Buying and selling a home is one of the largest financial transactions you will ever engage in. For that reason, you should have a strategy in place for how you will approach your efforts. Here are five strategies to keep in mind:
Don't over price your home
Obviously we all want the most for our home, but our expectations must be realistic and in line with the market. Ask for input from a few realtors. Do your own investigation, on-line and in person. If your home sits on the market for too long, it will create the impression among prospective buyers that something is wrong with your property that has not been otherwise disclosed. You want to avoid that.
Engage in some psychology
Not only should you avoid over pricing your home, but you may actually want to under-price it as a way of drawing more attention and demand, along with a sense that people are getting a bargain. You are likely to get full price offers and possibly above-list offers. Such buyers will be more emotionally connected and invested in the property believing they are getting a good deal. This emotional connection will help when it is time to evaluate the home inspection and negotiate needed repairs. The more a buyer is emotionally connected to a home, the less likely they will be to walk away from the deal if you refuse to make repairs or offer a credit.
Buyers have limited vision
Many buyers have a narrow vision for the potential of a property. Or, they simply want to move in without doing a lot of work. This is unfortunate since many homes are tired looking and outdated, yet have great potential for the right buyers who are willing to invest some sweat equity. So you want to cater to as many buyers as possible by eliminating stark colors in the rooms (like removing the psychedelic wall paper from your son's room that's been up since since the 1970s!) and bringing in neutral colors.
Do your own home inspection
It's wise for you to do your own inspection to identify the problem areas. You should address the bigger ticket items so that they are eliminated during the home repair negotiations with the buyer. As part of that approach, you should instruct your attorney to include in the Contract a provision to the effect that the buyer cannot cancel the Contract based on repairs that are cosmetic or non-structural in nature.
Investigate your competition
Before you decide to list your home, do your due diligence and investigate the market of existing homes for sale. These properties (not homes that sold last year) represent your competition and it will be these homes to which prospective buyers will be comparing your home. So you want to know how the other homes in your market area are presenting and then you want to differentiate your property accordingly. Be creative and highlight the features of your property that make your home more appealing, like the layout of the home, or a nice cozy family room with a fireplace or wood burning stove, the home's location, or its privacy. Make sure you or your realtor use professional looking photos of the property and that the description of the property is written persuasively and grammatically correct. All this reflects on the property itself.
My Morsel of Wisdom
Like all transactions, selling your home is about appealing to the emotions of another human being. If someone can enter your home and see themselves sitting in it having a cup of coffee while posting their comments on Facebook, you have accomplished 80% of the sale. The other 20% has to do with the details and working through the legal process which is what the realtors and lawyers are paid to do.
So with that in mind, be sure to present your property as a place that is eagerly awaiting to become a warm, nurturing and joyful home for its next occupants.