Jay Allen's Blog
One of the toughest choices to make when selling a home can be choosing a bidder. It seems like it would be straightforward. You might think you should accept the first offer or maybe you’re in the camp of accepting the highest bid. And while both of these choices are valid there are other factors to take into consideration. Factors that can make selling your home even easier and relatively hassle-free.
One of the biggest fears people have and one that really throws a wrench in the process is potential buyers backing out of a deal or asking for pricey repairs. And for this reason, I suggest looking closely at all of your bids to review the concessions and contingencies each contract contains as well as the type of financing each buyer will be utilizing.
For example, one thing to look for is the earnest money deposit. This is money held in an escrow account by the listing agent or attorney for the duration of the transaction. If the buyer changes their mind outside of the allowable contingencies, it is forfeited to the seller...therefore, the more money held in escrow, the more confident you can be that the buyer will honor the terms of the agreement.
The strength of a buyer's financial profile is a good consideration when reviewing offers. A buyer with a 20% down payment might be viewed as a stronger buyer than one putting down 3%. And certainly, a cash buyer is desirable because with no bank involved, there are no loan approvals to worry about.
Sometimes buyers will include a "Sale of Home Contingency" in which the offer is made subject to a buyer's current home selling. This places a great deal of risk on you. If your buyer's home sale falls through, it means yours will too! If this is something you are not comfortable with, you may want to place the offer directly in the “No” pile...even if it comes with a strong purchase price or down payment.
Are they asking you to cover any expenses? Sometimes offers are submitted with a requirement that the seller cover a portion of the buyer's loan acquisition costs...also known as a "Closing Cost Credit." This credit would be subtracted from seller's proceeds at closing...so make sure you do the math and focus on the net sale price when considering your options.
Sometimes, choosing a bid is less about the numbers and more about convenience. If you are in the middle of shopping for a new home yourself, bidders who offer flexibility on the move in/out date could find their way to the top of your “Yes” list. Sometimes buyers want to keep furniture or appliances from a home, which can lighten the load for your move.
If your head is spinning from all of these different factors to take into consideration when choosing a bid, that’s okay! This is why working with a real estate agent is so beneficial. Look to your agent for advice when weighing out the benefits of each bid and on making the final decision.
Listing a home is all about first impressions. And if you fail to plan accordingly, you risk creating a home listing that misses the mark with prospective buyers.
Ultimately, there are several things you need to consider before you craft a home listing, and these include:
1. Your Home's Features
As a home seller, your goal is to stir up significant interest in your residence. Think about what makes your home unique. Then, you can incorporate information about your home's distinct features into your listing description.
Additionally, you will want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing. That way, you can show buyers exactly what your home has to offer and help them make an informed decision about whether to pursue your residence.
2. Your Initial Home Asking Price
How you price your home can have a lasting impact on your selling experience. In fact, if you set an initial asking price that exceeds Fair Market Value, you may struggle to generate interest in your residence. Price reductions in the future can solve this problem...but by then you will be in a more defensive position when negotiating with a prospective buyer. Better to employ smart pricing from day one!
As you put together a home listing, evaluate your house's age and condition. Also, spend some time reviewing the prices of available houses that are similar to your own in your city or town. This housing market data can help you see how your residence stacks up against the competition so you can price your house appropriately.
3. Your Home Selling Timeline
If your goal is to maximize your sale price, your listing efforts should be designed to attract a buyer in the first 30 days. Properties that have been on the market for significant periods of time often sell for considerably less. So consider your list price, presentation, and promotion carefully so buyers will be impressed with their showing experience and are eager to put pen to paper quickly. Create a sense of urgency for your prospective buyers.
Before you finalize your home listing, you may want to consult with a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent is happy to review your home listing and offer recommendations to help you improve it. Plus, a real estate agent can promote your residence to potential buyers and ensure you can enjoy a quick, profitable house selling experience.
For those who want to sell a house as quickly as possible, it often helps to think about what will happen after you list your residence. That way, you can plan ahead for the home selling journey and minimize the risk of potential roadblocks that otherwise may prevent you from achieving your property selling goals.
Ultimately, there are many questions for a seller to consider before listing a house. These include:
1. What makes my home unique?
No two houses are exactly alike, yet differentiating one home from another in a competitive real estate market may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a seller who understands a residence's strengths and weaknesses can determine what makes his or her house unique. This seller then can develop a strategy to promote his or her residence to the right groups of prospective buyers.
Sometimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. With an inspection report in hand, a seller can analyze a house's strengths and weaknesses. This seller next can use the inspection report to prioritize home upgrades and find innovative ways to differentiate his or her residence from the competition.
2. How much is my home worth?
What you originally paid for your home is unlikely to match your residence's current value, regardless of when you bought your house. You can conduct a home appraisal to receive an accurate property valuation.
