Real Estate Tips From The Pros
Whether a property has been on the market for a few days or many months, these five tips will help sellers get their home sold fast.
With the expiration of the first-time homebuyer credit in April, sellers with homes that remain on the market may start to feel the pressure and maybe even a little helpless. Claus Schlaefli, owner of Schlafly Realty Group, comes to the rescue with these expert suggestions for ensuring a quick sale in a tough economy.
1. Price it right.
An important detail that can help sway a buyer to make an offer is price. “The biggest mistake a seller can make is to price the house based on their personal finance situation and not on the fair market value,” says Schlaefli. And it’s important to find a real estate agent who can help a seller do just that. “Sellers who choose a real estate agent who is familiar with the market will price their house correctly, and with the right marketing, a nice house will sell,” he adds. Plain and simple—if the house is priced too high for the area or condition of the home, it will sit on the market.
2. Talk it up.
Schlaefli also notes that a good agent will also help list a property so that its best features really shine. If a home has had remodels, upgrades or additions, historical traits or unique charm, sellers should make sure their listing highlights these aspects in the MLS listing, on all flyers and pamphlets and all online marketing promoting the home.
3. Spruce it up.
Sellers should be prepared for a showing at any moment. This means removing clutter and keeping the home clean. Depersonalizing the space—removing prominent family photos, knickknacks and other things that are very specific to the seller’s taste including wild wall colors—helps buyers visualize themselves in the space. Nearly all sellers can benefit from hiring a professional home staging company.
4. Get comps.
“Don’t feel like you’re being nosy for checking out what your neighbors have sold their homes for,” says Schlaefli. It’s vital for agents and sellers to know the comparables in their area. If an agent doesn’t mention comparables, a seller should ask.
5. Consider alternatives.
If a home is still struggling for a sale after these measures, Schlaefli suggests taking a step back and reevaluating. If the owner needs to get out of the property quickly or can no longer afford to pay the mortgage, “doing a short sale is the most recommended step to by any means avoid foreclosure,” says Schlaefli, whose agency is recognized in the industry as a leader in short sales. The advantage of a short sale? “When done right, traditionally the sale is final and the bank can not come back afterward for any deficiency."