27 Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For The Best Possible Price
“…discover how to protect and capitalise on your most important investment..”
Because your home may well be your largest asset, selling it is probably one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. To better understand the homeselling process, a guide has been prepared from current industry insider reports. Through these 27 tips you will discover how to protect and capitalise on your most important investment, reduce stress, be in control of your situation, and make the most profit possible.
1. Understand Why You Are Selling Your Home
Your motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money and effort you’re willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would determine one approach. If you want to maximise your profit, the sales process might take longer thus determining a different approach.
2. Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself
The reason(s) you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself you don’t provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason( s) you are selling is only for you to know.
3. Before Setting a Price – Do Your Homework
When you set your price, you make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible. If you start out by pricing too high you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents. If you are pricing too low it can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for.
Setting the price right is vital … set it too high and you’ll receive little interest but set it too low and it could result in the sale of your home for far less that its true potential. Ask your local Professional Estate Agent, who’ll give you a free market appraisal of your home without obligation.
4. Do Some “Home Shopping” Yourself
The best way to learn about your competition and discover what turns buyers off is to check out other houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of plot, location and other features. Particularly note, not only the asking prices but what they are actually selling for. Remember, if you’re serious about getting your home sold fast, don’t price it higher than your neighbour’s.
5. Getting a Home Report (Scotland) or Survey Inspection is a Benefit
Sometimes a good survey can be a benefit in marketing your home. A Home Report or survey is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the figure you hear.
The majority of properties which are put onto the market in Scotland from 1st December 2008 need to have a Home Report. The Home Report is designed to bring together key information needed by buyers and sellers at the very start of the home-buying process.
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you or your buyer will ever make. With a Home Report you’ll both learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you sell or they buy, so that you can minimise unpleasant surprises and difficulties.
Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyers, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
6. Lender Valuations – What They Really Mean
Some people think that Lender Valuations are a way of evaluating a home. The difficulty here is that these assessments of value are generally based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home’s true value.
7. Deciding Upon an Estate Agent
When deciding upon an Estate Agent, consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that are too low as those that are too high.
All Estate Agents are not the same! A professional Estate Agent knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm and personality. Be sure you choose someone that you trust and feel confident that they will do a good job on your behalf.
8. Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate
Before settling on your asking price make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priorities to know if you’ll price high to maximise your profit or price closer to market value if you want sell quickly.
9. Appearances Do Matter – Make them Count!
Appearance is so critical that it would be unwise to ignore this when selling your home. The look and “feel” of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.
10. Invite the Honest Opinions of Others
The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to rely solely on your own judgment. Don’t be shy about seeking the honest opinions of others. You need to be objective about your home’s good points as well as bad. Fortunately, your Estate Agent will be unabashed about discussing what should be done to make your home more marketable.
11. Get it Spic n’ Span Clean and Fix Everything, Even If It Seems Insignificant
Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you’ll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.
12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualise Themselves in Your Home
The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone’s life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colours, like white or beige and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.
13. Deal Killer Odours – Must Go!
You may not realise but odd smells like traces of food, pets and smoking odours can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog, or that you smoke, they’ll start being aware of odours and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don’t leave any clues.
14. Be a Smart Seller – Disclose Everything
Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent problems later on.
15. It’s Better With More Prospects
When you maximise your home’s marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each other; a single buyer will end up competing with you.
16. Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations
Let go of the emotion you’ve invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You’ll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.
17. Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated
The better you and your Estate Agent knows your buyers the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows your Agent to control the pace and duration of the process.
As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables your agent to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly. Armed with this information you and your Estate Agent are in a better position to bargain.
18. What the Buyer Can Really Pay
As soon as possible, it is to your Estate Agent to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her deposit payment is.
19. When the Buyer Would Like to Move-in
Quite often, when buyers would “like” to move-in is when they need to move-in. Knowledge of their deadlines for completing negotiations again creates a negotiating advantage for your Estate Agent.
20. Never Sign a Deal on Your Next Home Until You Sell Your Current Home
Beware of concluding missives or exchanging contracts on your new home while you’re still making mortgage payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.
21. Moving Out Before You Sell Can Put You at a Disadvantage
It has been proven that it’s more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it becomes forlorn looking, forgotten, no longer an appealing sight. Buyers start getting the message that you have a another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of pounds.
22. Deadlines Create A Serious Disadvantage
Don’t try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.
23. A Low Offer – Don’t Take It Personally
Invariably the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer knows he’ll pay for your property. Don’t be upset, evaluate the offer objectively. This can simply provide a starting point from which you can negotiate.
24. Turn That Low Offer Around
Your Estate Agent can counter a low offer or even an offer that’s just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer isn’t seen as being a serious one. Now you’ll be negotiating only with buyers with serious offers.
25. Maybe the Buyer’s Not Qualified
If you feel an offer is inadequate, now is the time to make sure the buyer is qualified to carry the size of mortgage the deal requires. Your Estate Agent should have enquired how they arrived at their figure, and suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your neighbourhood.
26. Ensure the Contract is Complete
To avoid problems, ensure that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale. It should include such items as the date it was made, names of parties involved, address of property being sold, purchase price, finance in place, date for loan approval, date and place of exchange/missives, type of deed, including any contingencies that remain to be settled and what personal property is included (or not) in the sale.
27. Resist Deviating From the Contract
Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.