The 3 Keys to Selling Your House
You Just Need "One"
If you can find one willing & able buyer, then you can sell your house. Sounds simple, but sometimes that one buyer can be difficult to find.
There are 3 key elements in selling a house: Price, Marketing and Condition. You must price it right, you need to get the word out that your home is for sale, and you should get the home in showing condition. Price and condition go hand-in-hand…if you make a number of improvements and get the house in excellent showing condition, then you have a greater chance of selling at a higher price; if you want to sell as-is, then you probably need a lower price. Let’s look at each key element closer.
Of course a house is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, but in most cases a buyer is going to want to pay a fair price. Also, if the buyer is obtaining a mortgage loan, their lender is likely going to have an appraisal done and will only lend up to the appraised value. So in order to choose the right list price, you must try and find the current fair market value of your house. This is best done by looking at what comparable homes in the area have been selling for. Realtors will often call this a Comparative Market Analysis. Appraisers also do this to come up with the appraisal value. DO NOT look at the tax assessment when trying to obtain fair market value. Tax assessments are notoriously unreliable, as well as their “estimated fair market value” number, which is just an equation based on their unreliable tax assessment. This unreliability is often based on values from past years and they have simply adjusted the value each year based on market averages. They are not considering your specific market, or upgrades that you may or may not have done.
It is recommend that you list the house at fair market value. Perhaps a little bit above, since the average sale is typically somewhere 1-3% below asking price. If you really want to get it sold quickly, then list a little bit below fair market value. Listing too high is a mistake, because you are potentially setting yourself up to have the property sit on the market either with little to no activity and/or without receiving any reasonable offers. As a property sits on the market, buyers become to get weary, assuming there might be unseen problems with the house. Also, they see it as leverage to negotiate the price down more than the typical 1-3%. Additionally, the most exposure you are going to have for your listing is the first 2 weeks after listing it. So you will miss out on some potential buyers that you might not get back if you start too high and then lower your price later.
This is the art and science of getting the word out about your home to as many potential buyers as possible. Some neighborhoods at certain times are in such high demand, that a sign in the yard is probably enough to bring in potential buyers. But that is the exception…usually you need to do more than that if you want to sell your house. 9% of buyers in 2015 found the house they purchased via yard sign or open house sign. When a sign is not enough, it is important to understand the importance of Realtors and the Internet.
8% of Sellers sold to a friend, relative, neighbor, or somebody they knew. Most of those transactions probably did not involve a Realtor. Considering 87% of buyers purchased their home through a Realtor in 2015, that means nearly everybody who might buy your house is working with a Realtor. Additionally, 33% of buyers found the house they ended up purchasing through their Realtor…meaning they may have otherwise never seen the house they ended up purchasing if it were not for their Realtor. In the end, if you are not getting your property listing in front of Realtors, you are missing most of the market.
The #1 source where Buyer’s found the house they purchased was the Internet…44% of buyers. 42% of buyers went to the internet as their very first step in their home search process, 77% of buyers said they used the internet frequently during their home search, and 92% of buyers used the internet in some way during their home search. So it seems clear that you need to effectively market on the internet in order to get your property in front of the most potential buyers possible.
The combination of marketing to Realtors and Internet consumers is key, as 88% of homebuyer internet users ultimately purchased their home through a real estate agent.
If you are like 79% of sellers who hire a full-service real estate agent to list their house, then you have a professional taking responsibility for the first 2 key factors, Price and Marketing. The responsibility for this 3rd factor, Condition, falls mostly on you, the Seller. While the Seller might get advice from the Realtor or even a professional Stager, it is up to the Seller to actually do the work.
There are a number of small/affordable things you can do to get your house showing-ready, and for the most part this is something I would recommend to all Sellers (see my blog post about How To Stage Your Home To Sell It Quickly. There also might be some larger projects to consider, depending on the house and your specific market. Like I mentioned earlier, the Price and Condition go hand-in-hand. So make sure you are considering your price as you consider what improvements/upgrades you are going to make.
These 3 key elements are obviously important prior to listing your house in order to hit the market at the right price, in the desired showing quality, and with maximum exposure. But these 3 factors are also so important to consider when you are having trouble selling your house. If the house is not selling, you KNOW that one of these categories is the issue. Are you priced too high? Are you not getting the listing in front of enough buyers? Do you need to paint some walls, or replace the carpet, or declutter the house to improve the showing quality? The problem is always in one of these categories…Price, Marketing or Condition.
If you would like the assistance of a Realtor in selling your home, I would love to help you with that! I have a lot of experience finding the market value of homes from working with REO properties that past few years, and my marketing plan has been customized to maximize exposure and even target the type of buyers that are in your neighborhood. Also I always provide a professional stager to meet with my sellers and I hire a professional photographer to take pictures and video. Feel free to call, text, email, or Facebook message me to start the discussion.
Realty Executives Cooper Spransy
5940 Seminole Centre Ct #310, Madison, WI 53711