Resources for Sellers
Max $ales Price
Negotiation and Preparation are key factors.
But really, it's just math and a mindset
Why am I so Emotional?
Well, how often do you take on the monumental task of packing up your entire existence and leaving behind the most familiar place to you, where memories were forged? Selling a house can be stressful. Making the decision, preparing the house for sale, keeping it clean, waiting for a buyer, dealing with offers, and advancing to the closing table – all of these steps can involve discomfort. This is a huge financial transaction with many emotional aspects. But you can get it done – and it may even be easier than you anticipate.
One thing to keep in mind is that you're not alone. An experienced, professional real estate agent can guide you through the process, help resolve any issues that come up, and ensure that your home sells for the optimal price in a timely manner.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting your home on the market and learning how to sell your house:
Do I Need Professional HELP?
Plain and simple, owning a home can improve your quality of life, provide stability and give you a sense of control you just can't get from renting. You have a place to live when you rent, but buying is something much deeper – and better. A skilled, qualified real estate agent brings tremendous value to the process. You're relying on this agent on many different levels, so be careful to select someone with the right combination of education, experience, performance and local insight. Look for a proven expert who can cast a wide marketing net and attract as many potential buyers as possible. Be sure to let your agent know the particulars of your situation. Perhaps you need to sell within a certain time frame, are relocating out of state, or are facing foreclosure. Keeping your agent informed helps set the path for the best way to proceed, ensures that your needs are met, and ultimately contributes to a successful transaction. A Realtor has many things they can do for you that you can't do yourself. Also, when you hire a Realtor they have a very special relationship with you that are meant to be sacred. It is called a Fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary is a legal or ethical relationship of trust between two or more parties. Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money for another person. One party, for example, a corporate trust company, the trust department of a bank, or a Realtor with their client acts in a fiduciary capacity to the other one, who for example has entrusted funds to the fiduciary for safekeeping or investment. Likewise, asset managers—including managers of pension plans, endowments, and other tax-exempt assets—are considered fiduciaries under applicable statutes and laws. In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance, and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trusts. This relationship protects you and puts you as the Realtors highest priority. Having a Fiduciary with a Realtor should put your mind at ease and also help you focus on your objective. Paying the typical 6% commission is well worth it to cover you from legal ramifications and to avoid some of the physical and mental stress involved.
How an Agent Markets Your Home
Experienced agents understand how to accurately price your home and make it stand out in the market. They also have access to a vast referral network, enabling them to connect with potential buyers across town or around the world.
Here are a few avenues RE/MAX agents may use to market your home, both online and off.
Multiple photos: Studies show that buyers are more likely to visit a home that includes multiple photos of the listing. Well-lit, wide-angled photos highlight your home's best features and important rooms.
Designated website: A customized website for your home is an effective online marketing strategy. It can showcase your home with photos, virtual tours or videos, and details about the property and surrounding neighborhood.
Virtual tours: Video tours can be posted with or without a designated property website. Giving buyers an inside look at your property online can get them interested enough to schedule a showing.
Home search websites: More than 75 percent of buyers start their home search online. It’s important that your listing receives full exposure in the MLS and in search engine results. Posting your listing on Craigslist, Facebook, newspaper websites and elsewhere can also be effective in reaching potential buyers.
ReMax.com: All RE/MAX listings (as well as listings from other companies) appear on remax.com, where millions of buyers browse for homes and see listings with multiple photos, property descriptions and other details.
Design Center: RE/MAX agents have access to a proprietary design center that enables them to create professional marketing materials of your home for print and/or online exposure.
The RE/MAX network: Another advantage of choosing RE/MAX is direct access to a network of nearly 90,000 RE/MAX agents around the world, many of them working with motivated buyers.
The RE/MAX yard sign: The RE/MAX Balloon is among the most recognized logos across all industries, not just real estate. A RE/MAX yard sign in front of your house makes an immediate, positive connection with potential buyers who already know the brand. Your RE/MAX agent likely has other techniques that will attract qualified buyers in your specific market.
What will they THINK?
