Lisa Sledzik
Top Ten Tips for Sellers

 

Align yourself with the right agent.  Take the time to have a face to face conversation with more than one person.  There is quite a bit to be said for chemistry and it is a collaborative effort; think about who feels like a good fit for your personality and who you feel will get the job done.  Ask about their marketing strategies, what sets them apart and their most recent success.  A frequently overlooked consideration is an agent’s reputation amongst their peer group…do they play well with others and have their respect?

 

The little things matter.  Prepare the property and make minor fixes before listing.  Buyers are opting for homes as close to turnkey over and over.  Ensure the potential buyer is focusing on the attributes of your home, not all the little things they need to fix. Replace light bulbs, clean out closets, spiff the landscape, clean, clean, clean, etc!

 

Is professional staging a good idea?  Each and every property is different and most look better furnished, but there have been properties I feel would show better vacant.  Same goes for staging, it depends on the competition, the buyer profile and the house itself.  Staging can be a very wise investment in some cases.  Ask your agent’s opinion and their rationale for it.

 

Check out the competition.  The fastest way to figure out what your house is worth is to look at what has sold in your neighborhood but you also need to take into consideration what the active competition is doing.  Put your buyer hat on and be as objective as possible.

 

Make the price tag pop.  Be very thoughtful about price.  The longer a house sits on the market the less it will bring.  It has been a long time since a seller has been able to set a price and wait for a bidding war.  You want to be seen as a real seller; if a home is overpriced, a buyer will dismiss it and move on down the road…regardless of how ‘wonderful’ it is.

 

Take the money and run!  If selling is more necessary than optional, it is important to get the facts from a Realtor.  Take a look at long term pricing trends.  In a declining market, time is of the essence.  Your house may not be worth as much as it was 5 years ago but it may be worth more now than it will be a year from now.  People are often slow to realize when it is time to take the loss and move on.

 

Neutralizing a ‘loss’.  If you will be selling a home to buy another, the lower selling price on the new house can compensate for the ‘loss’ you are taking on the old one.  Chances are the whole transaction will be net flat, at worst.

 

Take an active roll in the marketing! Internet and social media savvy?  Encourage friends and relatives to talk up the house.  Ask your Realtor for links to video and web sites so that you can promote the property as well.

 

 

Put your best foot forward.  Take a look at or ask your agent what the popular ‘look’ is for homes in your area and use it as inspiration.  Generally speaking, neutral paint colors & streamlined décor will appeal to the most buyers.  Maximize the light in your home, the significance of this cannot be emphasized enough.  Take down drapes, clean windows, change lampshades and increase the wattage of light bulbs.  Trim landscape to let the sunshine in!  Have a showing?  Open the curtains & blinds!!!

 

Last but not least…

 

Few things in real estate are tried and true… but what they say about your first offer generally is.  It usually turns out to be your best so don’t turn it down before giving it very strong consideration.  Do the math and evaluate all the numbers, not just the offer price and see how it fits into your long term plan.  Sellers are often emotional when it comes to selling their house so rely on the facts and the advice of the professional you have retained to sell the property.