January 14th, 2019
There’s less seasonality in the Palos Verdes homes market compared to the rest of the country although usually there are more buyers in early to late spring seeking to get settled prior to the coming school year. So if you’re selling your home during the late summer or early fall periods of time, having these 6 great ideas to help sell your home will help you and might even give you the boost to get the job done.
Obviously, one of the most important jobs a real estate agent has is guiding you to price your property correctly. This will require a great deal of discipline in yourself for two reasons. One, it’s hard for any of, real estate agents included, to be objective about our own home. You know that house that just sold around the corner from you that is similar to yours. Of course your house is better and of course buyers will love your property more and of course buyers will pay tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars more. Or will they? How objective are you really?
The second category in which you have to exercise discipline and caution is when you’re interviewing real estate agents. Are they “buying the listing”? In other words are they giving you price recommendations that are telling you what you want to hear or are they telling you the truth, as difficult as that may be to hear, in regards to the pricing model for your home. How aware is the agent about supply and demand effects? Can they document those to you quantitatively? If they can’t start looking elsewhere because if they can’t document what’s going on with supply and demand in your area, then they can’t track how your home’s value is going to change. Pricing a property is based on observing how Buyers behaved in the past. That may or may not be how they will behave in the future
Choosing the right real estate agent
In 2017 the National Association of Realtors published a nationwide study of buyer behavior. Of the many things discovered, and I’m sure it will come as no surprise, 95% of Buyers use the internet to find their home. Let’s think about this a second. When you’re interviewing agents, what’s their pitch? Are they talking about how large their firm is and because of this, they probably have a buyer already for your home*? Are the showing you glossy magazine ads with glitzy photos of homes they are listing? Are they talking about how they hold open houses every weekend? Let me be brutally honest here. You now know the facts right? The fact is that 95% of buyers used the internet to find their home.
Ok, so if you’re going to hire an agent based on their magazine ads let’s say, then that’s the same as you having a life threatening disease and going to the doctor and telling them, “…No Doc, I don’t want the cure that has a 95% chance of a cure, give me the treatment that has only a 5% chance of a cure…” Can we agree that this would be exceedingly stupid. *By the way, watch out for agents that pitch this one to you. Did you know that no company has more than half the agents working the Palos Verdes homes area? So with that fact, chances are then that no matter who you hire, the buyer is going to come from a different real estate firm than the one you hired. Clearly then this pitch is about excluding buyers from you and not making the entire buyer pool compete for your home. We all know the more competition from buyers, the faster and the higher price your home will sell for! Beware of this type of agent.
So now we know that “it’s all about the internet”, what tactics and strategies are being used by the agent you’re interviewing, to manipulate and bend Buyer demand to your home? There’s a science behind this and it’s a lot of work.
Speaking of the internet then, with the huge amounts of information available to Buyers and the lightening speed with which they get information, a good real estate agent will counsel you that if showing volume is low in the first couple of weeks, then a price adjustment is likely necessary.
Your first offer is your best offer
Have you ever heard the saying “… your first offer is usually your best offer…”? There’s a reason for this and the right real estate agent will know how to explain the concept to you, like me, as shown in the graphic below.
The Buyers that exist during the first week or two of a new listing’s “life” just didn’t appear out of nowhere. They’ve been in the market for a month or two or three studying the market, maybe even having offered on a home and lost a deal or two.
When is your best chance of getting the highest price for your home? When there’s more competition between buyers or less competition? Of course – MORE competiton
So if you lose these Buyers in the first week or two, you’re left with only those Buyers trickling in to the market one by one as time goes on. You’ve lost your competitive edge. And these Buyers KNOW the previous Buyers rejected your home
Paint Your Front Door
Sound silly right. But studies have shown that this “first impression” strategy pays off BIG TIME! In the “costs vs value” report https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/ (there’s lots of ads here so be ready) it’s shown that this easy improvement had one of the highest returns on investment (and it’s a cheap investment) around varying regions of the United States. You might even have to replace your front door if it’s that shabby.
Take Half the stuff out of your closets and…
Clients ask me this all the time, “What items should i get rid of or get a storage unit for?” My answer… I don’t care! It doesn’t matter what clutter you remove, just remove half your stuff. It’s just getting in the way of a Buyer appreciating your house. This rule applies to your fireplace mantle, book shelves, stuff that’s on your counter in your kitchen and bathrooms … get rid of half your stuff!
Put your personal stuff – and your personal taste – away
This one is tricky. You don’t want to make your house appear sterile. After all, I’m not selling sticks and bricks … I’m selling the FEELING of owning your home and if it’s to vanilla, it’s not going to appeal emotionally to a Buyer and we want a Buyer identifying with the positive emotions of owning your home. Let me give you an example that’s out there on the bell curve since I’ve seen this once in my over 38 years serving my clients here on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. I had client that was an avid hunter. In his den were multiple photos of killed game with him posing next to the animal. This kind of personal stuff – remove. Strong political pictures – remove. But warm and fuzzy stuff – keep
Keep your emotions out of it
Well that’s back to the discipline I spoke about above. I can’t overemphasize this point. At the end of the day, your house is a commodity affected by supply demand changes in the market. You’ve got to keep objective. Yes, I know that’s really hard, and I’m here to help you make those provident and informed decisions that will serve your best interests.
If you’re thinking of selling your home and want a consultation on the topics above, just let me know, use the green contact tab on the bottom left of your screen and we can start from there.
What’s My Home Worth?
Youtube video describing this Blog Post