There are certain things a seller can avoid if they would like to get their home sold for the best price in the shortest time. Though no selling process is without mistakes, most are easy to avoid.
• Plan on taking some time to prepare your house properly before putting it on the market. Be willing to try to see the property through a potential buyer’s eyes and allow for a month to do any painting, deep-cleaning, decluttering, minor repairs, and perhaps some small upgrades that will enhance the house and property. An attractive, organized space is a welcome sight for buyers, as it gives them a chance to envision themselves in your home.
• There will most likely be unexpected costs. Be prepared to invest on minor renovations, staging, and pre-inspections. Also, occasionally it may be wise to invest in a larger project that would result in a significantly higher sales price.
• Be very cautious about hiring a friend, neighbor or relative as your agent. The selling process can be a long, arduous one, and you should feel comfortable to discuss issues frankly without the concern of putting your relationship at risk. Many sellers find that out the hard way when hiring a less-experienced agent just because they “know” them, only to discover that their agent did not have sufficient skills to effectively deal with the marketing and negotiation processes.
• Make sure you and your agent agree on what your home is worth and how it should be marketed. Don’t hesitate to ask for the agent’s reasoning regarding their recommended list price for your home. Do not be influenced by online price evaluation sites such as Zillow or Trulia because their estimated values are often highly inaccurate.
Ensure that your agent will use professional photography and provide widespread advertising both online and in print.
• Avoid the urge to list too high at the outset. Many sellers regret having tried to get too much for their home and found their house could sit on the market and start to look “stale” even though it had been a strong seller’s market. The ideal approach is to set the list price just at market value. This will generate a higher energy level in the first few weeks and result in the home selling faster and for the most money attainable.
• Buyers can be “picky”, even in a strong seller’s market. From their first visit to the property, some potential buyers will react to many things that are “wrong” in their eyes, even though they may be essentially cosmetic or easily resolved. Also, during their property inspection period, some buyers will react (and occasionally over-react) to various findings, regardless of the how serious they may actually be.
Michael Edlen has been ranked in the top 1 percents of all agents nationwide with nearly $2 billion in sales and more than 1,200 transactions. He has tracked Pacific Palisades sales since 1987. If you would like to know what your home may be worth today, Michael can be reached at 310.230.7373 or [email protected].