Put Focus On Price, Condition, Marketing In Coming Months
There have been many signs of recovery in our local housing market over the past year: an increasing sales pace, lower inventory levels and stable home values.
Even with this newfound stability (and growth) in the market, when selling your home it is essential to focus on the price, condition and marketing. Homeowners who have prepared their home well (condition), marketed it thoroughly, and priced it competitively will find success in selling their homes in the coming months.
It is more important than ever to price your home well if you want to find success in selling your home in the near term. The first thing to consider when pricing your home is the price at which other comparable homes have sold in the past six to 12 months.
Sometimes this process is more of an art than a science depending on how many similar homes we can find that have recently sold. After coming to some idea on the value of your home based on sold data, it is then important to put that potential home value in the context of how current listings are priced.
Once having the perspective of both solid data and active listings, it is important to price your property at, just above, or just below market value depending on your motivation to sell.
You must walk through your home from the perspective of a buyer to identify improvements and adjustments to make prior to putting your house on the market. If the entirety of your house presents itself as a well-built, well-maintained home, but the family room carpet is old and worn out, you need to replace that carpet to make its condition consistent with the remainder of what you are offering to a buyer.
If there are countless distractions, such as personal items, wall hangings, etc., that will cause a buyer to leave talking about those items instead of your house, then you need to remove or change those aspects of your home so that a buyer will focus on the space and how it could be their own.
And perhaps the most important part of preparing the physical condition of your home for market, you should take time to make sure your home presents itself as well as possible from the perspective of a buyer driving by or stopping at the curb to take a property brochure.
When it comes to marketing we must once again get inside the mind of the buyer — when, where and how will they be searching for their next home? Research indicates that they are very likely to start their search online but that they will also drive through the neighborhoods and areas where they would like to live. Some of the fundamental building blocks of marketing your property include high-quality photographs that document your home and the space that it offers well, a color property brochure in brochure box next to the yard sign and broad exposure on local and national real estate websites.
There are many additional marketing strategies that we can employ, but we must start by covering these bases, and then expanding the marketing based on the nature of your particular property.
When selling your home in the current market, it’s not all about price, nor just about marketing, and certainly not just about the condition of your house. We must examine all three of these factors together when forming a strategy for successfully selling your house.
Scott P. Rogers, author of HarrisonburgHousingToday.com, is an associate broker with Funkhouser Real Estate Group in Harrisonburg.