Have you ever wondered what people think when they enter your HOME? I know personally that it’s a direct reflection as to who we are. When you make the decision to turn your HOME into a PRODUCT it immediately becomes all about the perception and not at all about who you are.
This section will outline some things you need to look at to make sure you are doing the simple things to increase your “MaxSalesPrice”.
So, here we go! Your house needs to be neat, clean and orderly in preparing it for sale. Organizing and pre-packing items that are not regularly used will create a spacious feeling. Storage is one of the top items on a buyer’s list; therefore it’s necessary to show that your home has the space desired.
Things to think about?
Does each room in your house feel spacious? Is your house clean from top to bottom? Pre-pack all items that you do not need while selling your house Pre-pack off-season clothing and items Decide where you can store your boxes and extra items How does your garage look? If your basement is unfinished and used for storage, how does it look? Flooring is very important in preparing your home for sale. Buyers want a home that is move-in ready, and the flooring will reveal how well the home has been maintained. Up-to-date flooring is one of the most attractive features for buyers. What condition is your carpet in? What color is the carpet? What style is your carpet – Cut pile or Berber? Take into consideration the rooms you are carpeting, as this will help determine what style to select. If you need to replace your carpet, do you need to re-do every room? If not, select something that will work with rest of the carpet in the house. What style of vinyl flooring do you have? Does it need to be replaced? Do you have hardwood? Does it need to be refinished? Do you have hardwood under your carpet? Your exterior says a lot about how your home is maintained both inside and out. It creates a lasting impression when buyers drive by your home or view photos online, so show them that your property is well cared for. When buyers see an attractive exterior, they will be excited to view the interior as well. What minor repairs are needed? Make a list of what needs to be done Sweep or shovel walkways, driveways, patio/deck (salt in the winter) Maintain front, back and side yard Place flowers or winter arrangements on your front porch and/or in front of the garage remove all festive lights and decorations Buyers want to purchase a home that is move-in ready, and this includes the paint color. If your house is painted in very bright or unusual colors, potential buyers may be turned off or feel they can negotiate on your asking price. Neutral colors are restful to the eye, and most buyers want to live in the home awhile before deciding if they want to change the paint color. When was the last time you painted your house? Do your walls need to be painted a neutral color? If they are already neutral do they need a fresh coat of paint? Determine whether or not your house has a warm tone or cool tone before selecting your paint color Do you have wallpaper? Remove all wallpaper and paint a neutral color Do your doors and trim need a fresh coat of paint? Repair any holes or cracks in the walls and ceilings Put a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling to give the entire room a clean look “Depersonalizing” is an important step in selling your home. Since you’ve made the decision to move, you need to commit yourself and remove your identity from the house. You need to let go emotionally, and this can be a tough process. Focus on turning your home into a ”model home.” By disconnecting yourself from your house, you enable prospective buyers to emotionally connect and envision themselves living there – and not feel as if they are guests in your home. Remove all personal and family photos Remove all memorabilia Pre-pack books and music that do not appeal to a wide range of buyers Pre-pack your collections Remove and pre-pack any items that could be potentially offensive or disagreeable Store away and organize children’s toys, games, and books Buyers want to fulfill a wish list, not a to-do list. When they see a bunch of fix-up projects when walking into your house, they’ll turn away faster than you can say “water damage. “Oftentimes it’s not one big thing, but a lot of little things that turn buyers away. If there are problems and a significant to-do list, your house will drop to the bottom of their list, or attract an offer much less than what you’re looking for.
Present buyers with a complete package that is move-in ready – a home they can be comfortable and happy in.
Front Entrance How do the rooms look from where you are standing? Does your entrance feel spacious?
Kitchen How does the kitchen look and feel when you walk into it? Determine what needs to be done if your kitchen requires some updating How do your cupboards look?
Living Room Does this room feel inviting? How is your furniture positioned? Are there any repairs or upgrades needed in this room?
Dining Room Does this room show its function? Are there any upgrades or repairs needed? How is the furniture positioned?
Main Floor Family Room What is the focal point in this room? Is it apparent? Are there any upgrades or repairs needed? How is the furniture positioned?
