Selling situations and options
Never appear as if you have to move. Rooms void of furniture and the absence of a spouse's clothes in the master closet are giveaways that you must move or are desperate. Borrow furniture and clothes if necessary.
Heirs to a home are often motivated by a maximum selling price that they "think" a property can generate. This results in a property that sits, accumulates taxes, uses utilities, requires maintenance and insurance (which could be cancelled on a vacant house).
Get agreement that one or two heirs will have authority to negotiate the purchase offer. Hire services to maintain the property. Heirs often take favorite furniture, leaving a forlorn look that leads to a lower selling price - a no-no.
From about junior high age and up, a move outside the area is hard on a child. They may be apathetic to the stress you’re going through. Make them a part of the sell and buy process.
However, bedrooms must be ready at all times for a showing (this means before going to school) including removing posters that may be perceived as offensive.
Selling due to illness?
Buyers cut the appointment short when they tour an “unhappy” house with a bedridden resident. If the marketing period drags on it will induce vulnerability to just "getting it over with".
Move the patient to another residence. Get the price down to the lower end of an intended range. It will sell quicker and for more money.
Never use your front door?
Most homeowners enter their home through the garage or a side door. Buyers come through the front door. If not, they'll enter from an unnatural starting point and feel disoriented.
Lost the key to the main entrance? Contact a locksmith. Sometimes owners arrange furnishings that block the front entrance. Time to rearrange for the public.
Time to depersonalize?
Pack up personal photos - neutralize your home. Model-homes by builders lack personalization. No personalizing means less distractions.
Older homeowner syndrome?
Seniors let maintenance issues slide. They're comfortable with their world and accept the obvious flaws: the squeaky door, the cabinet that won't close correctly, sunken doorsteps, numerous little things that become easily overlooked by everyone except buyers.
Long-time owners need their children, trusted friends or a third party to point out problem areas. Every home has them; just fix them.
Feel hurried and missing buyers?
Decide to move so put it on the market! Fixing things after you go on the market is terrible. Go on the market only when everything is repaired, clean and ready.
Active buyers will view your home because it meets their criteria. If it doesn’t create interest because of cleanliness, repair or disorganization issues, then you've just lost the current crop of buyers. Kiss a quick sale goodbye.
Buyers don’t come back for a second look if they’ve formed a negative opinion.
It could take months for an equivalent number of new buyers to eventually enter the market in search of a home where yours is targeted.
Have a product that can sell–BEFORE you put it up for sale.
For Pete's sakes. Keep exclusions to a minimum. If you can't part with a favorite chandelier or whatever, replace it now. If the buyers never see it, obviously they won't want it.
If unable to replace it now, provide every prospect with an info sheet, specifying that the item was a gift that has sentimental value. Since you’re going to take it with you, replace it and eliminate this potential issue.
Window treatments should stay. Anything attached (bolted, nailed or screwed down) is included in the sale. Detach anything you can’t part with, including mirrors, shelving, accessories, etc.
Worried about time/effort needed?
If selling as a by-owner, the time you spend on promotions will take one to two hours a week. However, you'll spend as much time on everything else related to selling your home whether or not you're using an agent.
The seller, not the agent, is responsible for the condition and presentation of the property. This is THE time consuming chore for selling a home that's being lived in. It takes time and effort to be in top condition for showings and open houses.
Best time to sell
Spring, best season to sell:
Get on the market in early spring. A smaller choice of homes creates a sense of urgency among the buyers. Cabin fever sets in about a month after the Super Bowl. Following the holidays and get-togethers, the blah winter season brings back family conversations about moving.
When your looking your best:
Lawns, trees and landscaping look their best during the summer. But exteriors of competing homes on the market during early spring won’t look any better than yours. Unless your exterior is an outstanding asset, play the odds, sell early.
More sales in the summer. Really?:
Sales figures typically show the summer as being very strong. However, these statistics usually reflect when the houses closed, not when the offer was made and accepted. That was several weeks, even months, earlier–when you should be on the market.
Many owners delay selling until June when the school year ends. But that’s when many more competing homes are for sale. And June loses buyers to graduations and weddings. It’s vacations and the humid, dog days during July and August. Then the focus is on back-to-school. Starting in June can lead to a longer market time and a lower selling price.
Buyers disappear during holidays:
Not everybody. But people do not focus on buying on three-day weekends (like Labor Day) and traditional celebration days, like Mother’s Day. Going on the market before a holiday period or a key sporting event results in losing that all-important, jump-start to your marketing.
Some people feel that during the Thanksgiving through New Year season, homes can come alive with a lot of decorations. This period has a much smaller chance of selling and make your home become stale on the market by the time spring arrives.
The January exception:
Corporate management and college professors often start their move the first of the year when annual budgets are approved or new profs are hired. They buy in the mid to upper price brackets which works for sellers in higher price ranges who are located in traditional corporate areas or are in "university" towns. Otherwise, don't waste your time.