10 True Facts About Selling Your Home

There are a lot of factors in play when selling real estate. Obvious or not, all these factors have an impact on the price you achieve and the speed at which you achieve it – here are some of the most impactful – ignore at your peril!

1) Photos and Videos Help Sell
There’s nothing more eye catching on a screen than a beautiful, vibrant photograph – just Google anything and notice where your eye goes first when the screen comes up. It’s the photos. More than 50% of home buyers find the home they end up purchasing on the Internet, another 30% from their Realtor – presumably from lists sent by email. When having photos taken, ask yourself what visual aspect of your home will draw potential buyers in and have them wanting to see more – highlight these aspects.

2) Price To Sell, It’s Hard To Recover If You Don’t
Most interest is paid to a home when it is newly listed, this is when it first appears in all those searches and emails. Buyers scroll through, mentally applying filters and selecting the ones that have potential – if you are priced to high, you won’t get a second look. If you don’t make the cut on the first pass of a buyer’s inbox, then you could sit on the market being ignored for weeks. Lower the price to get attention and buyers may think there are issues with the home which is why you’ve not sold yet. Select your price so you do get those second looks and hopefully a stream of viewings.

3)You Can Help Sell Your Neighbor’s Home
Overpriced homes are excluded from buyers’ viewing lists, increasing focus on those that are correctly priced. Thanks, neighbor.

4) You Have To Know Your Neighborhood Market
To put your home on the market, you need to know about the marketplace – what is the inventory, and how do the features and benefits of your home stack up against your competition.

5) A Well Maintained Home Sells Best
You may not notice that 3 year old water stain on the ceiling anymore or that drippy faucet, but a buyer will. Many people want to move into a home and not have to do any work to it, help them put yours higher above the competition by doing those small jobs prior to listing. Also consider this, if a buyer is really struggling to make up their mind about which home to make an offer on, their decision may some down to something as simple as truly move in ready versus having some small jobs to make it perfect – don’t present them with decisions to make, be the clear choice!

6) There Are Consequences of Not Doing Maintenance
If a home inspector finds anything wrong with your home, expect to be nickel and dimed by the buyer. Buyers will often ask for “everything” on the inspection report to be fixed, or they will ask for a concession at closing – either way, it is always simpler and nearly always cheaper to have the work done upfront rather than have it done as the result of a negotiation.

7) You Increase The Odds Of a Successful Sale If You Help Your Buyers
Your buyer is as anxious and stressed about purchasing your home as you are about selling it – help them by making it easy and friction free. Don’t give them the opportunity to start second guessing if this was the right decision, as in all good sales processes get them to the finish line feeling good. Answer questions quickly and be accommodating to their requirements without compromising your own needs.

8) Your Sale Will Fail If The Buyer Can’t Afford It
Really, do I need to say this? Insist that all offers are submitted with pre-approval (not just pre-qualification!) or proof of liquid assets. One of the longest contingencies in a real estate contract is often proving the buyer has a loan commitment, a lot can happen before getting there, but having that pre-approval at the beginning at least demonstrates that the buyer has passed initial checks with a lender.

9) The Strongest Offer May Not Be All Cash
A cash buy means there is no financing contingency, but really understand the full offer before making a decision. Are there other contingencies, for example, appraisal, inspection, survey, sale of another house. What about the escrow demonstrating commitment, when is closing, who is paying for title insurance? An experienced negotiator will look at the whole offer and be able to identify which suits your needs best, or what needs to change to maximize chance of getting to a successful conclusion.

10) You Can’t Hide Defects
If you know of a problem with your home you have to disclose it. Best case it will be found by the home inspector and the buyer will ask for an expensive concession to fix it. Worst case, it’s found after you close and the buyer thinks it’s serious enough to engage an attorney. Either way, if you know about the issue it’s the law to disclose it, don’t be caught out.

I hope these 10 facts about selling real estate help make your next home sale successful. As ever, if you have questions about buying or selling real estate in Pinellas County please reach out to me here or call/text me at 727.401.5997.