A home appraisal frequently helps a seller establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her house. After a home appraisal, it takes only a few days for a seller to receive an appraisal report. And once this report becomes available, a seller can use it to set the correct price for his or her house – something that may help this residence generate lots of interest from potential buyers.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
Hiring a real estate agent may be crucial, particularly for a seller who is uncertain about how to navigate the process. A real estate agent will help a seller develop a plan to quickly sell his or her house. Plus, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help a seller optimize his or her home sale earnings.
In addition, a real estate agent wants to help a home seller make informed decisions. He or she will educate a seller about the local housing market and ensure this individual understands all aspects of the process. And if a seller has concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent can provide immediate responses.
When it comes to selling a house, it is beneficial for a seller to prepare for the road ahead. If a seller knows what to expect after he or she lists a residence, this individual can plan accordingly. Perhaps most important, a seller can take the necessary steps to ensure a quick, seamless, and profitable listing experience.
The number one factor that affects the length of time a house remains on the market is curb appeal. That's the consensus of real estate professionals across the country, and was documented in a recent study by a well-known real estate website.
So if it's such a high priority, then why do a lot of homeowners skimp on that aspect of preparing their home for a fast sale? Sometimes it's a lack of awareness; other times it may be a lack of money. In extreme cases, it can be quite pricey to transform a home from "shabby" to "exquisite!" That's an unusual scenario, though, and in most cases the cost of enhancing your home's curb appeal should be both affordable and cost effective.
Where to Begin
The ideal visual (and visceral) effect you want to achieve can be summed up in ten words: fresh, well cared for, aesthetically pleasing, manicured, meticulous, updated, and clean. Perhaps a more concise way to describe the image you want to project to potential buyers is "pride of ownership." Once you're conveying that impression, people are going to make positive assumptions about the value and condition of your home. While it's not necessary that the front of your property and home look perfect in every imaginable way, it is important to pay attention to small details and overall impressions.
Some homeowners will see this goal as an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn't have to be. The first hurdle is to take care of the basics, such as making sure your lawn always looks freshly mowed and that there's no signs of peeling or faded paint on your home and garage. Pulling weeds, placing a few colorful hanging flower baskets in strategic locations, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees are also effective ways to make your property look more desirable.
An advantage of working with a seasoned real estate agent is that they can quickly size up the outside appearance of your home, and make cost-effective suggestions of ways to improve curb appeal and increase the attractiveness of your property. When it comes to selling your house in the shortest period of time, first impressions are vitally important.
One helpful tactic for getting your house noticed by house hunters and real estate agents is to take a walk (or drive) in your neighborhood to see how your curb appeal stacks up to other homes for sale in the area. Ideally, you want your home to look at least as good, if not better, than other nearby properties. Since potential buyers may be focusing their search on specific neighborhoods, such as yours, you'll be giving yourself more of an "inside track" in the real estate market by making sure your home compares favorably to others in the immediate area -- both inside and out.
For those who intend to sell a house, it generally is beneficial to explore ways to minimize stress throughout the home selling journey. That way, a home seller will be prepared to deal with any potential pitfalls that come his or her way.
When it comes to prepping for the home selling journey, stress can be problematic. But if you can remain calm, cool and collected in the face of home selling hurdles, you can find solutions to these problems and enjoy a stress-free home selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure a stress-free home selling journey.
1. Evaluate Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
What separates your residence from others? Consider your house's strengths and weaknesses, and you can discover ways to transform various weaknesses into strengths.
Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. This will enable you to identify any structural issues with your house and address such problems before you add your residence to the real estate market.
2. Enhance Your Home's Interior and Exterior
For those who want to minimize stress, it may be a good idea to hire professionals to help you upgrade your house's interior and exterior. Because if you have professional support at your disposal, you can quickly and effortlessly transform an ordinary house into an exceptional one.
To find the best interior decorators in your city or town, you may want to search online. This will allow you to examine online reviews and customer feedback and find the best interior decorators in any area, at any time.
Moreover, you should not hesitate to hire professional landscapers to help you bolster your house's curb appeal. Professional landscapers can trim the hedges, mow the lawn and perform other home exterior upgrades to ensure your house stands out to potential buyers.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Don't let stress get the best of you as you prepare to sell your house. Instead, hire a real estate agent, and you can avoid stress throughout the home selling journey.
Ultimately, a real estate agent is a difference-maker for a home seller. This housing market professional will teach you everything you need to know about selling a house and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions. As a result, a real estate agent can make it easy to navigate each stage of the home selling journey.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive home selling guidance that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent can help you take an objective view of your home and establish a competitive price for it. Also, after you receive an offer on your home, a real estate agent can help you examine this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.
If you want to streamline the home selling process, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a home seller can reap the benefits of a stress-free home selling experience.