Selling a house can sometimes be stressful, because mostly you are in for a pretty long stay on the market. If you face the facts earlier than your competition does, and follow the strategies that are practical and help selling your house in the real world, the process of selling might become less daunting.
People have a delusion that the real estate market is getting better every day, which is partly true. Yes, the sales have increased over time, but the pricing is still pretty similar to what it was in the past. The market hasn't witnessed any major increase in pricing in past few years.
Sellers always want to believe that their house will be the exception. According to Diane Saatchi, Saunders & Associates Real Estate's senior vice president, people always want to sell a house they no longer want at a price higher than the market value, and they want to purchase their dream house at a discount, which will never happen. It is time to embrace the truth. Outlined below are 5 things every shrewd homeowner must do if he/she wants to sell his/her house this season.
1. Break up with your home
Delusion: Everybody is going to love my home to the degree that I do.
Reality: The prospective buyers normally see all the other homes in the neighborhood with almost similar amenity list, but the seller only sees one, i.e. his/her own. Try to tame your ego, and get your emotions under control. Feeling ambivalent, attached, defensive, or proud about your house is normal, but it clouds your judgment most of the times.
It's the buyer who needs to be emotional, not you. Therefore, detach your emotional connection with the house before you list. In other words, break up with your home, including the part where you get your stuff backâ€¦
In order to let the buyer picture himself/herself there, you need to remove your personal items. Also, it will help you cope with the emotional stress you might go through during the mental transition from homeowner to seller. Keep the house decorated enough to appear appealing and inviting to the buyers, but get rid of personal things like family photos, etc.
The detachment is the key. How could you sell your house at a good price if you are struggling to accept the reality yourself? While other home-sellers are struggling to acknowledge the market realities and are making protracted mistakes, you will be able to make accurate comparisons and an attractive deal on the very first try.
2. Manage your listing yourself
Delusion: My broker will handle everything for me.
Reality: It is very tempting to depend on a professional who is likely to tell you exactly what you would like to hear, or the one who promises to handle the entire process and reports you when everything is done. You need to be more practical than that provided that you want to sell your house for the maximum amount. You need to take a business transaction seriously, and selling a house is a business transaction.
You don't want a real estate agent who tells you that your house is beautiful and offers you a high price, it is the buyer you are after. You have to opt for a broker who can show results, who is successful in real estate business, and who has actually sold houses. Listening to an expert advice is no doubt important, but you need to participate in the discussion. Speak up, don't hold your thoughts back, prepare yourself, and work with your agent to make suitable, informed decisions.
3. Dump the deductions
Delusion: Buyers will definitely see the potential; I don't need to do the work!
Reality: House hunters are most likely to just chip away at your proposed price for every flaw they discover. It doesn't mean that everything needs to be brand new. However, any big item that needs to be repaired must be repaired. Is it advisable to let the potential buyer argue that he/she needs at least a $3000 discount to replace the carpet while a professional cleaning can make the existing one look excellent for just $300?
Fix everything that is repairable!
4. Learn from the mistakes of other sellers
Delusion: My house is great and worth the asking price. I should wait until someone accepts my asking price!
Reality: A home is worth what the buyers are ready to pay for it. Normally, sellers overestimate the value of their house, and find out the truth the hard way that they have misjudged. You should try to skip this long learning curve. Find out the prices of the houses similar to yours, and the ones that have already been sold. Pick a group you want to join and decide accordingly. Sold houses in the area are a perfect representation of what is going on.
5. Make them swoon
Delusion: Either the buyer will consider my house as home or he won't, and it is not in my hands.
Reality: There are houses that meet every criterion, but make the maybe list, while other offer something special that gives the buyers a fuzzy, warm and slightly panicky feeling when walking out the door. They feel guilty of not making an offer.
Visiting the competing houses is the best way to know the effect. Pay attention to every detail during while hunting for a house for yourself. Remember, buying a home is an emotional purchase. Therefore, you need to give that homey feeling to the buyer.
Try to construct a curb appeal with neatly trimmed shrubs, freshly painted entrance door, a clean walk, etc. Make the kitchen cheery by cleaning the windows and letting the sunlight in. A bouquet of yellow flowers will add spunk!
If you have done through and remember every detail that really helped you make a decision about your new home, try to replicate it in order to elicit the emotional response in buyers that can result in an offer.
Martin Lloyd is a clinical psychologist who has 5 years of experience. He also loves to write about various psychological aspects of selling and purchasing property. He highly recommends LEDA Real Estate for property exchange.