As in all autopsies, it begins with the ‘Why?!’ incision. Whether you’re representing the buyer or the seller, what just happened must be understood before proceeding to the next bid.
Not Having Expert Professional Advice
There’s a top and bottom 10% in every field, from your dentist to your mechanic. The same is true with real estate brokers. Partnering with the right agent is key to your success. Hire an experienced, savvy REALTOR®. They are trained and held to a higher standard. They will tell you what lenders will and will not allow to close. See my blog on How to Hire the Right Real Estate Broker. A top notch agent will condition you to not only market values, but also on listing and selling strategies.
Not Understanding the Market
Too often, sellers aren’t counseled by their agent to know the market. In a seller’s market, the house may sell quickly and for top dollar in good to great, but not excellent condition, but too much deferred maintenance will either kill the deal or land your sales price toward the lower end of the recently closed properties price range.
Not Knowing the True Condition of Your House
An important strategy in pricing your property is to know its condition from top to bottom, inside and out – and under and over! A buyer should not discover you have structural damage, termites in the crawl space, bats in the attic and/or water leaks. A lender won’t fund a closing with excessive moisture or active termites. Bats are a protected species and may not be disturbed during mating and nurturing season. Their droppings are an environmental hazard that must be disclosed. Once a buyer has discovered major defects, a strange thing happens… they fall out of love with your home sweet home!
You may conclude you’ll not invest in a home inspection before listing, but beware a listing agent who doesn’t recommend one. Would you buy a car without looking under the hood or starting the engine? Your agent is setting you and buyers up for disappointment and longer days on market by not insisting you know the true condition of your property.
Houses with updates sell faster and for more money. Unless you’re targeting an investor and want to receive 30 – 50% off what your neighbors are receiving for their home sales, there should be no immediate need for kitchen and bath updating. A home with kitchen and bath updates in the last 5 years in an older neighborhood will earn closer to 100%, and sometimes over, a well-established price point. Without these updates, the obtained sales price will be closer to the lower end of the range. But be wise – the overall condition of the home must be equal for this kind of return.
No Delays or Disappointments
Follow these guidelines, make sure your house is market ready before listing, really listen to and hear feedback, and act on problems immediately when they pop up. It establishes goodwill with the other side of the transaction, and leads to a smooth closing so you can move on to your new home, and avoid the autopsy table.
# # #
Chrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local, homegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market, including New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Luxury Homes and GREEN Features. Contact her at 704.562.1030 TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com