1. LOAD AS MANY PHOTOS AS POSSIBLE into the MLS…. Come on! We all know that buyers go online and look through these listings for hours and hours… give them something to look at! If your home only has a few photos loaded, you are missing a big opportunity! If there are no photos at all, most buyers will assume that there is something terrible or gross inside the house…. Use photos!!
2. USE GOOD PHOTOS!!! Use a flash on the camera for goodness sakes! Don’t put dark and blurry photos online!! If there aren’t enough features inside/outside the house to photograph, then take pictures of the local park, or the Fox River, or the entrance to the subdivision… anything!
3. CLEAN OUT THE HOUSE! If you have already left, then make sure that home is spotless! Don’t leave the old paint and the rusty mower in the garage… if you don’t want it, chances are very good that a new homeowner isn’t going to want it either! Vacuum up the dead bugs every month! Pick up the newspapers out of the driveway and the doorhangers off of the front door…
4. PUT NEW LIGHTBULBS IN! For any rooms that do not have overhead lights, leave a floorlamp for showings.
5. HAVE YOUR REALTOR UPLOAD ALL OF YOUR DISCLOSURES TO THE MLS! This is SO EASY to do, and it makes it easier for the buyer’s agent to just go online and print them out, so they can submit them with the offer to purchase your home!!
6. BE PREPARED FOR SHOWINGS! We know that the market is not very dynamic…. That’s been proven. However, if there is an outside chance that a buyer will choose to see your home, then you better be ready. If there is a sign in your yard and a keybox on your door, then you better have the ability to show your home within about 15 minutes of a phone call! If you are in a neighborhood where there is a LOT of inventory, sometimes a buyer won’t choose yours from the listings online, for some reason, but when they are out with their Realtor in your neighborhood, suddenly your home is one that they’d like to see…. LET THEM! Be ready!!
7. LISTEN TO THE FEEDBACK… It’s difficult to just keep throwing money at a house and hope that some of the negative feedback will go away. However, if there are little things that come up again and again, that you can easily change, do it. Whatever obstacles you can remove or overcome will only help you to sell quicker!
8. ENCOURAGE YOUR REALTOR TO PAY OUT A WHOLE COMMISSION…. What I mean by this is, many Realtors will take a listing and put it into the MLS as “2.5% to buyers agent, minus $150”… why, oh why, do they do this?? Come on, if you have a Realtor listing your home and they have to take $150 out of the commission for the buyer’s agent, so they can pay for a virtual tour or for fliers etc, then maybe you have chosen the wrong agent or company… I would think that many Realtors who are out showing property aren’t going to want to sell the one where they are automatically going to make less money!
9. PAY ATTENTION TO THE COMPARABLES! This isn’t rocket science… it’s brutal out there in the market right now! If there are 10 homes in your subdivision, you do NOT want to be the most expensive! In this market, almost every buyer will take the stance that they are not going to pay for the most expensive home in the neighborhood! Be smart about your strategy…..
10. DO NOT REFUSE TO GIVE A COUNTER OFFER ON A LOWBALL OFFER!!!!! This is the hardest item on my list, and the one I have had the most experience with in the last 12 months! I just sold a listing last week that came in at an absolutely insulting price! I counseled my sellers, however, to ignore where it came in and try to get it to where it can go out….. I feel incredibly fortunate to have those sellers as clients, as they were very realistic about what has happened to our economy and our housing market since they listed their home. This same buyer low-balled a different seller before they came to us, and that seller was so mad he didn’t even acknowledge their offer. By the time he got over his temper-tantrum, those buyers were all signed, sealed and delivered to my seller’s door-step!! There are not enough buyers out there right now to purchase the inventory we have. If you are fortunate enough to get an offer, you just can’t turn it away. Chances are, especially if it’s the first offer you have received, that it will be the best offer….. It’s unfortunate when the price is extremely unpalatable, which more often times than not, it is However, it’s even more unfortunate to turn down a buyer and then watch a listing in your price range close on their home 30 days later!
Good luck, and happy selling!