10. Try to sell “By Owner.” Sorry, I am not just saying this because my livelihood is in selling homes. If you want to sell your home, you need to be where the buyers are. Since about 90% of sales in Metro Detroit involve real estate agents, that is clearly where the buyers are. Additionally, many of the small 10% of non-Realtor transactions are between family members and known parties, making the odds for selling on your own even lower. Transferees coming in to this market always work with a Realtor.
9. Defer maintenence items. If something is broken, FIX IT. Period. Buyers today have lots to chose from and they don’t want your problems.
8. Leave “updates” like removing gold flocked wallpaper to the buyer so that they can “put in what they want.” In many price ranges, older homes are competing against nearby new construction that shows very well. Your gold flocked wallpaper will be laughed at during the showing and the “pottery barn perfect” home down the street will get the offer
7. Listen to your neighbors when they tell you to price your home a little higher. Clearly they want to protect their investment and you don’t want to “sell cheap” but if property values are falling then that is the market.
6. Hire your mom’s best friend Sally to represent you. If Sally tells you she does not know anything about the local market because she lives and works in Monroe, trust her judgment and hire someone who knows what they are doing.
5. Leave your Star Trek action figure collection set up in the den. Highly personal items are a distraction for home buyers. As much as you may love that collection, you’ll love it even more in your new home. You want them to remember your house, not Dr. Spock.
4. Ask your real estate agent to cut his commission. Sorry, I know that sounds self serving too, but think about it. Right now there is a surplus of homes for sale. Most listing agents have the highest level of inventory they have ever had. Many agents are turning away sellers. A Realtor’s costs for selling a home right now have increased as we have to advertise more (longer) and work harder on each transaction. If your agent agrees to a reduction in his or her commission, how hard do you think he is going to work at selling your home. And if he cannot justify his own commission do you think he will be the best negotiator when an offer comes in?
3. Make showings inconvenient for the buyer. Sorry, but every showing right now is more valuable than your family dinner. Pack up the kids and head over to Salvatore Scallopini’s or something. Don’t refuse a showing because, in all likelihood, that buyer will never come back and you have just missed your one opportunity to have him see your home. Selling a home is inconvenient.
2. Hire an agent without a strong marketing plan. Buyers are looking on the web. Can you find your agent on the web? If not, do you think buyers can find your home? Read our “Dear Mr. & Mrs. Seller” series for many other thoughts on marketing a home successfully.
And finally, the most important of all:
1. “Test the market” “Tell them to bring offers” Pricing is critical in this market. You will miss showings if you are not in the right price range. Buyers won’t write offers if they are not seeing your home because it is priced above the range they are looking. We’ve been successful getting quick offers on homes that were priced just slightly below the competition. Our sellers netted more than their neighbors who still have for sale signs in their yards months later because their home was priced a bit too high. This is not a market for testing. What you ‘want’ or ‘need’ out of a house, unfortunately, is irrelevant to a buyer.
Sounds like tough love, but there are lots of things the right agent can do to help you position your home successfully against the competition. In many market segments we have more than 2 years inventory that you will be competing against. The details matter. Good advice and implementation of a good marketing strategy will help get your home sold. Be informed and prepared and you will be a Seller not a homeowner with a “for sale” sign in the yard. The difference is huge.
[tags]michigan homes for sale, oakland county homes for sale, selling a home[/tags]