An interesting phenomenon has occurred in the past three years in the Northern Virginia real estate market and home owners have regained their power position.
The real estate market has tipped slightly to the seller’s favor. Let’s say it is much closer to a balanced market than a few years ago.
There are a lot of factors that have helped but the strong economy and a lag in new construction has demand far out stripping the supply. What I hope to do is help you start the process to get the highest price for your home.
Also read more in How I Sell Your Home?
Preparing for today’s smart home buyers
Since I work with home sellers and buyers, my perspective on how to make your home appeal to buyers is intended to help appeal to the greatest number of people. Preparation is essential and I expect you to tap into my team of painters, a reliable handyman, junk guys or a member of a local “design team” that can add that extra element.
Exposure on the Internet
Almost every home buyer has an app or two on their smartphone to search for homes. Your home has to be there as soon as it hits the market with clear photos and well written copy.
Sites like Zillow, Trulia or Redfin all get their data from our MLS known as MRIS. Your home has to be on those sites since they millions of views every day.
Don’t turn off potential buyers
A “Coming Soon” sign in the front yard will negatively impact market exposure and potentially attract an offer before your house gets exposure to the broad market. This Realtor strategy is designed to serve the real estate agent only and offend potential buyers who are well prepared to buy your home.
I believe in marketing a home to the biggest buyer pool possible and not just folks who happen to drive by your house. My strategy is to have your house shine and not get looked at while you are fixing up the blemishes all homes have… that’s something we will discuss.
When I asked an agent in Vienna recently about her “Coming Soon” sign, she admitted that they had no idea how to price the property and were testing the waters. What I found troubling was that her “price ” was, in my opinion, $65,000 below market. When I mentioned the property to some savvy buyer clients, they thought something must be really wrong with the place.
Have your house in mint condition. That goal may not seem possible, but, it is a worthy goal.
Today’s buyers have watched hours of HGTV and are quick to dismiss a house that smells, looks dirty, or is full of your junk. If you want the most out of your house then you must put in time and effort.
Read this if you are Planning to sell in 2017?
Although condominiums can be complicated to access, most homes should allow Realtors and buyers easy access to your home.
Sometimes that recommendation is difficult and I understand those situations, but it is very important to being successful that you make it easy for people to see your home.
Here is a little insight that may explain my thought process here…
- The buyers may be here for a couple of days from California and have to catch a flight home tomorrow at 3:00.
- Both buyers work. He is in Reston but she works in D.C.
- He drove over from Annapolis this morning to look at homes, and your house just popped up this morning
This is another reason why the “Coming Soon” sign strategy is counter productive.
Why lighting is important
An easy way to make your house shine is to use the best light bulbs possible. Unfortunately, those compact florescent bulb (CFL) that you have buying aren’t the right ones for selling your house.
Most CFL’s take about 30 seconds to get bright, and some may take longer. Buyer’s looking at your house aren’t going to wait for the full spectrum to appear because that isn’t how they look at homes (more on that).
Although I recommend that when we stage your house and have it “ready to show”, your lights should be on. It is time to sell… think about walking into Macy’s and the presentation they make.
I see a lot of people drop the ball when it comes to recessed lights because they have put in a standard 60 watt bulb or a CFL flood light.
My recommendation is to go to Home Depot or Lowes for proper indoor flood lights. A trip down to my local Giant supermarket will only result in a CFL (shelf space limits) and you want bulbs like Philips DuraMax 65w indoor floods.
I have had hundreds of conversations about closets with clients.
You should think of your walk-in closet like stepping into Nordstroms. Home buyers love a great closet!
Although I haven’t seen inside it yet, I bet that 25% of the clothes haven’t been work in a while. This is a great opportunity to thin out your belongings because it will make the closet seem more spacious, and more organized.
Home builders are notorious for putting one or two $19,95 builder-special light fixtures in closets too. Consider replacing those with a cool looking track light system ($50-ish). Again, smart home sellers think Nordstoms.
Home Sellers… Get Your Home Ready to Sell
Every so often, a client comes to me thinking we can through a house on the market in a matter of days. Although I have done it when the owner has prepped for me, most home sellers need to get a long list of things done first.
I wrote an article on the blog that Pinterst fans have liked for years… How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell in 30 Days
To set up a confidential meeting, send me an email email@example.com or give me a call, 703-304-6827.