- Pricing. Expect that the typical Buyer is likely looking for not only a great value but also a “steal”. Be comforted in knowing that the decision as to what a Seller ultimately agrees to sell their property for rests with you and you alone without pressure or coercion from anyone else.
It is necessary to periodically check comparable sales (and competitive listing activity) to ensure that your asking price is within reasonable view of what a licensed appraiser’s opinion of value is likely to be because 95% of Buyers will require some form of financing. Lenders will lone monies only on the lower of appeased value or contract sales price.
Avoid falling for a commonly held belief in thinking, “Well, I can always come down in price if it doesn’t sell.” The problem with that thinking is that a Buyer might not even “see” your listing if it is priced too high. For example, if the market price is estimated to be $175,000 and a Seller listed their home for $210,000 in hopes of getting around $175,000, the Buyer may have previously required their Agent to show them only houses on the market for sale priced under $200,000. The Seller’s listing is “invisible” to that Buyer even though that Buyer may have been happy to purchase that house for the estimates market values of $175,000.
- Retail vs. Wholesale. Today’s Buyer can be very picky. The wise seller is one who takes proactive steps to create the most favorable first impression for their home. Neatly trimmed shrubs, lawn, fresh mulch, ensuring that there is no peeling paint, loose shingles, etc., are generally low cost but high pay back considerations.
Similarly, leaky faucets, carpet stains, scuffs on window trim and doors, burned out or missing light bulbs are things that can generally be taken care of with relatively little expense. Buyers typically overestimate the cost of doing repairs to eliminate themselves so it is far better to eliminate these possible “red flags”.
Uncorrected major repair items such as a non-working heat pump, safety problems like broken or missing hand rails or cracked window glass, etc. pose additional problems that often times cause purchase and sales agreements to be terminated, particularly if the buyer requires financing and can’t get loan approval due to home inspector, appraiser or underwriter required repairs.
A highly trusted, highly qualified listing agent representing the best interest of a seller will anticipate potential problems by proactively discussing these issues in advance with lenders to determine what loans might still permit the buyer to receive loan approval and close (such as having monies held in escrow for repairs to be done post closing. An FHA 203k loan is such an example).
- Color and Odor. The hot pink bathroom, dark paneled small den or UT orange bedroom color may be your idea of a dream color scape, but those color schemes will likely “put off” many buyers. At the very least, those same buyers view this as added time and expense for them to correct following closing. An offer reflecting wholesale prices (vs. retail) is likely an outcome unfavorable to the seller. Therefore, painting with more neutral, earth tone colors is highly recommended. White trim with some contrasting wall colors is smart.
Pet odor can also be the death knell for many sellers. Professionally clean carpets, regularly change litter boxes, avoid cooking fish prior to a showing appointment and in all cases, keep the property clean clean clean! Make the beds, leave accent lighting on prior to “showings”, and open shutters and blinds to let natural light show through.
- Clutter and the Rest. Get rid of items that you don’t plan to take with you after closing by having a yard sale and/or placing other unneeded items in storage. Often times, inexpensive but new dish towels, shower curtains and dining room place settings really spruce things up. Visualize photos you’ve seen in Southern Living magazine and stage your master bedroom, dining room and perhaps another room in a similar fashion. Also, be very mindful of traffic flow. If too much is in the way of buyers as they walk through your home, many will not be able to visualize their own furniture in your home even though room dimensions would otherwise work.
- Use Creative Marketing. How many people even subscribe to a newspaper today? Ensure that you utilize a listing agent who does not subscribe to the 3 P Method of marketing (puts the data in MLS, places a sign in the yard and sits back and prays that your house sells). I believe in prayer but there’s far more to effective marketing in today’s environment. In Middle Tennessee, for example, the Multiple Listing Service allows us up to 20 photos to be loaded for public viewing on the internet. It’s shocking to me how many listings do not have even a front photo of the property for sale! Many buyers will not even consider a house without seeing a photo.
If you are thinking of selling your house in Middle Tennessee, let me provide you with a free market consultation!
Tags: Buy a Home in Murfreesboro Tennessee, Home Selling Tips, Home Selling Tips in Murfreesboro, Listing Agent in Murfreesboro Tennessee, Middle Tennessee MLS, Murfreesboro MLS Homes, murfreesboro Tennessee Real Estate, selling a home in Murfreesboro Tennessee