5 Seller Tricks that Work in Any Market to Maximize Your Profits
Trick #1: Help your prospects feel at home
When you’re ready to sell, you have to let go of your home. From now on, it’s just a house.
To maximize your chances of selling your home in this seller’s market, you want your prospective buyers to picture themselves crowded around their table in your dining room, opening presents under the tree in the living room, kids chasing each other down the hall. You want them to picture your house as their home.
There are five keys to accomplishing that goal:
1. Clean A perfectly staged home won’t much matter if your home is dirty. After you take out the furniture and decorations you won’t be using once your home is staged, take a weekend to do a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning (think spring cleaning on steroids). If you don’t have the time or the inclination to clean up years of grime and dust, hire a professional cleaning service.
2. Make your home smell nice. Not strong, just nice. There’s nothing worse than overpowering smells – even if the smell would be nice if it weren’t so strong. So don’t go overboard with this tip. There’s a reason that real estate agents recommend baking a batch of cookies before an open house – it makes your home smell warm and inviting.
You don’t have to bake to accomplish the same goals. You should neutralize all odors. You may have gotten used to the pet smells or gym-room aura of your teenager’s room, but your buyers won’t be.
3. Fix the obviously broken stuff. Dents in the walls, stained carpet, leaky faucets, and broken windows will all make it more difficult for your prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in your house (and liking it). While now’s not the time to spend $20,000 putting in a pool or redoing the master bath, small repairs will go a long way.
4. Neutralize your decorations. People’s tastes vary. There aren’t many homes that look like they’re out of a magazine – whether it’s your kids’ artwork decorating the walls or hundreds of china figurines in the living room, your taste in decorations is probably not your buyer’s. To minimize the chances that prospective buyers will be turned off by your décor, then, stage your home to have minimal, neutral decorations.
5. Re-decorate with likely buyers in mind. If you live in a community with mostly older folks, decorating your extra bedroom as a nursery doesn’t make sense. If you live in a community with a lot of young families, maybe it does. Remember your ultimate goal: to make it easy for your prospective buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home.
To learn more about setting up your house so that prospects can feel at home there, check out our article “Home Staging: Make More $$$, FASTER!”.
Trick #2: Get the word out
Even if you price your house to sell, even if it’s clean and buyers can picture themselves there, you won’t be successful if you don’t market it. Otherwise, you’re relying on luck that the right buyer will drive buy, see your “for sale” sign in the yard, and call your real estate agent. The chances of that aren’t great.
Too many agents still believe that a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing and a few open houses are all the marketing they need to do. In fact, only 1% of homes are sold through open houses.
At LAWestsideHomeValues, we have a system for marketing our clients’ homes right. Our goal is to get your home in front of as many prospective buyers as possible – and to really sell them on it. To do that, we take a couple of proven-successful steps, including:
- We list your home on the most popular online home sites
- We host open houses, which we advertise in area publications, including MLS Open House Guide, LA Times, and on Facebook
- We market your home to our network of real estate contacts in the Los Angeles Westside area and beyond, including our extensive listing of ready buyers.
And after all that, we market some more.
Trick #3: Leverage technology – “log on or lose”
According to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent survey of homebuyers and sellers, 84% of homebuyers use the Internet in the process of finding their home. In fact, the Internet was the second most popular source of information on the home they purchased: 29% of buyers said they first learned about their home online (34% learned about it from their real estate agent).
In other words, you can’t afford not to be online.
At LAWestsideHomeValues, we list all of our clients’ homes with all of the most effective Internet search sites, including:
To maximize your chances of success, you need to really leverage the power of technology to get your home sold. At LAWestsideHomeValues, we do.
Trick #4: Throw in something extra
Sellers sometimes go to great lengths to try and entice buyers to purchase their homes. But they come off sounding like used car salesmen – and their tactics aren’t successful.
But while throwing in a car or luxury vacation probably doesn’t make sense, offering buyers down payment assistance might, especially if you’re looking to court first-time homebuyers. Down payment assistance through a non-profit gift agency (AmeriDream and Nehemiah are the largest), combined with a low-down payment loan works like this:
- You “donate” the 3-5% of the purchase price to the non-profit down payment assistance provider.
- That organization then passes the 3-5% as a gift – which doesn’t need to be repaid – on to the borrowers, which they use as a down payment on the home.
It essentially amounts to a price reduction on the home, but unlike a straight reduction, it may help less-qualified buyers purchase your house, where they couldn’t qualify otherwise – that’s enticing.
Trick #5: Price your home to sell–from the get-go
In seller’s markets, like the height of this current real estate upcycle, buyer’s offers are being bested left and right by other buyers. Bidding wars have become commonplace.
Your real estate agent should help you determine the ideal asking price – one that is fair for you while enticing enough to sell your home. The general rule is that you should price your home at market value – which takes into account the prices that similar homes in the same neighborhood have sold for recently, and makes adjustments for your home’s unique features.
Most homeowners are both emotionally and financially attached to their homes. Many have an idea in their heads about what they think their home is worth – often far above actual market value. But if you’re serious about selling, you need to be honest with yourself about the price that will get your home sold, even if it’s lower than what you had hoped.
What’s great about today’s market is that because there is no inventory, it’s very common for buyers to bid 50, 70, even 100K over the asking price to get a home. And yet, this doesn’t occur by just hiring any agent. Leverage the power of professional expertise – and these 5 tricks – to get your home sold for top dollar, in this shifting seller’s market.
At LAWestsideHomeValues.com, we’ve been helping clients sell their homes in up markets and down markets. Call our office at 310-403-7381 or e-mail us at info@LAWestsideHomeValues.com today to see how we can do the same for you.