Selling a home isn't all that different from selling a product; like a car. If you don't do a few things right you decrease your odds of selling your product. Price, presentation, and product knowledge determine if you buy a particular car, it's not any different in selling a home. With a car, it starts with an advertisement, then a trip to the dealership, then a conversation with a salesman, then the salesman’s presentation of the car. If you were selling BMW's would you allow a Ford salesperson present, your BMW's to your potential buyers? Then why would you allow an unfamiliar agent bring a potential buyer into your home? What did you hire your agent to do...put a sign in your front yard?
Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
What is the Right Price? You live in a neighborhood, houses in your neighborhood sell for $XXX per square foot. Over the past 6 years X homes have sold each year for $XXX per square foot. There are currently Y homes available for sale for $YYY per square foot. If Y is bigger than X you need to price your home below $XXX, if Y is smaller than $XXX you can ask for more than $XXX. It’s all about supply and demand. Put this formula in front of each agent that you interview and ask them for the answer. If they flunk the test, get another agent.
Selling Secret #9: Presentation, Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets, you’re going to pack it up anyway when you move, then neatly organize what’s left. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy and make your kids do the same; pack up those unused toys.
Selling Secret #8: Presentation, Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, and schools good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Pull back the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine and expose the view. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
Selling Secret #7: Product Knowledge, Pick a Knowledgeable Agent
A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong agent, a friend or a friend of a friend. Pick your agent as if they were going to be assisting in the sale of largest asset you own. That’s what they’re going to be doing. Make sure you have an agent who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market, your compition. Find an agent who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house promoted to potential buyers. Do they know the competition? Can they tell you the past sales history for your neighborhood, price per square foot, current inventory, average days on the market? Do they understand and know the numbers? Will your agent be conducting all the showings, or will you be relying on someone who has never been in your home to sell your home?
Selling Secret #6: Presentation, Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day. You don’t want your potential buyers coming through the front door and uttering, “I smell a dog.”
Selling Secret #5: Presentation, Create a brochure that buyers can take.
Most buyers agents schedule as many as six to eight showings in a day. By the end of the day the buyers can no longer remember one home from the next in their mind. Have a picture brochure that highlights all your features and benefits that they can take, it will keep your home top of mind. If you’ve shot a video include a video disk, no one else will.
Selling Secret #4: Presentation, Take the home out of your house
Who’s going to buy your house? Get a picture in your mind verbalize it. One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage you’re going to have to box it up when you moved, do it now. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space. If you’re a Baby Boomer, remember your buyer will most likely be 30 to 40 years younger than you, they don’t want to move into their parents or grandparents home.
Selling Secret #3: Presention,The kitchen comes first
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. If they don’t love the kitchen you won’t sell your luxury home. The benefits of updating your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 100% of your money back. It may be several thousand dollars to replace countertops and fixtures where a buyer may knock $25,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy a fancy stainless steel refrigerator. Why a refrigerator? Because when people see a high-end refrigerator they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.
Selling Secret #2: Presentation, Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. Don’t go on vacation for a week and leave your home anything less than show ready. You must be available whenever they want to come see the place and it must be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.
Selling Secret #1: Presentation, The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers. You can make a mistake in the basement and get away with it but not as you enter the home.
Kerry Grinkmeyer is a real estate agent in Birmingham, AL specializing in the marketing and sales of luxury homes. Kerry's a retired financial advisor, he sold his firm, one of the largest in the Ameriprise Financial Advisor system in 2005 to his son, daughter and nephew. Now he's building one of the largest boutique real estate agencies that he'll eventually sell to his grandchildren. He the author of the children’s book The Christmas Web- A Family Christmas Tradition. Kerry competes in the Senior Olympics in to 50M, 100M and 200M dash as well as the 5k and 10k time trial cycling events.
Kerry offers you his financial background, knowledge of the community, love of business and family and energy to assist you in one of the most important financial decisions you'll make in your lifetime.
205 919 6006