New Years Day is here and 2009 is going to be a great year of changes for us all. One thing I was looking forward to doing this week was starting off with some great tips for sellers in 2009 to keep more equity and help the process stay as smooth as possible.
I have compiled 9 tips for property sellers in 2009 and if you have any others that have worked well for you please feel free to post them to the comment board below and we will share them with everyone.
1. PRICE IT RIGHT FROM THE START
The most common mistake you can make is to “chase the market”. If you live in an area that you know the prices are rising or remaining very stable that’s one thing but if you live in the most common area where prices have taken a dip in price don’t think this market will allow you to test the water. It’s been said countless times and it’s true, the first month or so is the biggest window of opportunity you will have and the first offer is typically the best one to work with; that does not mean the best offer price it means the first buyer is typically the best buyer to negotiate with.
2. JUST LIKE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION – FIX PRIOR MISTAKES
You may be a seller who has had his or her property on the market already and made the mistake of overpricing, if you are I would suggest a “fresh start”. The best way for a fresh start in 2009 is to remove the property from the market and place it back on within 2 days. Removing it and replacing it as a new fresh listing is better for any property that has been listed for more than 3 months as it will place you back on top of the search criteria and show up as a new listing rather than a price adjusted only listing. If you elect to just drop the price many buyers may just keep watching to see how low you will go next. List it again, have your agent write a new description, perhaps take new pictures and this time price it right for the market.
3. LEARN YOUR MARKET & FORGET THE “GOSSIP”
We all have well meaning friends and family that think they are Doctor’s, Mechanics and Realtors, you know the one I am talking about, they always have a strong opinion on the right way to do something that they themselves don’t even do for a living; I have a few of those in my family as well. Rather than listen and take in everybody’s “opinion” take some time with your Realtor and learn about the market. Your Realtor should be able to send you homes recently sold, feedback form your previous listing or possibly feedback from other listings they have had in the area to see what people think about your neighborhood overall. Knowing the area will help tremendously on selecting the right price and staying ahead of the market rather than chasing it.
4. DON’T BE TOO FRUGAL
Keeping the A/C on during the summer months and the heat on during the cold months won’t send you into the office of a bankruptcy lawyer. Buyers want to feel comfortable and feel at home when they view properties not cold, hot and rushed.
5. UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS
Do you have equity or not? If you do great but if your one of the thousands home sellers that have seen their equity diminish over the last couple years understand what your options are with the bank. You can try and negotiate with the bank to lower your payment or come up with another payment plan with them. You may also want to look at a short sale situation, for this consult your Realtor.
6. TO RENT OR NOT TO RENT – THAT IS THE QUESTION
Many home sellers are asking about renting instead of selling. If you’re at this point you really need to consider many things, read this for more.
7. LOOKS COUNT
Don’t make the mistake thinking looks don’t matter because the buyer will simply change the home anyway to what they want. Buyers out there today not only have the upper hand with price they are looking for the beauty not the beast. Perhaps you have the best lot or are located near a nice park, but unless you do the right thing as far as curb appeal is concerned it does not matter. Avocado color appliances may be out but curb appeal is not, there is a reason new construction model homes look the way they do and there is a reason one of the hottest new business out there is staging homes. Walk through with a buyer’s eye and keep the exterior curb appeal as nice as the interior appeal or buyers will simply check you off the list.
8. DON’T GO IN SELLER OVERLOAD
Its one thing to make improvements and another to make too many or the wrong ones. Do your research to see what improvements will gain you money and which ones will not. Keep colors neutral for buyers and don’t over do it for your area.
9. BE OPEN
Sounds simple I know, be open does not mean I am suggesting to just do what your Realtor says or be to lax with the selling process; it means be educated and in a business mindset to get the job done. No matter what agent you have at the end of the day it’s a partnership, the Realtor is there to help with the tips above and market the property, help negotiate offers and keep you updated on the real estate market but the seller needs to be in the same boat and rowing in the same direction to make it not only work but have it be a smooth transaction for you.
If you’re looking to sell in 2009 and have any questions about the process or your homes value please contact The Derrick Monroe Group of Realtors and Lakes Area Realty today by calling (612) 282-7653 or contact Derrick here. Happy New Years and happy selling.
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