Master Bedroom Do you feel calm walking into this room? How is your furniture positioned? Are there any updates or repairs needed?
Master Bathroom Are there any updates or repairs needed? Do you feel relaxed when you walk into this room?
Take an objective look at your house to determine what updates and repairs are necessary. Establish a timeline and budget to determine what needs to be completed to improve the overall presentation of your home. Buyers today are looking to purchase a home that does not require work. They are also willing to pay more for a house that has been taken care of, so show them that your home is in turn-key condition.
More things to think about
What are your timeline and budget? What updates have you been putting off? What repairs are needed? Repair or replace even the smallest items what condition are your windows in? What condition are your permanent light fixtures in? What conditions are your doors and trim in? Do you have any holes or cracks in your walls? Proper furniture placement helps present a room to its full potential. Keep in mind the traffic flow and how the buyers will walk through each room. Lighting is also a key factor. Turn on all lights for pictures and showings. When your furniture and lighting are properly placed, you show off the prime features and allow buyers to see the specific function of each room. How much furniture is in each room? How is your furniture placed? What size is your furniture? What condition is your furniture in? Do you need to rent or purchase new furniture? How much lighting do you have in each room? What condition are your permanent light fixtures in? These items can determine whether or not a buyer will make an offer on your home.
Buyers want to envision themselves living in the house, and if the home is not offered in a manner that will allow them to do that easily, most will move on.
Remove your pets while the house is on the market. Remove any signs of the pets (e.g. food and water bowls, toys, litter box, leashes) If your pets must stay in the house, hide any sign of your pet during showings Keep the litter box out of sight and cleaned daily What time of year are you selling? Are there going to be any holidays during that time? Decorate using items that are simple and nondenominational any holiday specific decorations need to be removed immediately after the celebrations
In a NUTSHELL its time to let go and realize your PRODUCT has to appease the masses and compete in a very competitive market if you are going to achieve your “MaxSalesPrice”
Pricing Your Home to Sell Smart, competitive pricing is essential. When you price too high, your home stays on the market longer, prolonging the process and increasing your expenses along the way. Home Seller Mistake No. 1: Pricing Too High “I can always lower the price later if I don't get any offers.” That statement costs home sellers millions of dollars every year. Yes, you can always lower your asking price, but that’s not a good strategy. Time and time again, experience shows that sellers who list competitively from the start get a better price than sellers who list high and then go lower and lower. Why? Psychology. When you price too high, here's what buyers think: “Wow, three price cuts in the last four months… There must be something wrong with that house.” “With all the price cuts on this house, the sellers must be desperate. Let's offer them far below what they’re asking and see if they bite.” Sound Pricing Strategies A far smarter approach is to find a knowledgeable agent who understands the local market and then work together on setting the right price. A good agent can help you avoid the overpricing trap.
An experienced agent will help set the right price for your home by considering the following:
Similar homes, via a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Your agent will provide a professional analysis that goes deep into stats about recent sales and current listings similar to your home in size, age, condition, and features. Sales within the past six months are especially relevant. General market conditions: Is it a seller's market or a buyer's market in your community? It's important to note that what's happening nationally may not reflect local conditions. Your agent can explain the difference and clear up any misconceptions you may have.
Prepping Your House for Sale Potential buyers get an impression of your home – either positive or negative – within 30 seconds of walking through the door. Having them see your home in tip-top selling shape is an absolute must. There are countless ways to put the freshest face on your home, many of them costing little more than a bit of your time.
Here are a few pointers for the most significant impact:
Outside: The Power of Curb Appeal • Clear any clutter and keep lawn decorations to a minimum. • Mow your lawn and trim shrubs. • Add bushes and/or colorful flowers. • Sweep sidewalks, porch, and driveway. • Remove or update any dated or personalized fixtures. • Put all toys away. • Fix damaged gutters, shutters, siding or roof shingles. • Add a tasteful welcome mat to the front door. • Clean all windows inside and out.
Inside: Leave No Trace Clean everything! Check for cobwebs on ceilings, dust on baseboards – everything. De-clutter. Then de-clutter again. Rent a storage locker if you need to. This is very important for increasing your home's appeal.
• Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls.
• Remove family photos and excessive wall decorations.
• Remove personal items, such as DVD collections and trophies.
• Replace worn carpets, and shampoo carpets that are dirty but still in good shape.
• Polish wood floors.
• Add fresh flowers or plants, but don't overdo it.
• Maximize your home's natural light by opening blinds and shades.
• Do a smell check and address any odors.
• Pet owners: Take Fido or Fluffy with you while your home is being shown.
Your agent can provide additional advice on prepping your home, and also give you insights into the preferences of local buyers. Consider a Home Inspection When Selling A home inspection isn’t just for buyers. It’s also something sellers should seriously consider before putting their house on the market. Why? Quite simply, you don't know what you don’t know. Imagine getting a great offer on your home only to discover, during the middle of the process, that it needs considerable repairs. This is the kind of surprise that can lead to buyers pulling out, costing you time and money on a number of fronts. It’s better to know problems from the start, and either deal with them before listing or price the home accordingly. A seller's inspection also provides a reference point from which to compare the findings of the buyer’s inspector. In particular, having a different professional opinion can work to your advantage in price negotiations. Your home inspection is a sales tool Having your home inspected before listing can also be an effective sales tool. You can confidently say that your home has been pre-inspected and is in tip-top shape, making that much more attractive to buyers. Attending your home inspection Attend your home inspection to see first-hand what the inspector notes, and to learn some important details about the house that may assist you in selling. When attending your inspection: Wear casual clothes and comfortable shoes. You may find yourself crawling under and behind things to see what the inspector is pointing out. Plan for the inspection to take two or three hours. Feel free to ask questions, but give the inspector time and space to work.
Home Inspection Checklist for Sellers:
Remove clutter that may get in the way of key inspection areas, such as water heater, furnace and main valves.
Clean up! A clean house shows you care and that you've maintained the property properly.
Provide full access to attic, basement, crawl space and garage. Leave the keys if they're needed to enter these areas.
Provide repair documents. If you've done any remodeling or replaced the roof, furnace or electrical system, provide the paperwork.
Also, display any paperwork about new appliances that may be included in the sale.
Leave utilities connected if your house is vacant.
So, this is negotiating?
Here it is! This is the time when you should consider sharpening your pencil. THE NEGOTIATION. negotiation (n) ne·go·ti·a·tion[ nə gṑshee áysh'n ] resolving of disagreements: the reaching of an agreement through discussion and ccompromise discussion sessions: one or more meetings at which attempts are made to reach agreement through discussion and compromise. Professional negotiators are often specialized, such as union negotiators, or may work under other titles, such as legislators, Realtors or brokers. Another great reason to hire a professional Realtor to represent you is this part of the process. The Realtor working as your FIDUCIARY will have your best interest at heart and will be able to remain objective during this process helping ensure you get your “MaxSalesPrice” Now is a good time to understand these two definitions so you can understand whom you are dealing with in a negotiation or maybe who you see when you look in the mirror. It's important to know which one of these people you are dealing with so you DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME! reasonable [ ˈrēz(ə)nəbəl ] ADJECTIVE (of a person) having sound judgment; fair and sensible: "no reasonable person could have objected" synonyms: sensible · rational · logical · fair · fair-minded · just · equitable · More as much as is appropriate or fair; moderate: "a police officer may use reasonable force to gain entry" synonyms: within reason · practicable · sensible · appropriate · suitable unreasonable [ ˌənˈrēz(ə)nəbəl ] ADJECTIVE adjective: unreasonable not guided by or based on good sense: "your attitude is completely unreasonable" synonyms: uncooperative · unhelpful · disobliging · unaccommodating · More beyond the limits of acceptability or fairness: "an unreasonable request"
Based on the activity of traffic and the REASONABILITY of any offers, you will realize very quickly what your “MaxSalesPrice” is. Negotiations Are Key!
