A Stress-Free Selling Experience, Part 1: Pricing and Curb Appeal
In theory this sounds great. No seller will have a stress-free selling experience, but our service to our home sellers is to reduce that stress. We provide guidance and advice in many areas, not just the price. There are numerous ways we help to make this experience pleasant and hopefully quick.
We know the largest number of showings happen in the first week the listing appears on MLS, realtor.com and the internet in general. PRICE POINT is the important factor that attracts agents and buyers to a home. Streets and home styles are determining factors to set the price, but supply and demand are very important considerations in any market. Analyzing the comps in the area and how quickly the homes sold help establish the right price. Pricing just below can encourage a larger parameter for buyers in the price range.
Help Your Client Understand the Motive of the Buyer
First time sellers judge the sale price of their home by their memories of holidays, birth of their first born, entertaining friends and family and the overall enjoyment they have had through the years. It is our job to help them understand the motivation of the buyer. The buyers will be in the same emotional state as you were—searching for their own lifestyle and dreams. Reminding them of how they found this home will give them incentive to price it right the first time and not reduce it a few weeks later. We know that assessed value, taxable value has no bearing on what a willing buyer will pay for the home. Once the decision to sell has been made, the home becomes a financial asset that the sellers will be moving from in the following months.
Here are other factors to consider when pricing their home:
- Are we in a slow or fast market-a Buyer’s or Seller’s market
- Is the Seller under pressure to sell? (Job transfer? Have purchased another home).
- Is this the least expensive house on the street? (In which case, the price of surrounding homes may help to increase the value of yours).
- Is this the most expensive house on the street? (In which case, the price of surrounding homes may help to decrease the value of yours.)
- Where else can a purchaser buy for the same price as yours? (Is there something closer to work? Closer to transportation? Closer to the Central core?)
- What else can a purchaser buy for the same price as yours? (Extra bedroom? Finished basement? Brand new kitchen and baths? Private drive?)
- What does your home have in the way of unique selling features? (Master bedroom with ensuite bathroom? Lots of sun-filled rooms? Open fireplace? Special lot? Lots of storage?)
- Will the house appeal to the general public or will it need a “Special Buyer” because of some particular feature? (Wheelchair access? Highway or airport noise? Apartment beside or behind? Railway behind or nearby?)
- Is the house in “Move-In” Condition?
Once the price has been established, let’s look at the physical factors that need to be addressed.
Dress The Home For Success
The purchaser always visualizes what it would be like living in the house when considering it for purchase. If the house has strong personal statements the purchaser feels less comfortable and is less able to visualize the property as his or own.
Personal statements are reflected in many areas:
* Unusual wall colors or heavily patterned wallpaper
* Heavy odors from pets, tobacco or cooking
* Sounds of loud music or television
* Noisy children or barking dogs
* Strong political or religious beliefs
* Unusual art or furnishings
Any of the above may create a feeling that the house is dominated by someone and may interfere with the purchaser’s ability to “imagine this as their home.”
A house that shows poorly as a result of an overgrown lawn, peeling paint or mildew may also create the overall impression of an unkempt home. The first impression is the lasting impression, and once lost it can never be regained.
Creating a great first impression
A purchaser has developed his feeling about your home within the first 15 seconds. That’s right!
This is why the right first impression is critical to achieving a successful sale. The following outline has the key components which create the overall first impression, including suggestions on how to make sure the buyer reacts as favorably as possible.
Your landscape starts at the street and goes right up to your front door. Each part of the visual landscape must look its best. This is the very first impression.
Clear all litter and debris from the front of your house. Give it a fresh sweep if necessary.
The Fire Hydrant
Although you do not own the fire hydrant, it is part of your landscape. If it needs a coat of fresh paint get permission or request that the city does it.
Sweep the sidewalk if needed and remove all weeds in the cracks.
A freshly painted and repaired fence gives a home a well-maintained look. Oil a squeaky gate if necessary and repair the locks.
The mailbox is another overlooked item, but creates an impression.
Neatly trimmed shrubs are essential when selling your home. It takes time, but costs little and has a great impact. it is a good idea to plant flowers as soon as the weather permits.
The Front Walkway and Veranda
Like the sidewalk, it should be free of weeds and cracks—consider having them repaired.
A lawn should look healthy, neatly mowed and trimmed. If there are spots that look beyond help, a little sod should be put in to give the look of a well-maintained lawn.
A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your property. Don’t forget the shutters, they might need replacing or repainting.
A cleaning service can wash or repaint tired looking vinyl or aluminum siding using products designed for these materials.
The doorway is the focal point to the exterior of your house. Dress up the front door:
*Replace old hardware.
*Install a brass kick plate.
*Replace tired-looking house numbers.
*A flower box or planter looks great alongside the door.
*Install a new front light fixture or make sure the bulb works on the existing one.
These inexpensive steps can make your windows look more attractive and can increase the appeal of your property.
*Replace any cracked or broken glass.
*Make sure all windows are clean.
*Add shutters to the front of your house.
*Install window boxes with bright flowers.
*Apply touch-up paint where necessary.
The roof may be the single most important concern of your home. A well-maintained roof will say a lot about the overall condition of your property.
*Replace any broken or missing shingles/tile.
*Repair flashing where needed.
*Paint eaves and fascia boards.
*If the roof is old and needs to be replaced, consider having the work done before showing the property.
The Gutters and Downspouts
Neat and trim gutters and downspouts say a lot about the care given to a house. It will be worthwhile replacing ones in serious need of repair. If run-off areas are eroded, you can install concrete (or other) spillways.
The Driveway (and what’s in it)
A well-maintained automobile parked in the driveway will add to a buyer’s first impression. If you think your car may be a detriment to the property, park it down the Street.
Part Two covers Interior Packaging. Read it now!
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