By John E. Baer, SRES, SRS
With the National Association of Realtors predicting that a large number of millennial’s plan to buy a home this year and with mortgage rates low, 2019 should still be a good year to sell your home. Therefore, if you are seriously planning to sell your home, here’s several things you can do to get top dollar.
It is still a Seller’s Market
Many real estate professionals and economists believe that 2019 will have fewer bidding wars, fewer offers, and that homes will stay more days on the market before an offer arrives. My experience differs slightly. I am finding Westchester homes that are properly priced and in the $400,000 to $600,000 price range are selling quickly. Even in communities with outstanding school systems, three and four bedroom homes properly priced under $1 million appear to be selling quickly. On the other hand, homes that are overpriced are the ones not selling. This is because close to 90% of buyers are looking at available homes online and can generally determine which homes are properly priced and which are not.
Know What Appeals to
Homes that sit on the market are most cases not updated and often not priced to take that into account. Make sure that tired looking walls and ceilings are freshly painted, that the outside of your home, your property and landscaping looks fresh and attractive. First impressions of your home are exceedingly important. And keep in mind that minor updates can make a difference such as new wall outlet plates, faucets, knobs, and other finishes that can make old fixtures look new. These are all inexpensive but effective upgrades.
Decluttering and Staging Matters
As a seller, you may be looking at areas to cut costs in order to get the most out of your home sale, however, this type of strategy may be a mistake. Staging your home for sale still matters and it’s vital to the sale of your home, even in the seller’s market. Not only does staging help to present the home in its best possible light, it also makes a huge difference with your home’s presentation online. Without great pictures and an excellent listing, you could be making the wrong first impression. Without staging, your online pictures may present as dull and boring. However with staging, your pictures will tell a story, show potential buyers how great the home can look and draw plenty of attention. Many professionals believe staging can increase the sale price by 10% or more.
• Get rid of clutter, including too much furniture. Clear out the clutter in your closets.
• Keep your home neat, clean and odor-free.
• No family photos, religious symbols, or personal collections on display. You want people looking at the features of your home and not distracted by these items.
• Let the light come in. Remove heavy drapes and other window treatments that prevent the natural light from coming in.
• Keep your kitchen counters free of appliances and other clutter
• If you have hardwood floors, remove carpeting and rugs and refinish your floors.
Carefully Select Your Real Estate Agent
Signing with a real estate agent is hiring someone to perform an expensive service, so treat it like an important job interview where you’re the employer. Ask questions, interview more than one candidate and make a decision when you find the right person for the job. Pay attention to how agents communicate and perhaps more importantly how they listen. And since you will be working with this individual for a while, make sure that you feel comfortable with their personality. Talk to them about marketing and ask them how they plan to market your home. And when it’s all said and done, go with the one that you feel is the most professional, knowledgeable, attentive, honest, and you trust the most.
If You Don’t Price Your Home Right, You’ll Really Pay
Make absolutely sure that the price you ask is what the market value is for your area. In fact, it may make sense to list your home at the lower end of the market value range. At the end of the day, the final price you get could be well above your listing price.
John E. Baer, SRES, SRS is a NYS licensed real estate salesperson associated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Westchester Properties of Scarsdale and Larchmont. He can be reached for questions at 914/600-6086 or at 914/844-2059. His website is www.WestchesterHomes.info.