By Mary Holmes
As Professional Move Managers, Integrated Move Management is involved in many different types of home transitions. The majority of the time, the homes we work in have already been sold or will be put on the market at the end of our project. What is the best way to get your home sold quickly? There are debates about whether a house should remain full of the owner’s furnishings, emptied of all items, or staged by a professional; whether the time of year a home is listed is crucial; whether the old adage “location, location, location” is most important; or finally, one of the biggest questions, what pricing strategy is best. To some degree, these are all important factors and need to be taken into consideration. Here is a quick summary of some things to consider to ensure your home sells as quickly as possible:
Location – this is an interesting one, especially since you have no control over where the home you are selling is located. Certainly, some neighborhoods are more desirable than others, but not everyone has the luxury of living in the best neighborhood for a variety of reasons, e.g. affordable price point, location of employment, area where extended family lives, etc. Have you heard the saying about marriage, “there is a match for everyone”? The same is true for real estate.
Seasonality – this is partially geographically driven. If you live in the northeast (or other snowy parts of the country), winter may be a hard time to get buyers to come out from under their blankets and trek out into the snow and cold to see your home. Also, if your home is suitable for families, the common philosophy is that you need to sell your home so that the new owners can settle in before the school year starts. If you do have flexibility, you may want to consider the timing of your listing, because you may end up with more money. But if you have to sell your house during the “off season”, you may just find a more serious buyer who is ready to make a deal quickly.
Furnished, Emptied or Staged – this could be its own separate Blog post (and maybe it will be some day), but I will cover a few basics here. This is not a one size fits all question. There are statistics that show a beautifully staged home may sell quicker and demand a higher selling price. But this may not be necessary for some or viable for others.
If your home is already beautifully decorated, not overcrowded or too personalized – you can most likely put it on the market without making any changes. If you have a lot of nice items, but maybe just too much in your home, you could possibly remove some items and put them in storage prior to putting your house on the market. If your furniture and décor is old and out of date or if your taste is very specific, your best bet may be to remove your possessions prior to sale and paint the walls a neutral color. If you have the means to afford a professional home stager at this point, that may be beneficial. But if you don’t, your prospective buys will have a blank canvas to envision how they would decorate
Pricing Strategy – You can combine the importance of all three of the above points together and the pricing strategy alone will trump. If something is priced right, it will sell – no matter where it is located, what season it is, or if it is furnished beautifully or empty. So often, sellers have a fear of “leaving money on the table”. They feel they would rather price high and negotiate downward to the appropriate price. This would be great if it actually worked this way. In reality, if your home is priced too high, you may lose precious time in the first days your house is listed on the market because potential buyers are scared off by the price. Once your home sits for a while, other potential buys wonder what’s wrong with it and why it hasn’t sold – especially in a seller’s market like we are in right now.
Amy Cartmell of Cartmell & Associates, Keller Williams Realty, says, "There is a pool of buyers out there for every house. The buyers in that pool have already seen what is on the market and have passed on it. They are likely to come and take a look at a new listing that matches their criteria within the first few days it becomes available. These buyers are ready willing and able; if they like what they see, they will make an offer. If sellers are too aggressive with price, they will come and go. Once this happens, it is very difficult to re-engage these buyers, so most likely, a significant price reduction will have to be made. Sellers often net less in the long run as they have to cut the price to introduce the house to a new buyer pool. On the flip side, an appropriate price can result in a multiple bid situation or an offer from one buyer who wants to take the property off the market. Either of these scenarios may result in a contract price above or at least at list price, and potentially with other terms that are preferable to the sellers as well!" Amy’s office is located at 185 Lower Main Street in Freeport and she can be reached at (207) 522-6490 or at email@example.com. Check out her website at move2maine.com. If you have questions or feedback, please feel free to Contact Us.