Hello – thanks for stopping by my blog today. My last entry outlined the top 10 ways for a buyer to negotiate the lowest price on real estate. Today let’s talk about how sellers can position themselves to earn the highest amount when selling in today’s competitive market.
#1. Top of my list for the seller to negotiate their highest price is to get their home pre-inspected. Of course this deals with re-sale homes more than new construction. The classic mistake too many sellers make is to wait and let the buyer pay and perform the home inspection. By not the spending a few hundred dollars up front to have a qualified home inspector do a full mechanical/structural inspection the seller will weaken their negotiating position greatly. My advice is for the seller to address every item on the inspection. The buyer will still have the right to bring their own inspector – but this is the smart way to do business for several reasons.
a. By doing an inspection up front – the home sale is less likely to fall through during the escrow. When a home sale falls through – for whatever reason – it is never good for the seller. It can be overcome – but the loss of momentum will likely cost the seller something.
b. The seller will be able to negotiate without the pressure of not knowing what additional costs are likely to come up during the inspection.
#2. Price the home right. Another words don’t price home thousands over what you expect to accept for the home. This is not the type of market that you can put any price on a home and expect for a buyer to appear and give you an offer. Our current market is more of a buyers market than a sellers market. Use an agent that you respect professionally. Ask that agent why they suggest the price that they do recommend. Study the homes that have SOLD – not what your neighborhoods have “listed” their home for – it may never sell! Price your home right and generate some excitement by getting the full force of your beginning market bounce.
#3. Hire an agent that knows how to generate on-line prospective buyer’s to view your home. ALL REAL ESTATE AGENTS ARE NOT ALIKE. Paying a discount service to put your home on-line or in MLS (multiple listing services) is NOT how you get on-line buyers to view your home. There are WAY too many homes for sale for that approach. As my Mom used to say – that is “penny wise & dollar foolish”. A sure recipe for loosing money rather than gaining money at your closing.
#4. Professionally stage your home for sale. Get someone that can give you the prospective of the “eyes” of our current buyers market. Tell them to give you an honest assessment on how to improve its presentation from street appeal to every room in your home. We give a free home staging consultation AND a home staging basket that includes a books and videos on home staging. Let’s face it – everyone thinks their home is terrific and well decorated, but this is not time to get sensitive if earning the highest amount at your closing is your goal.
#5. Be ready to reduce your price after 2 months if your home has not had second showings or is not getting enough showings. Work with an agent that will send you every home that your home is in competition with – if necessary go see some of the other homes that buyers will likely see. But remember – the ones to really study are the homes that have sold.
#6. Offer a home warranty to the new buyer. This is a great sales technique that will cost you “0” upfront and usually less than $500 at closing. The correct warranty also will offer some “limited” benefits for you the seller during your marketing period.
#7. Hire an agent that has many listings. This is the only way you can be sure that your agent is getting calls from “right now” ready buyers. It is helpful to study prospective agent’s websites to see how many active listings that they are marketing. Do not be confused by agents that have access to all multiple service listings – that is not the key to getting those calls from buyers. Buyer call result from signs, web and print advertising – make sure your agent has a consistent steady flow of new listings to attract home buyers.
#8. BEWARE of any agent that wants you to sign an offer too quickly. Understand the offer you’re being presented fully. Expect your agent to tell you the good AND the bad about any offer. If they can’t explain the down side – you’ve got the wrong agent. Signing an offer is just like getting married. People who get married quickly – call it “love at first sight”. That can result in “divorce at first fight”. Signing a contract is like getting married – look before you leap!
#9. Work with an agent that doesn’t need your sale. The agent you choose MUST be able work in your behalf from a position of “strength” and confidence. The agent has to protect your interests. That cannot be done when the agent is willing to bend or wants to negotiate too much. Many a “last minute” tussle arises in our business – your agent has to be willing to loose in order to win your highest price.
#10. Work with an agent that knows how to position the offer so you are protected from last minute problems that cost you money. This includes protecting your interests by scrutinizing dates in the contract to your best interest at the very beginning. An escrow that falls apart in the first 2 weeks is much easier and less costly for the seller than one that falls apart 2 days before closing. Ask anyone that has ever been through this and you’ll see what I mean.
That’s it, 10 of my best ideas on how to sell your home and gain your biggest “Sellers Payday”. I really appreciate your dropping by my blog. Remember – learn everything you can about buying and selling your biggest investment. It will pay off handsomely!! God Bless – come back soon.