After more than 15 years in the business of real estate, it still amazes me when I walk into a home that has just been listed for sale and see that there has been no attempt made to make sure it shows well. I don’t blame the sellers for that as most people only sell a home a few times in their life but I really have a problem with lazy listing agents who just want to list a home for sale and hope for the best.
When I list a home for sale, I am completely committed to getting the best possible price for my seller in the shortest possible time. And I know that the best way to achieve that is to make sure that the home is as appealing to potential buyers as it can be. So my initial job is to explain the benefits of thorough preparation to my sellers.
Buying a home is an emotional process and many people will write off a home for the wrong reasons. Small things like light bulbs that don’t work or dirty dishes in the sink can be a turn-off for many buyers. And it is all so easily avoided.
The first thing to do is to fix anything that needs fixing. A home in good condition will command a better sale price than one that needs work.
Next is to make sure that your home looks its best. If you were selling a car, you would most likely have it detailed, or at the very least thoroughly clean it and clear out any discarded candy wrappers etc. before advertising it for sale. And there is a lot more money at stake with your home than there is with your car. So remove all superfluous items that makes the home look untidy. Then spend the money on a professional cleaning service to have your home “detailed”. Some of the cleaning crews I recommend to my sellers do an incredible job in just a few hours and they really make your home shine.
For the finishing touch, I strongly recommend that you have your home professionally staged. Most people agree that staged homes sell faster and for higher prices than those that are not staged.
This level of preparation is particularly important in areas like the San Francisco East Bay where most local Realtors do take the trouble to advise their buyers in preparing their home for sale. These are your competition!
All of this takes time, of course, so if you are planning to sell your home, it makes sense to plan well ahead and carry out as much of the preparation as you can in advance. Even having done that, taking photos and video, then editing them and preparing brochures and advertising will add another week or so to the process.
I strongly believe that preparation is the most critical step in the marketing process. Next is determining the right pricing strategy.
Recent sales of similar homes will generally show you where your home should be positioned for sale and be aware that pricing it too high is a very risky approach. It will get fewer showings and the chances of getting it sold are much reduced. And you really don’t want to have to make any price reductions as you will probably end up selling for less than you could have. Provided that there are plenty of buyers around, pricing below market is not as risky as it sounds. If the price is attractive, it will get lots of showings and may even sell with multiple offers.
If a home doesn’t get many showings, it is almost certainly priced too high. If it gets showings but no offers, then it probably has not been prepared for sale as it should have been. Preparation is everything!
If you are considering listing your home for sale in the coming months, call me any time on (925) 997-1585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll show you exactly what I will do to help you get your home sold.