to offer a higher price kicks in.

Also, many homeowners make the mistake of forgetting to discuss matters of lighting when planning their home staging. The source and quality of light can make all the difference in how staged furniture is perceived during a showing. The Rule of Three is a good place to start:
Three light sources in each room will help to make the space feel bright and open.

 

With these strategies and more, homeowners and their Realtor® augment the appeal of a home and expand the list of potential buyers so that they can attain a higher sale price.


Heeding all of this advice at once may seem like a lot of effort, but it doesn’t have to be difficult! With the help of your Realtor®, your will have a team of professional photographers, stagers, writes and marketing experts working for you. Your powerful team is dedicated to getting you the highest price in the least amount of time.


For questions about selling your home, call Realty Executives Exceptional Realtors® at (866) 742-5732 or email us at ClientCare@RealtyExecutives.com.

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