Do you have your house on the market or are you thinking about listing your house for sale? Are you longingly remembering the good old days of 2002 – 2005 when people where listing their homes and receiving multiple offers – many over the asking price? Do you wonder if you should have listed your house then?
If you have your house listed or are thinking of listing your house, then of course you know that Tampa real estate is a lot different than it was years ago. Things seem pretty dismal these days if you listen to the media, and homes seem to not only receive offers for a lot less than what they are listed for but the majority are just not selling. The prevailing advice is to just hold and wait. But what if you can’t wait and you need to sell right now? First, can you expect to sell your home? Second, can you possibly even think of getting more than what you listed for? And third and final, can you sell your home fast?
I can tell you yes to all three questions. The reason I can do this is because I just closed on a home in 6 days and $2,000 over the listing price. Prior to that, I recently sold a home in 11 days at $100 over the asking price. This is becoming more and more frequent in our market, if you know how to strategically market your home.
Here are four steps that I took in helping our clients sell their homes:
1. Do your homework. You must check out what the active competition is doing, where they are priced and be prepared to beat them. Buyers are seeking one thing above all else in today’s market – value. If you can price your home to be the best value – the best price per square foot that is not a short sale perhaps – this will make you stand out from the rest.
2. Price it HOT to Sell! Your home is only going to sell as high as the most recent sales in the area. Many people mistakenly believe that because their home has a pool or granite countertops it is going to bring substantially more than what the last home that sold in the neighborhood did – and it simply isn’t the case. Remember, the buyers are likely going to need a loan, and their appraiser looks at comparables usually from the last 3-4 months and small upgrades may not make a huge dollar figure difference. When you price it HOT – you will get lots of showings and fast offers. Nothing pleases me more than when I get calls from other Realtors about showing one of my listings and I can tell them, I just got an offer on that one, so if you show it, tell your buyer to act fast – and then I end up with competing offers! It creates an auction effect, people get excited and think, well if they want it, I want it too! If you price it $10,000 over where it should be, you’ll get lowball offers.
3. Spruce up the Curb Appeal. The Tampa Real Estate Market is not only in a price war but also a beauty contest, so you must be prepared to win both. In both recent cases where my clients were able to sell for over asking price, the homes had the best curb appeal and showed beautifully and were priced at the lowest per square foot to beat out the other competition in the market, bringing in multiple offers at and over asking price. Little things like putting away personal photos, knickknacks, taking magnets off the fridge, and making your home look like a brand new model home can make a big difference in a buyer’s eyes.
4. Do Repairs Up Front. It’s a good idea to get a pre-inspection or take care of any issues that could cause concern for a buyer up front when selling your home. If a buyer finds out your home needs repairs, in their minds they are knocking off thousands in price, even if a repair only costs a few hundred – buyers tend to over estimate repairs. So if you take care of any issues up front, you’ll be more likely to get the best price for your home in pristine condition.
By doing these four steps, you too in a down real estate market may be able to sell your home over what you originally anticipated!