Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Strategies for a Quick Sale

My last few listings have had well under the average days on market (the last two were sold in under 30 days). While I don't have a magic bullet, I do have some smart, common sense strategies to get your home sold fast.

1. Pricing is key. KEY. You want to have a really good market analysis, and not one of these "Oh, here are five 4 bedrooms that have sold in the last 6 months." kind of analysis. You want adjustments made for amenities, lot size, condition, fireplaces, A/C, etc, and comparables from the last 3 months. You want to take a look at your competition in the marketplace. Then you have to resist the urge to overprice your home by $5,000 to "leave room for negotiating" and price your home so that it's a tremendous value for the price range. Compared to the other 4 bedrooms on the market? Your home is the only one priced right, and because everyone else inflated their price by thousands of dollars for "wiggle room," you're usually also the lowest priced.

Doesn't this leave money on the table? Nope. Remember, you're pricing your home where you think it is going to sell, thanks to a thorough market analysis. You're leaving out the "wiggle room" and effectively out-pricing the competition. You're getting more Buyers through your door and creating a sense of value. It's a completely different mindset from "How much are they asking? Let's let it sit until they reduce it." It works.

2. Don't hit the MLS until you're prepared. That means that all the little repairs have been made, the house is staged, and the photos and virtual tour are ready to go. For my clients, I will not enter a home in the MLS until I am ready to load the maximum number of pictures immediately. No pictures, or one picture of the front of the home is the kiss of death in my opinion. You may as well have a flashing neon sign screaming "Dump" next to your address otherwise. No pictures means something is wrong.

Can't you load them in a day or two? Nope. I think you have one chance to grab that Buyer (and a good agent will have Buyers set up to get listings automatically as they hit the MLS). There's an excitement to "Oh, an email from my REALTOR! I hope this is a good one! " If there are no pictures, there's nothing to get excited about. Who knows if they'll ever re-visit the listing to see your interior shots. If they do, much of the excitement of the "new listing" will have worn off.

Get your marketing strategy together (and it better be a good one) and get it ready to go before the first day on the market.

3. Look at the big picture. If you are looking to sell quickly, you can't get caught up with a couple hundred (maybe thousand) dollars, or keeping your washer and dryer, or stubbornly refusing to fix a leaky faucet because, "It's not a big deal." Take a step back, think about your priorities, then move forward accordingly. Price is just one aspect of a deal, and there are many others that often affect your net proceeds. How about a full price offer with a 3 month settlement, as opposed to one $2,000 less with a 30 day settlement? Carrying charges may make the second offer more financially advantageous. Your washer and dryer? Put a dollar amount on them and see if the deal still works with you throwing them in. Make the repairs the Buyer calls for, even if they're stupid, but cost little to repair.

I'm not saying to throw in the towel and bend to Buyer's every demand. I am saying to work with them, especially if it's helping you along to where you want to be. Don't let ego, or hurt feelings, or anger implode a deal that you want to see go to settlement.

Want some more good info? Shoot me an email and I'll go on and on and on for you...

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