Selling Your Lake Cushetunk Home
Whether you're a first-time seller or a seasoned homeowner, you're bound to have questions about selling your house. Here, I've assembled some of the most important answers, key steps, and advice for selling a home. Every town is different. And every town requires the knowledge of a local market expert Realtor. That's where I come in!
Step 1: Define Your Goals
From setting the price to attracting buyers to negotiating an agreement, it's much more involved than merely planting a For Sale sign on your lawn. There are a series of choices, each of which can make a distinct difference in the final outcome.
So what are your goals? Do you need to sell quickly? Will you potentially short-sell? Do you need to settle your children in a new school district? Do you want to avoid selling your home during the holidays? All of these questions, and many more, are part of my first-step listing presentation.
Your goals, along with my guidance, are key to defining the next steps. Once your goals are clearly defined, then we can move forward to step 2.
Step 2: Prep Your Home for Sale
Here's how to be certain your home will be its most appealing to a potential buyer. Most everyone is proud of their home; and most everyone is emotionally invested. That's why it's so important to have someone take an unbiased look at your home's appeal. I can view your home from the eyes of the buyer, and I will offer specific suggestions that let you add to its value and appeal. Here are some options every seller should consider.
Make a GREAT first impression. You’ve probably heard the term “curb appeal,” and how important it is to make those first few moments memorable for a buyer. A few things you should consider:
- Well-cared-for lawn and landscaping
- Your front door: fresh paint goes a long way!
- Seasonal-specific decorations. Tasteful and understated
- Clean up the clutter. Now is a great time to start packing! Put away many of the knickknacks and clutter that may distract buyers from looking at the key features of your home. Don't neglect your basement, whether it’s finished or not. A neat, spacious room (including storage areas) is always an appeal to buyers.
- Clean up the rest. Having a sparkling clean bathtub, and a vacuumed carpet will show your home in the best light. Although it is not always possible to be “toothbrush clean,” you should always make sure your home looks neat and tidy.
Make all necessary repairs. You don’t want your buyer to nit-pick their way through the house. So if the repair is less than $100, it’s probably worth doing before the house goes on the market.
If possible, paint. A fresh coat of tasteful paint can freshen up any room. You don’t have to paint everything white, either. I will offer you advice on appealing and charming colors that will highlight your home's best features.
Step 3: Set the Right Price
In this market, it is more important than ever to set the right price. Sellers are competing with short sale and bank-owned properties, which are usually listed at or below market value. So in order to compete with those houses, it's important to use my pricing strategy to set the right price.
Of course, your location, property size and features, style, age, physical condition, special features, and recent enhancements must all be considered in assessing your home's value. As a starting point, though, I will thoroughly research comparable homes in Lake Cushetunk. Recent sale prices, the current prices of similar homes, and even homes that didn't sell and were taken off the market will all be reviewed for you.
To analyze the data, Weichert has developed a unique tool called a Price Trend Analysis. It goes beyond the capabilities of a typical Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) by projecting local price trends. With our method, I can factor in the many market influences that impact price – including supply of homes versus demand, how the local economy is faring, and home appreciation rates – to determine your home's Fair Market Value.
An attractive initial listing price, based on Fair Market Value, is especially important; homes almost always gain the most attention when their listings are new to the market.
Step 4: Market Your Home
The marketing process begins with getting to know you and your home. In an initial meeting, before you ever commit to hiring me, I will take exterior and interior photos, measure each room, and assess your home's key features. We will also discuss any improvements you may have made over the years and find out why YOU like your home. Chances are, the features you like best will be the features your potential buyer likes best!
I will then return with a customized marketing plan based on everything we discussed during my first visit. This marketing plan will provide you with a clear idea of what will be done to attract the most potential buyers to your home. My plan will include such features as:
- A schedule of marketing activities
- A list of advertising vehicles, including websites that will carry the ad for your home
- Promotional materials with photos of your home and its special features to be handed out or mailed
- An explanation of how our Open House program works
Why is my marketing program different from the others?
Of course I market your home across every available venue, but in addition to that, your home will be prominently featured on www.LakeCushetunk.com.
Step 5: Receiving and Accepting Offers
We got an offer! Now what? When an offer is made on your house, in this market, it is often not for your full asking price. That’s where I come in. My firm and fact-supported approach shows the buyers that we are prepared to negotiate price and terms, however we will remain firm with our goals. Historically I’ve proven to get more than 96% of listing price, when negotiating offers on my listings.
If the buyer counters your counteroffer, you'll need guidance to calculate your next move. Rather than just going back and forth on price, introducing another issue can be a winner for you. For instance, I may suggest to the buyer that while your price is firm, you will agree to leave behind major appliances that the buyer would otherwise have to purchase out-of-pocket.
I can negotiate favorable terms for you as well. A flexible or delayed closing date, for example, can give you the time you need to purchase another home. Conversely, an early closing date can have real financial benefit if you've already purchased another home and need to close quickly to avoid carrying two mortgages.
When you receive an offer, and especially if you receive more than one, you should consider how "solid" the offer is. I will help you assess offers by weighing such crucial factors as whether the buyer has a mortgage pre-approval, how much they're putting down, whether they have a home to sell first, and so on. Just because an offer looks good on paper, doesn’t mean it's truly a "good" offer. Now more than ever, it is crucial to make sure your buyer is extremely well qualified, and is thoroughly prepared to purchase your home.
Sometimes the most emotionally charged negotiating follows the various home inspections that come after the contract is signed. "Who pays for what" is strictly a matter of negotiation, and I will help you take a balanced stance that's tough enough to protect the home equity you want to walk away with, yet has enough flexibility to avoid alienating the buyer and jeopardizing the sale itself.
My goal is to support the needs and desires of the seller, and most importantly provide realistic, honest guidance throughout the process.