00:39 Resetting Expectations
In case the cat hasn’t left the bag – we are in a Buyer’s market right now. It’s been a rough year in middle Tennessee and many other markets for sellers this year with these mortgage changes affecting buyers’ ability to finance. But a lot of that is changing, I do anticipate many of these colder markets warming up as the warm weather creeps up in the coming months.
If you haven’t been here before, I do content like this often, so if you’re looking for this type of content – like, subscribe, let’s keep in touch! Now, strap on those waders, kids. Let’s get a little deep on the things you will want to do to get your house ready to market.
So I’ve done videos like this in the past to talk about what the steps are for getting a house ready to sell. And we will cover some of those same things here, but I wanted to refresh this list, as we should from time to time because the market has changed a lot. Call it “resetting expectations”. Let’s get real. You can’t just throw your house up on Friday morning and expect 30 offers by end of business. So here are the big three things to consider:
Pricing your house for sale isn’t just about how much you need in order to achieve your exit. You should know how much you need in order to buy a new property, or to reinvest in others that you may own, etc… But that’s putting the cart before the horse. You also can’t just rely on how much your neighbor sold their house for. That’s important for two reasons: first, they may not have the same type of house as you, same size and general appearance, but even if they do, second, they may have sold for way more or way less than the market can bare.
Right now, you have to take the holistic picture of the most recent changes in market, compare that with the past 6 months to a year and also take into consideration how many buyers are looking for your type of home in your area. This takes market information that you will have to pay for. I Anything that you can get that’s free is just the tip of the iceberg and if you haven’t fully vetted what the market price of your home should be, when it goes on the market you could risk loss in profits as well a lot of unnecessary time. One of the main reasons I’m seeing homes sit on the market for longer periods right now in markets I work is that sellers want way more than their house is worth at the present time. This doesn’t mean your house has lost value, it just means it hasn’t increased in value at the same rate as the past few years. What all this means, is that you really need to be working with a listing agent from the get-go. We are watching the markets daily and we have the information you need. Put this info next to your financials goals to determine the right price for you, and your next steps.
On that note, after you price the home, next is to consider marketability. You’ve set a price that works in the current market and helps you achieve your financial goals with the sale, now you need to get the house looking great and put together marketing materials that will help your product rise above the rest. Your house will not sell itself. I’m not saying it needs a new paint job, but if the exterior can be cleaned up, you can plant some seasonal flowers or do some basic landscaping updates, it’ll help with the curb appeal. Make sure that whatever you paint or change inside the home is done with the professional quality that your neighborhood and price range dictates. So if you see houses selling with little-to-no cosmetic changes, you probably don’t need to change much, but if you see new paint and updated light fixtures, water fixtures and door handles in every listing that is comparable to yours, then you might need to budget for those things. If you don’t have the budget, you might sit on the market for longer, which can and probably will affect how much you will get for the property, but timing can help you out here as well. You might want to wait until the market warms up a bit more, maybe a month, maybe longer, because more buyers is better for sellers.
The other part of marketability is to have and execute a marketing plan. You cannot expect a home to sell without a plan in place to make sure it is seen by the buyer who will make you an offer. I’m talking about professional photos, video, 3d tours, a dedicated website for the property, yes to all of that. But also, beyond the MLS, you need to tap personal and professional networks, social media, every outlet possible. And you need to know what will happen after it sits for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and God forbid longer than that. It happens. But what’s the plan? How are you going to change to accommodate for this? If your agent isn’t going over this with you, nothing against them, but they might not know how do this. You might need to ask them to partner with someone that can provide this level of support. If you don’t have an agent right now, you should interview a few before you choose one. Because it’s important that your agent has the experience to market your home in the market you’re in and that you feel comfortable with their method of approach. You should know that they *have* a method of approach.
Now, you have your plan, you’re ready to go! Not so fast. Let’s anticipate some concessions. I’m not saying you’re going to have to concede to anything during the sale, let’s say you have updates that are needed, but you can’t afford them. Maybe you don’t have the money to pay for a professional paint job, or to update the HVAC or the appliances. Maybe you just don’t want to. Well, an option, since this could pose a problem at some point, is to offer to buy down a point with the buyer’s lender. You could even partner with a lender to come up with a strategy to offer some incentives. Builders do this all the time. The same type of incentive could be presented as providing a Paint Allowance or a Flooring Allowance with a bound contract or maybe a Home Warranty for one year. It doesn’t have to amount to much, sometimes, to mean the deal can close.
Want to know more? What help putting the plan together? Let’s chat, I’m around. Either way I hope this helps inspire you on your journey to listing your home. Best of luck! See you next time.