What Sellers Need to Know

Pricing | Adding Value | Showing | Prior to Showing

Pricing Your Home

Pricing your home is part art and part science. Achieving the optimal price is mostly the result of objective research into comparable properties and what is happening in the current market. Your intuition is certainly useful but be careful not to get wrapped up in the emotional attachment you have to your home. Let me help you keep these considerations in the proper perspective to get your home sold quickly and at a fair price.

The right price should:
  • Attract buyers
  • Allow you to earn the most money possible
  • Help you sell as quickly as possible
The number one factor that most homebuyers use to determine which homes they want to view is the price. Always remember that, although the price is set by you, the value of the home is determined by the buyer. You want to avoid allowing your enthusiasm to impact your better judgment – overpricing your home is very common mistake that can cost you in the end.

The Importance of Proper Pricing
  • Faster sale and less inconvenience
  • Exposure to more buyers
  • Increases Realtors® response
  • Generates more advertising/sign calls
  • Attracts higher offers
  • Means more money to you the seller
What matters most is how your home stacks up against the others currently offered for sale and recently sold in your neighborhood. Rest assured, a smart buyer will be comparing.

Common Reasons for Overpricing
  • Over-improvement
  • Need
  • Purchasing in higher-priced area
  • Original purchase price too high
  • Lack of factual data
  • Bargaining room
  • Move isn't necessary
  • Assessed value
  • Emotional attachment
  • Opinion of family and neighbors
Dangers of Overpricing
  • Most activity on your home will occur in the first few weeks. Pricing a home properly and then creating immediate urgency in the minds of agents and buyers is key to a successful sale.
  • Buyers who have seen most available homes in their price range are waiting for the "right house" to come on the market. If a house is priced right, it will sell quickly.
  • Be careful of starting out with a high price and the assumption that you can reduce it later. By the time you decide to lower the price, it may be too late, as interest will have already waned.
  • If your home is nicer than other homes in the same area, your house may be overlooked for viewing if you set the price too high.
  • Buyers and agents become aware of the long exposure period and often are hesitant to make an offer because they fear something is wrong with the property.
  • Attracting the wrong buyers.
  • Fewer potentially qualified buyers will respond.
  • You might inadvertently help sell similar homes that are priced lower than yours.
The Role of a Real Estate Agent in Pricing
  • Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA), a comparison of the prices of recently sold homes that are similar in terms of location, style, and amenities. A CMA is performed by comparing previously sold homes in the area, and currently active homes to understand which homes are your competition.
  • There is no "exact price" for real estate
  • The market determines value…together we determine the price.
  • Determine the price based on the factors you control:
    • Marketing time
    • Financing alternatives provided
    • Condition

    • Exposure method
  • Keep in touch with market trends and keep up to date with market activity of comparable homes.
  • Estimate your net proceeds.
  • Help to determine offering incentives.
You real estate agent has NO control over the market, only the marketing plan. Never select an agent based on price.

Adding Value

Which items will add value to your home and help with resale when the time comes to sell?
The answer is: “Only the ones that future buyers will also want and be willing to pay for.”
As a rule, choosing the functional over the merely cosmetic and choosing neutral over unusual will pay at resale. Taste and current trends can also affect the value of an update. Unusual colors have a limited appeal.

Which updates will add the most value to your home?
  • Update your kitchen and/or bathrooms. Updating the kitchen or bathrooms in your home will yield a high return on investment. Stay timeless with your updates, but also pay attention to trends.
  • Lighten and brighten your rooms. Paint rooms white or with a light color paint to neutralize your space. Add skylights, windows, or French doors.
  • Revamp the exterior. Updated landscaping will draw in buyers before they even walk through the door. Keep your shrubs, trees, and grass trimmed and tidy. Add a splash of color with vibrant plants or by painting the front door an eye-catching color. Consider a focal point like a flagstone walkway or a water feature. 

Showing Your Home

First impressions are important.

The exterior of your home determines how buyers will view the interior
Make sure your front entrance is clean and inviting.
  • Paint or replace your front door if it's faded or worn.
  • Add some paint to shutters, trim and any other outside features showing signs of wear.
  • Add vibrant plants and put down some fresh mulch.
Little changes can make a big difference.
"How we live in a home and how we sell a home are often two different things." Try to see your home with a fresh perspective and arrange each room to bring out its best attributes, including:
  • Keep windows and floors clean.
  • Replace faded wallpaper and glue any areas that have come away from the wall.
  • Repair worn woodwork.
  • Repaint scarred or dirty walls in a neutral color.
  • Steam clean carpeting or replace it, if necessary.
  • Repair loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches and other minor flaws.
  • Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers.
  • Open draperies and curtains to let the light in during the showing.
  • Remove all unnecessary clutter from your attic, basement and closets to better display spacious rooms (consider storage or a garage sale to dispose of items you no longer need or want).
  • Arrange all your rooms neatly and remove excess furniture. Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom. Use candles or air fresheners to make the rooms smell pleasant.
Light up your home.
Lighting your home, even during daytime showings, can create a cozy mood and highlight positive attributes of each room.
  • Avoid the use of overhead lighting that makes rooms look washed out and lifeless.
  • Be creative and arrange lamps to help smaller rooms seem larger, and large rooms seem more intimate.
  • Use lighting to highlight the "living areas" of your home, such as a pair of chairs near a fireplace, or a table in a breakfast area.
  • Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep decorative objects on the furniture to a minimum.
  • Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops.
  • Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, etc. (A sparse kitchen helps buyers mentally move their own things into your kitchen.)
  • In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs, shower stalls and commode tops. Coordinate towels to one or two colors only.
  • Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary. As owners, many times we have too much furniture in a room. Less furniture makes rooms appear larger.
  • Take down or rearrange certain pictures or object on walls. Patch and paint if necessary.
  • Review the house inside room by room. Paint any room needing paint, clean carpets or drapes that need it, clean windows.
  • During "showings" turn on all lights and lamps even if the showing is during the day.
  • If possible, play relaxing music during all viewings.
  • Trim landscaping to reveal architectural detail (bottom of windows, etc.).
  • Go around the perimeter of the house and remove all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc.
  • Look at all plants…prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows.
  • Weed and mulch all planting areas. Keep lawn freshly cut and fertilized. Remove any dead plants or shrubs.
  • Clear patios or decks of dirt and debris. Make sure all patio furniture is clean.
  • Check paint condition of the house-especially the front door and trim.
Try to look at your house "through the buyer's eyes" as though you've never seen it or been there before. Any time or money spent on these items will bring you back more money in return, and hopefully a faster sale.

What to do Prior to Showing

When you receive a call to schedule a showing, here is a “cheat sheet” to help you get ready:

  1. Sound: Turn off the television and tune the radio (low volume) to a soft rock, middle of the road or classic rock station.
  2. Smell: Your home should smell great. Fresh flowers can add a pleasing smell in your home. A scented candle is great for masking smells in the home.
  3. Sight: Turn on every light in the house (day or night) and open every drape and blind.
  4. Kitchen: Wipe kitchen counters, place dirty dishes in dishwasher.
  5. Bathrooms: Wipe counters, flush and close toilets.
  6. Living/Family Rooms: Hide magazines, newspapers, and games; remove clutter.
  7. Bedrooms: Straighten beds. Hide clutter under bed (not in closet).
  8. Exterior: Put away toys and clutter. Keep walk clear.
  9. Children & Pets: They are a distraction, so send them outside.
  10. Leave the house: Buyers must get emotionally committed to your home to buy it and they cannot become emotional about "their new home" if you, the current owners, are "hanging around." Take a walk, go for a ride, just don’t be home.