Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Having trouble selling your home? These tips can help!

I have been receiving a lot of calls recently from sellers who have been having trouble selling their homes so I thought I would write about what sellers can do to help bring traffic through their home in an ever dense listing season. Please understand that whether you are a FSBO (for sale by owner) or listed with another agent, these are some tips, many of which I have used for my clients, that will help offer you the competitive advantage.

The top 10 tips for selling your home, according to Realestate.MSN.com are:

1-Videotape your house, inside and out, and watch the tape as if you were a prospective buyer. Make sure you upload the video clip to a video site such as video.google.com and make sure the link is available on your MLS listing. If you would like to see an example of one I have done go to video.google.com and search "1817 Irving St NE" (Keep in mind that I am no photographer)

2- Take a second look at your listing price. If you are skeptical about lowering your price I can only recommend visiting open houses in your neighborhood or asking your agent to take a day to see similarly priced homes in your area.

3-Do whatever it takes to be away from your home during showings and open houses. Buyers typically become more relaxed when they can speak freely with one another or their agent.

4-Ask your listing agent to talk to buyer agents who have brought clients through your house. CSS (Centralized showing service) is a great company that allows the listing agent to track who has shown your property and forwards any agents information that has shown your home. The feedback from their clients can help you make adjustments to account for the market's perception of your home.

5-Possibly hold an open house on a weeknight. Competition is lower, and you'll attract the interest of buyers who can't make weekend appointments because of other commitments. Im not sure if I am the biggest fan of this idea, I tried it once before and havent seen nearly the same results as weekend open houses.

6-Take out some extra online ads or print ads, even if your agent is doing a good job with promotions. Look for out-of-the-ordinary places to advertise, I have had a lot of success with craigslist.com, an open source posting site that allows you to market, list and expose your home as frequently as you wish to potential buyers.

7-Neutralize your color scheme. Most buyers prefer pale, neutral or pastel colors that make it easier to imagine a new home as their own. Houses with white & yellow exteriors sell for the highest. For the inside, I would either recommend going with a pastel color or having a professional interior decorator chose a paint scheme for you. Many clients have had much success with a somewhat complex interior paint scheme that appealed much more strongly to buyers decorating interests by assessing their direct market of buyers tastes.

Above is an example of an interior of a two bedroom condo that went under contract in three days.

8-If you've had offers but you considered them too low, try readjusting your goals, remember, the price you get for your house isn't determined by anything but what the market will determine. I recommend working from bottom line needs and re-adjusting according what the market will bear..

9-Is your listing agent giving your house adequate attention? MAKE SURE YOU ARE PROTECTED before signing a listing agreement. In every listing I represent I make it perfectly clear that if, for any reason, my client believes that I am not giving their property the due loyalty, exposure and marketing effort that it deserves, Ill remove myself as their agent. All too often I have seen and spoken with agents that think that once they have a listing agreement signed, they can walk away and their client is bound to them, even if they don't do a thing for their client. PROTECT YOURSELF!!!

10-Re-list your house to give it a kick start. During your listing there are two numbers that represent the time your property has been on the market, one for the days on market with the current agent and the other for the total days on market. Remember that all agents have full access to both so keeping your home on the market just makes the number higher.

BONUS! 11-Another option, not mentioned above is staging your home. This is an especially good idea if you have already moved into your new home. I have found that time after time buyers walking into vacant homes have a difficult time visualizing furniture and belongings in a home that doesn't look 'lived-in'. In the past, and with the clients best interest in mind I have recommended staging their home and typically, we will pay for the staging until settlement. Given it does cost a bit more but you have to ask yourself 'would you rather stage your home for a few thousand dollars or risk having your house sit on the market for possibly months longer.

If you have any questions regarding staging or tips about how to stage your home please feel free to email me at jesse@jessebkaye.com

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