When putting your home up for sale, here are a few things to think about:
1. A fresh eye
Selling your home can be a very emotionally charged process. You will naturally be attached to your property and may not see the work or changes necessary to make it more desirable to buyers. Always have someone who you trust to be honest with you to take a look at the place. Whether it’s a broker or someone else who’s opinion you trust, they will be able to put things into a different perspective for you and point out things you might not have noticed. This will help you stage it properly to garner more serious interest.
2. When time is not a luxury
There are instances in which sellers try to sell their property on their own in order to save themselves the extra cost of the broker’s commission. If time is not a luxury, that may not be the best route. While you may be able to advertise your property in the more traditional ways (newspapers, signage, Craigslist etc.), it is often costly. Brokers will pay to advertise your property on many sites you may not have access to. Between industry networks, their own websites and various accounts with public listings websites, brokers have a huge network which they can efficiently utilize while reaching a broad audience. This way your home can come up in a search done by a broker on his or her listings service, as well as any of the myriad real estate websites directly communicating to buyers. More often than not, buyers seek the help of a broker. By eliminating a broker you are actually eliminating a large group of potential buyers who are primarily seeing broker listed properties.
3. Bigger isn’t necessarily better
When selling your property your first instinct may be to contact the biggest brokerage firm with the intent to give your listing to the most reputable broker there. However, that may not always work in your favor. Whether you use a corporate brokerage or a boutique firm, look for someone who is reputable and pays attention to detail. Regardless of the type of brokerage, you want your broker to hold 1-2 open houses a week and follow up with any inquiries from any potential buyers. Selling in this market can be nerve wracking for some so you want a broker with enough patience to answer any and every question and to be able to hold your hand the process if necessary. The most important thing to keep in mind is that any broker you work with will have other clients but you don’t ever want to feel like one of many.
4. Your taste may not be theirs
When preparing your property for an open house, it is important to remove as many personal items as possible. Be sure to make any necessary repairs and clear the home of any clutter to help show off its size. While you might consider that 9-foot steel and marble sculpture a “statement piece”, to a potential buyer, it might not convey the space of a room well. You never want a buyer to be distracted by art work or bold wall colors. You want the walls to be a neutral shade of white and the furniture to be staged as openly as possible. It’s also important to consider the importance of making buyers feel comfortable in your home. Buyers hate to feel like they are intruding and often this awkward feeling prevents them from being able to make a full assessment of the property. For example, many people feel uneasy in a room with a prominent cremation urn or nude portraits of the current owner; while they may be meaningful and tastefully done, these deeply personal items are best kept from view during an open house. Touring a house or apartment can be awkward for some people and everyone involved should take steps to minimize uneasiness. Buyers should be able to see their own possibilities within the space.
5. A Picture is worth a 1000 words
Do not allow your home to be marketed without photos. People prefer visuals to a description any day. When photos are taken of the apartment, ask to see them before they are placed in any ads. Make sure the picture is not pixelated; you want it to look clean and polished. A broker should hire a photographer to shoot the home and, if possible, pay additional to have it shot in HD. There is too much competition on the market for your home to not look its best!
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