You would think that selling a home in “the most up-and-coming neighborhood in the US” would be a walk in the park, but it is not quite as easy as putting a sign in the yard and waiting for prospective buyers to line up around the corner, waiting to make offers. Selling your home – especially if you’ve never done it before – can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers come into your home and poke around in your closets and cabinets. They will criticize a place that is more than just four walls and a roof to you, and then, to top it all off, they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth.
With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it’s easy for home sellers to make lots of mistakes, but here are some tips from veteran Eastside Realtor Elise Knepper of The Property Shop LA on how to get the job done – without losing your mind.
- Avoid Emotional Attachment. Start thinking of yourself as a businessperson and a home seller rather than the home’s owner. By looking at the transaction from a financial perspective, you’ll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling. Try to remember how you felt when you were home shopping. Most buyers will also be in an emotional state. If you can remember that you are selling not just a piece of property but also a dream and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and perhaps repaint that red bedroom. These changes will not only help the sales price, they’ll also help you create emotional distance because your home will look less familiar.
- Set a Realistic Price. Setting the right asking price is critical, and one of the most important ways we guide our Eastside sellers. Buyers in our market are extremely well educated, and have an abundance of data available at their fingertips to quickly assess whether or not a home is priced appropriately and worth going to see. Overpriced homes do not sell, period. In pricing, try to focus on an enticing-yet-reasonable number that will get the maximum number of qualified buyers in the door…and then let them tell us with their offers what the home is worth.
- Make Sure Your Agent Invests in Smart, Gorgeous Marketing. I can’t tell you the number of poorly marketed homes we agents see (and bemoan) on a daily basis. Yesterday I saw an adorable home, properly priced in Eagle Rock, that had one blurry exterior photo, captured with a fisheye lens. The directions on the listing stated, “Anyone can find this house”. The remarks section, so critical in generating a desire to see more and see it now, simply stated, “Nice home in nice area”. Effective? Not. Great agents cost no more than bad ones!
- Be Open About Issues. Any problem with the property will be uncovered during the buyer’s inspection, so do not even think of trying to hide any faults your home might have. While home buyers in our market are generally pretty accepting of typical defects, we often help our sellers have their home inspected prior to hitting the market in order to avoid costly surprises.
- Prepare Your Home for Sale. Sellers who do not clean and stage their homes are throwing money away. If you haven’t attended to the broken doorknob you hardly even notice anymore, a potential buyer may wonder what other maintenance has been ignored. A good Realtor has the objective eye needed to make recommendations, and knows what buyers really focus on during all-important showings and open houses. Even rearranging furniture can work wonders and translate into dollars.
We would love to help you navigate our competitive market, or simply answer any questions you may have about how to get started. It is a great time to sell, and we are here to ensure that you are as successful as can be. Visit us and learn more at www.ThePropertyShopLA.com.
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