by Matthew Jahn
Multiple Listing Service
The Realtor’s MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is where realtors and buyers find properties. This a database of properties for sale that feeds into all the major home buying websites and real estate offices. Although putting your home in the MLS is optional, you will lose valuable exposure as a seller if you bypass this critical resource. Your realtor will know how to best present your property on the MLS to garner maximum interest.
In this market, pricing is extremely important. If you want a quick skill make sure you are priced competitively or even 5% under everyone else. If you are not in a rush you can swing for the fences, but keep in mind, by the time you do want to sell and bring the price down, it may have been on the market for a while. People sometimes use days on the market as one of the criteria for their offers.
It may also be worth paying a few hundred dollars to get an appraisal done. A realtor can run you comps, but an appraisal is more accurate. When selling a house that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars it can be a very wise investment, and will give you the truest idea of your home’s worth.
Over 80% of people now begin their home search online. You want to make sure your realtor is going to prominently display online. This includes not just the MLS, but other online venues, such as giving your home its own website or including a virtual tour.
Remember, the outside of your home is the first thing people see. Planting some flowers, mowing the lawn, trimming the shrubs, and placing a welcome mat are low-cost things that can make your house shine. Painting the front door and mailbox can give your home a bright new look.
Freshen It Up
Maybe your home doesn’t have new everything and a $100,000 gourmet kitchen, but if it doesn’t, there are many things you can do to freshen it up. People want to know above all that the house they are buying has been well-maintained. So, if there are little fixes you have not gotten around to doing or that room with faded paint needs some sprucing, make sure to do it before putting your house up for sale. Even if your home is getting dated, several well placed fixes can make a big difference. Some of the easiest things are often the most effective.
Nobody wants to see stains on the toilet or mold in the fridge. The smallest details can distract a buyer form an otherwise great house. Make sure everything is clean and smells nice.
This can be a great option for cluttered or vacant homes. It has been shown that staged homes sell faster and for more money, and staging companies can be surprisingly affordable. Sometimes it is not even necessary to stage an entire room, just a chair here or there or a painting or mirror on the wall. Some people have an ability to visualize a room, but if your house is completely vacant, buyers often have a tough time trying to figure out how their items would look in the house or what a certain room could be used for. Strangely enough, sometimes putting furniture in a room can even make it look bigger. If your furniture is getting old, stained or torn, you can do little things like putting a throw blanket over top. Of if your dressers are worn you can give them a coat of paint. People really like to see rooms optimized and furnished.
The Right Agent
The right agent is crucial to getting your home sold in the current market. Pick someone who knows the area and the market.