Sellers are always looking for the one secret, or trick, that is going to get them the the highest price for their home. The truth is, that you have to do everything right and make your home appeal to everyone, and it all comes down to marketing. Below, we listed out 7 things that we see most often, when our clients break records for their neighborhood or building.
“Between two products equal in price, function and quality, the better looking will out sell the other.” - Raymond Loewy, Father of Industrial Design
1. A Picture Is Worth 15%. Sometimes More
Listing photos are your first chance to make a great impression. And, sometimes, your only chance. The study “Toward an Understanding of Real Estate Home Buyer Internet Search Behavior: An Application of Ocular Tracking Technology” found that of the three listing components to a real estate listing, buyers spent 60% of their time viewing Photos, 20% on the Property Description, and 20% on Agent’s Remarks. In fact, 40% of home buyers never even make it to the property descriptions at all.
Want to quantify how impactful those photos are? Just check out Redfin’s study that shows that homes photographed with a professional camera can sell for upwards of 15% more than those that are not.
When your photos are going to be the first thing that a buyer notices, and the aspect that they will spend the most time focusing on before they even make it to your home, this is one thing you cannot afford to overlook. Working with a professional photographer to make your home come alive is undoubtedly the most impactful way to get a buyer to take interest your home.
You can probably guess which of the two identical units sold for $50K above the other...
2. Make Your Home Appeal To Anyone
De-clutter, de-personalize, de-dirt and re-arrange. You want your home to appeal to every single person that walks through your front door.
Remember to always keep your buyer’s emotional response in mind when it comes to decorating. Focus on the bare essentials and stick to lay-outs that are functional.
Put away the family pictures
Organize your storage spaces
Tie up the cords
Fresh coat of paint (neutral color)
Clean under the bed
Get rid of foul odors, and
Focus on lighting
Your home should feel bright, open and airy, free from dirt and clutter. A fresh, neutral colored paint job, new carpeting and light fixtures are some of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to improve a home’s value. Also, consider the cost of a quick fix versus the expense of renovation. Often, bathrooms and the kitchen are the only rooms that retain or increase value.
3. The Devil Is In The (Listing) Details
At minimum, you'll need to include the price and any monthly fees (taxes, maintenance, HOAs, or Common Charges). It's also good to include all amenities
Your description should be written for the most likely prospective buyer. A family will likely want to know about the local school systems and parks. A retired couple may want to know whether the neighborhood is quiet, while a younger purchaser may want a vibrant area close to transportation. While a good agent will know the general trends of your neighborhood, you know the features of your home better than anyone else so make sure to tell your agent all about them.
4. Price It Correctly
This is both an art and a science. If your home is priced too high from the start and sits on the market, buyers may be dissuaded as they think something is wrong – no matter how many price drops. Start too low and prospective buyers think something is wrong from the start.
The first thing you need is a firm understanding of your market, including price-to-list ratio, inventory, similar listings on the market, and supply quotient (homes for sale divided by the number of closings in the last 30 days). You can only devise a pricing strategy by knowing what you're up against and what has sold in the past.
Know your marketing site’s price filters (being off by $1 can put you in the wrong price range)
Be sensitive to taxes (some states have mansion tax that starts at $1M)
Price drops correllate to days on market (just around every 30 days)
Make sure you receive a CMA and have an undertanding of your high, low and middle price jutifications
It is also worth knowing that a purchaser may likely try to come in 10%-20% off of the list price with the hope of landing somewhere in the middle. A good agent, who understands the market should be your first resource when setting your price, and a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) will be an independent check.
5. Make It Accessible. At The Right Times
It sounds obvious, but you can’t sell your apartment if your buyers can’t access it. The more flexible you and your agent are, the more viewings you will have from the start.
You also want to show your property when it shows best. For eastern exposures, schedule open houses early. For western exposures, schedule around sunset. If your property is noisy at certain times, try avoid showing then. The same goes for showcasing any features that come alive at certain times, such as skyline views.
6. Incentives Work
If a buyer has narrowed their search down to a couple of properties and needs a little bit of a push, you can try to sweeten the deal by offering incentives. When torn between two properties, or just out of budget, an offer to cover some of their cost may be just the right tool to help close the deal. Incentives that may help include:
Closing Costs (including: Title Insurance and Search Fees, Escrow Fees, Inspection Fees, Homeowner’s Insurance, Home Warranty, Property Taxes, Private Mortgage Insurance, Mortgage Payments)
Repairs or renovation credit
Cover Moving expenses
Pre-paid Maintenance or tax
Buying the interest rate down on the mortgage
7. A Great Listing Agent Will Make You The Most Money
Yuor agent is your pricing analyst, marketing coordinator, negotiations expert, advisor, and above all else - salesperson - and the best agents in a nieghborhood know how to sell and what to anticipate. The best ones who have the most experience selling your home type may even have a purchaser in mind before you begin the process.