So many times I have seen ego, misinformation or just downright stubbornness cost a sale unnecessarily. In most cases, one or both of the parties were not willing to consider the concern or objection of the other party. Many critical concerns will be discussed and decided upon during the real estate negotiation process. Because both buyer and seller often have decidedly different needs and priorities, negotiations can become emotionally frustrating and confusing at times. I want to enlighten you regarding the concept of negotiation in an effort to guide you to a fair “win-win” agreement between buyer and seller. Be Informed To be informed is the best tool you can use during negotiations. Knowledge about the home’s condition, the range of value and the many other aspects that affect value will be helpful to your ability to negotiate with confidence. In addition to information regarding the home’s features and value, you need to be aware of and consider your own emotional and financial situation. Seek To Understand – Then Be Understood To understand the negotiating process, you should first appreciate the impact of different levels of interest or motivation. Consider how differently you would approach negotiating if you “had to sell” versus “you would sell if you could get the right offer.” These differences, whether large or small, can create a stressful environment for everyone involved. This is when all the effort you have invested to gain critical knowledge about what to learn and what to do up to this point will help guide you through this critical step in the process. This is a point in time when your past work through the steps of the process come to bear. Get Agreement With Your Agent First Your agent can be an extremely beneficial resource here. When no intermediary is involved, people negotiating with each other directly tend to take fixed positions faster and more firmly. While some agents are accomplished negotiators, many agents fall short in this category. The agent can pour more gasoline on the fire by offering inconsequential sidebars to the other agent that are transmitted back to their customer, instead of strictly communicating the facts. In some situations, it is helpful for you and your agent to agree on the most favorable tactics to present the offer. As just one example, a personal note to the seller accompanying the offer that explains your logic for the offer, or a note from the seller back to the buyer explaining why they reacted as they did. Sometimes these notes help, sometimes not.Also, remember that although there are many styles and personalities which surface, both buyer and seller have the same goal – to protect their best interest.
POINT-COUNTERPOINT At this stage of the game, there are many considerations and possible apprehensions that occupy the minds of both buyer and seller. Here is an interesting look at their points of view.
THE BUYER’S INTEREST
• Why are they selling?
• How was the price determined?
• Have they had other offers?
• How long has the home been for sale?
• Will they come down on their price?
• Should I act firm or non-committal about my offer?
• How can I avoid overpaying without starting so low that I am not taken seriously?
• Will my financing contingency, or occupancy needs, affect my ability to negotiate?
• When should I introduce other aspects like poor condition/ slow market/ etc. that affect price?
THE SELLER’S INTEREST
• How serious is their interest?
• How was their offering price determined?
• Have they made other offers?
• How long have they been looking?
• Will they go up on their offer?
• How long should I wait to lower my asking price/ if at all?
• If I get a full price offer within the first week or two, did I “under sell” my home?
• Can they acquire financing?
• Do they have enough earnest money?
• How urgent is the time of occupancy to me?
As you can see, both buyer and seller have similar questions and concerns. The answers to these and many other questions depend upon your individual circumstances. Your best negotiating results will occur if you have chosen a competent broker to help guide you through this emotional time. It is your representative’s job to provide you with accurate, timely information in order to answer all of your questions and to help you understand the other person’s position. We hope you ask yourself these questions and relate them to your particular situation. You will find that the knowledge gained from these answers can help you create a smoother negotiation process and contribute to your success as either a homebuyer or seller.
Let’s Settle This!
My advice to you about negotiating is to be informed. If you understand the other party’s position and you have a good sense of the property’s true value, your chance of succeeding greatly improves. Keep in mind, it takes a mutual agreement before the home buying and selling process can be completed. Did I get a good Deal? Based on the fact that you have taken the advice given you on this site, I can share that aside from a very strange anomaly, YOU DID! So if you followed the instructions within this website and had good representation usually the answer is apparent. The math is simple. You will get out what you put in compared to the market surrounding you and the time you have to do it. The mindset? Well, that’s up to you.
If you have time and resources to dial in the house and make it presentable your “MaxSalesPrice” will be more.
If you don’t have the time and resources you will have to take your chances and could suffer based on the fact that the house will sit longer and fetch less. People really do want something move in ready so do the best you can to prep your house the best you can based on the information given.