The Cost to Stage Your Home Will be Less than a Price Reduction
Does the term “price reduction” give you a headache? Are you playing a waiting game now your home is “on the market”. Fingers crossed and hoping that the perfect buyer will come along and pay you top dollar for your home?
Not in a hurry to sell? Then chances are you don’t mind if your listing waits for that perfect buyer. The one with no buying chain or mortgage wobbles.
Chances are though, you’d prefer NOT to tie up your life over this important and strategic financial decision. You’d just as soon get on with it right?
Especially if the sale allows you to afford your dream home. For the majority of us, once we decide to make a move, we’re psychologically ready to go. Or as they say in Texas, get ‘er done.
What You Need to Know When Selling Your Home
Avoid Chasing Down the Market:
Have you heard of this phrase? It frequently pops up when the real estate market is going through a correction and sellers face uncertainty about how to price their home.
Chasing down the market means you list your home at the price you’d like to achieve. However until the price is in line with what the current market will bear your home stays unsold.
Your home will stay listed for sale until it reaches the price a willing buyer is prepared to pay.
If you pay attention to property news, you’ll know that your neighborhoo could be either edging up in value or going through a price correction. Of course this changes weekly. Typically, once prices come off historic highs; only the best and most competitively priced will sell. So unless your neighborhood is hot hot hot, at the moment, you may have to face a more realistic price in order to sell.
Learn to Compete with a Cooling or Volatile Sellers Market
1. Using Pricing Strategy
• Price trumps everything else. Consult several reputable real estate agents to get a realistic estimate of your home’s value in today’s market. Get a look at what’s sold in your neighborhood in the past 30 days. With current volatility, sales of 6 months ago or even 3 months past may be out of date.
• Don’t be flattered by a high evaluation. Do your own research online to get familiar with what’s selling in your town or street. Be realistic. Avoid the angst of chasing the right buyer by pricing your home right from the start.
• The estate agency Hamptons International (no affiliation) reported that in the past 12 months a home that didn’t need a price reduction sold on average in 25 days. A home that did need a reduction took 63 days to sell. Which isn’t terrible but in addition to the uncertainty, figure in a loss.
• What if you aren’t prepared to give a price reduction? Selling a home is very personal. Be honest about your real needs and what you hope to get out of selling. If it’s time to “move on” with your life, consider what net you can work with. If it’s a second home or an investment, you might want to wait until the market stabilizes.
• Another option is to keep your home off the big real estate portals like Rightmove or Zillow and instead create an off the market or pocket listing through an agent or agency. You’ll be relying on their expertise and connections to match your home with a potential buyer in their network. It’s one way to test your home’s price and condition.
• For sellers who value their privacy a pocket listing can be desirable. Your home is only shown to pre-qualified buyers and if you need to correct the price you can do so before your home is on the open market.
2. With Updated Condition
• Don’t throw away money by selling your house “as is”. In the US “as is” is code for a home with maintenance or repair issues. Issues the seller has no intention of repairing or addressing. It’s a carrot to any investor or buyer looking for a bargain.
• Putting a home on the market without prepping it for buyer scrutiny is throwing money away. By making repairs, updating, cleaning and presenting your property at it’s best, you’ll increase perceived value from buyers. The valuer’s assessment may get a bump as well.
• Buyers will mentally deduct the value of fixing those niggling repairs from your asking price and their offer will reflect that. You want full price offers.
• Would be buyers will compare your home to other resale properties and they may also be shopping new homes. If they’re comparing the pros and cons of used vs new then your resale property should stand out. Let it combine the best of old and new.
• For buyers looking for perfection, they’ll find it in a new build. Those brand spanky new model homes are staged without a hint of clutter anywhere in sight. Compete with that. Present your home as new not as is. Most existing homes have desirable features that new homes lack. Lovely character and period features, in town locations, and more mature landscaping.
• If buyers are considering new build, then chances are what they’re really looking for is move in ready. If yours looks as if you could move right in, you’ll get buyers attention.
3. With Timing
• If you have flexibility on when you sell your home; by all means take advantage of timing. Be one of those sellers who’s prepared to get their home ready for the spring property boom. Take advantage of a season when buyers – especially those with children – tend to be out in droves.
• The more buyers competing for your home, the better your odds for multiple offers.
• Timing flexibility is also to your advantage if the market has a wobble. It’s the mid priced section of the market that gets thrown a curve ball by politics or interest rates. The high and low end often continue as usual.
• If you have the flexibility to wait out a temporary downturn in the market, it could be to your advantage. Consider renting or letting out your home instead of selling. Or stay put until selling conditions are more favorable. When it’s costly and difficult to buy, the rental market may provide a safe haven to keep your investment growing. Hire a reputable agency to screen potential tenants and keep an eye on things, especially if you decide to move across county or country.
How to Avoid Losing Money When Selling
- The most effective way to avoid losing money when selling your home is to price it right at the start.
- Do your research and consult not one or two but several estate agents to achieve a realistic evaluation of your home’s value.
- Be realistic about the condition of your home and be prepared to correct any visible defects, known issues or deferred maintenance.
- Consult a professional staging service to help you see beyond the personal and get your home whipped into shape.
- Be prepared to update worn surfaces such as countertops, flooring, tile or walls. Especially in kitchens and baths.
- De-clutter. Imagine you’re moving next week. What will you let go of and what should you get rid of pronto?
- Deep clean from top to bottom. Clean as if your mother is coming to visit. Lack of whiffy smells sells property.
- Create function and purpose to your rooms. Don’t allow a room to multi-task unless it’s an open plan living dining.
- Donate, sell or toss anything you’re not planning on taking with you. Especially worn furnishings.
You may disagree and believe your home is different and unique. That may be true, but are you willing to bet on it?
When You Stage a Home You Improve It’s Condition
The average cost of staging your home or preparing it to sell should be less than 1% of value and in many cases far less. Especially if it’s just a matter of rolling up your sleeves and giving it a good scrub from top to bottom.
Staging also includes any of those improvements that will bump up condition and improve value.
If you’ve priced your home competitively, enhanced it’s condition and staged it to sell you shouldn’t have to take a price reduction.
I’ve helped over a hundred clients give their home a fresh look and sell for more. Got any questions? Get in touch here. Not quite there yet? You’ll find a treasure trove of professional staging secrets in this handy downloadable Staging Checklist.