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Our Newsletter: April, 2014

Welcome Spring 2014
Tips to sell a less than perfect house

By Rich Patrick of LazrWeb Services | April 1st, 2014

No home for-sale is ever the perfect home; just about any realtor can find some things that you don't see. Additionally, bring in a home inspector, and you may be surprised at all the items both big and small that they can find, and they rarely deal with the aesthetics. There are many home that are better than others and therefore easier to sell.

If you are selling a not so perfect home, but want to sell it for the highest price possible, it is going to take more than just a low price and low mortgage rates to close the deal.

How can you make your less than perfect home attractive to ready, willing and approved buyers?

Here some good tips to sell your less than perfect home.

Lower your asking price

Take a look at homes selling in your area of the same type and number of bedrooms and such. Make a short list of them along with their associated asking price. That will give you a good idea of where to start.

If comparable homes are asking around $250,000, and yours isn't remodeled with bright shiny new hardwood floors, etc… then the price can be the one thing to keep the negotiations short and close the sale.

If you price your home a few thousand dollars less than comparable homes, yours will be far more competitive.

Buyers will be able to put those savings into the home, thereby making it more attractive to those with some handy-man skills.

Make it clean and clutter-free

An uncluttered home is simply more attractive, it allows the prospective buyers to imagine their possessions in there. Removing all distractions; family pictures, old art work, dreary curtains, the stack of magazines, or any other clutter that would be distracting to a buyer.

Clean up the bathroom(s) also. There isn't a buyer in the world that would be interested in seeing what toothpaste you use or what color your toothbrush is. Replace any hand towels with fresh, clean ones.

A new bathroom set with a new floor mat is a great and inexpensive idea.

Ask your realtor for suggestions on what else should be removed from your home.

Nothing packs more punch for the dollar than having a professional cleaning company come in and really give it the shine it needs. The home will be clean and smell fresh.

Organize and straighten up all the closets, and make all the beds. You'd be surprised how many people overlook these obvious turn offs.

Fresh paint and new carpet

Nothing does more and costs less than you'd think then reasonably priced paint and commercial-grade carpet, it makes a huge impact to buyers. It's worth the few bucks to install new carpet and paint the walls in the home, or you'll be negotiating the price lower and lower. Bottom line: you would have to lower the price more than the cost of what the painting and installing new carpet would be.

Stage your home

If you can afford to hire a home stager, do so, if not peruse the internet on home staging and get some ideas.

A buyer is drawn to and sees some of the new items and tends not to notice the older items.

If you can afford it, staging is probably the best thing you can do for your home to sell it faster.

Curb appeal is very important

Choose appropriate shrubs and plants that give off a manicured impression, giving the buyer a sense of a well cared for home.

Installing a new entrance door or at minimum, painting the front door and entrance area is also very important, it gives the buyer a sense of newness and cleanliness.

The initial first impression when a buyer pulls up to a home, really is the key item that sells your home.

Agent incentives

One great tip is to offer an attractive commission or bonus to the buyer's realty agent to sell the home at the asking price.

For example, have your agent include a note in the MLS ad that offers a $1,000 bonus to the buyer's agent if sold at the asking price.

That creates an incentive for agents to show your house to buyers at your asking price. It brings in more buyers in and realtors love that.

Remember, no agent incentive or repair credit will ever overcome a high priced home.

Market the home honestly

Another tip that's particularly on point for a less-than-perfect home is to be honest in your marketing, make sure your disclosure is complete and show photographs of any conditions up front.

Buyers who want a home in prime condition will be disappointed when they are shown your home and buyers who are open to repairs might not stop by at all because they can't determine the initial condition.

List all the pluses and all the minor and major defects, because the buyers home inspector will probably find those same issues and that leads to price negotiation.

Hire the right Realtor

The right realtor can help you price your home; they provide advice that will move your home from being just so-so, to one that is marketable. They can recommend a professional stager, painters and carpeting contractors and even point buyers to other financing opportunities, like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) 203(k) loan, that could help them buy your home and make improvements or repairs, too.

Marketing matters a lot as well. Ask any potential realtor what specific marketing they will be doing for you if they do indeed get your listing. Remember, this is an extremely serious business, with a ton of money on the table. If your prospective realtor is cavalier in dealing with you and your concerns, they will also give your prospective buyer the same impression.

Make sure that they are experienced in selling the type of home you're offering. Make sure that they market it properly and work in your best interest; after all, they stand to make considerable money if they sell your property. Make sure they do the work. It is smart to find a seasoned real estate broker or agent willing to do what is right to market your less than perfect home.

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