SO it’s time to sell your home! How do you prepare? How can you obtain the highest price possible for your home? When should you sell? Which season? With whom? Isn’t the summer time the best time when everything is in bloom? Your house is THE best home on the block so shouldn’t you list it at the very highest price?
These are natural thoughts that sellers have during the home selling process. Calling a Realtor while you are still contemplating the process is perhaps a good idea. What can a Realtor do on your behalf?
When I am called in advance, I might suggest some repairs, perhaps suggest a pre-selling inspection so the home owner knows beforehand the items to address within the home before it enters the market.
Are all of your renovations legal? An agent can visit the village, town or city’s building department and look to see if there are any open permits. Perhaps you had your electrical service updated, plumbing work performed but was that work closed out and reflected accordingly in the building department? Did you build a deck, and your contractor told you that you didn’t need a permit? I see many times a home owner stating that one light or another doesn’t work, and that ‘is the way it is.’ Well, if an agent cannot turn on a light, or a light switch does not work, then that aspect of the home is devalued in a buyer’s eyes. Fix those little things.
Accordingly, when it becomes time to lit your home, be truthful. For instance, do not state the windows are 2 years old and they are 10! Potential buyers might ask for those receipts, and then if they find out you mis-quoted on one renovation, they will mistrust you for everything else.
Landscaping. Your yard will be the first thing a buyer sees upon driving up to your home. Plant those pretty flowers, plants, clean the yard of leaves, branches, prune the trees. Power wash the walkway, front steps, home. It will make a big difference. Wash the windows, clean out the basement. If you do not care about it, the buyers won’t either and will perhaps not be interested in your home. When a home is spotless, it shows you care, and the buyers see that and it will be reflected in a bid.
Are your taxes high? Too high? How would you know? If, for example, the homes are selling within a certain price range in your area, and your home is assessed at a much higher price point, then it is always a good idea to have those taxes reduced the year before you are thinking of selling your home if possible. No one likes high property taxes.
Staging – or home presentation. A Realtor can bring in her home stager, who can advise on paint colors, and how to best present your home when the time is right for you to sell. Realtors can recommend floor specialists, handymen, painters, roofers, electricians, carpenters, etc. if you do not have easy access to same. We are here to help.
Real Estate attorneys? Do you have one? Realtors have so many good attorney names at their fingertips and who they can recommend to you. It is important to select your attorney in advance also. Ask him what he charges of course, but is he planning that trip around the world in the next 6 months? Will he be around for all aspects of your selling process once you need to reach the contract stage? Is he in court 4 out of the 5 days of the week so hard to reach, or does he deal in mostly real estate transactions?
Pricing your home. Many times I am called in to a home, and asked to offer forth a pricing. I try to emphasize that the pricing I give that week only reflects the current market prices. The market is always changing, and so the pricing of a home can change also. If homes are selling for 20% less in the fall, and 10% higher the following spring, then a home price will reflect that change, or it could be a lower price too!
I have also suggested to various clients to have an appraisal to best further their sale. If an area has a vast array of different homes, with prices at all levels perhaps based on condition of those homes, it is always a good idea to get an idea of what your home is worth beforehand, so you can best price your home too.
SO, you have made some repairs, and de-cluttered your home.. Very important. If you will not be taking everything with you, now is the time to get rid of unwanted items. Your home will present far better if it is devoid of unnecessary clutter.
Photography. If I am suggesting to my clients to market their home in the spring, then I always suggest to have photos taken when everything is in full bloom the summer before. Photography is the Realtor’s cost, and I have yet to meet a potential client say ‘no!”
When to sell?
Traditional the spring market is always the best. Homes usually sell for higher prices, the buyer pool is the largest, and while the market is also more competitive, as long as you do not over price your home, your stand the better chance of obtaining a great price for same.
Many home owners believe that the summer months are the best. This is usually one of the slower periods in which to sell a home. People (and agents) are vacationing, many buyers have already purchased their home and readying it for their families before school starts in the fall, and those home sellers who priced their homes too high in the spring are now starting to be more realistic, and lower their prices, so you will be in competition with a slightly flatter market. The fall market traditionally picks up a little after Labor day, but it is a shorter market, with a smaller buyer pool.
There will always be sellers needing to sell for relocation purposes, divorce, etc. as there will always be buyers seeking to purchase, so you shouldn’t NOT list your home in the summer/fall/winter, but if you have time on your side and choices, then I would always suggest the spring. By spring, I mean end of January through to April. By May, the market starts to slow down a tad.
On Choosing a Professional
You want someone who knows your market, who will market your home as opposed to just ‘listing it’ and sitting back, and someone who listens, and works with you. Professional photography? Definitely. personalized web sites? If you want one. Definitely. Marketing your home to all of the broker’s in the area? Definitely. My goal is to reach out to as many agents as I can, and to ask them to show your home and then sell it. Agents are my best friends! Marketing is important. SEO (Social Engine Optimization) is also important and part of that marketing process. When buyers are looking on Facebook, and your agent isnt advertising there…well what can I say!
Selling your home should not be a traumatic experience. Choosing the right agent should help the process go smoothly. All companies will advertise somewhere. Some more than others. My company, Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Real Estate is the largest Sotheby’s affiliate in the world, selling over 25 Billion last year alone. With 5 offices in New York City/Brooklyn, it is an easy transition to refer to top agents throughout the company, and to best market our homes. First choose your agent, or narrow your search down to several agents, and then select.
As a Westchester resident for over 37 years, and having obtained the Top Five Star Professional Award in customer satisfaction every year since it was initiated (2010 to-date) I am here for all of your real estate requirements. I was also privileged to be awarded the Certified Residential Specialist of the Year Award in 2013, and I was also the New York State Public Relations and Marketing Chair Person from 2013-2015.
Westchester is GREAT!