5 Key Strategies To Assure A Quick Home Sale At The Maximum Price

The real estate market is always changing and since real estate is very "local", you will find a variety of market conditions within a given metro area. This holds true here in St. Louis and we often see quite different behavior in the real estate market as we move from neighborhood to neighborhood, subdivision to subdivision and county to county. Given all this, what can you as a seller do to assure that your home will sell quick and that you will realize the maximum potential value from the sale? Below are our 5 key strategies to assure this happens:

Key Strategy #1 - Is It A Terminal Condition?

One of the first things to look at is the condition of your home, identifying things that, if repaired or improved, can help maximize the value of your home. This is where an experienced, professional agent is valuable as he or she can take a critical look at your home, without the emotional attachment owners often have, and identify things that can be done to make your home appealing to the broadest range of buyers possible. While doing this, the "terminal conditions" of the home need to be identified as well. The terminal conditions are those items that will impact the value of your home but there is nothing you can do about them (ie..a neighboring highway, proximity to an airport, etc).

Once this assessment is complete, then it needs to be decided if you are willing, and/or able, to make the suggested repairs and improvements and if so what is a realistic timeframe for completion. If the improvements are going to be made, the house should not go on the market until they are complete.

Key Strategy #2 - No House Will Sell Before Its Time

You probably already know the real estate market is very seasonal however perhaps you don't realize just how significant timing can be when it comes to the sale of your house. While the season is very important and, early spring is the most popular time to put a home on the market for obvious reasons; the weather is nice, lawns and landscaping look nice and many home buyers with kids begin looking in spring with the hope that they will be settled in their new home before the next school year begins. This does not mean that spring is the only opportunity to sell your house nor is season the only part of the timing equation that is important. Homes sell throughout the year and if you don't have the luxury of hitting the market at the beginning of spring, there are many other timing issues you can use to your advantage.

One thing to keep in mind about the spring market is this is also when there is the most competition. While this is not a bad thing, depending upon the desirability of your home to buyers in the market, you may do better over the winter months when there is less competition.

Other important timing issues vary depending on your home and market, but include:

  • Allowing for a "coming soon" period in advance of hitting the market. For the right house and conditions, this can be an excellent way to generate interest in advance and help create a sense of urgency among potential buyers.
  • Use holidays to your advantage. While you normally want to avoid putting your home on the market right before a holiday as you don't want the market to go dead right after you enter it, depending upon the holiday it may work in your advantage to hit the market right before the holiday if it is one that typically people stay in town for and may even take the time to go out house hunting. For example, Washington's birthday, Columbus Day and Veterans day are all Federal Holidays that give many folks a 3 day weekend but are not necessary big travel weekends therefore these could work in your favor.
  • A mistake we see often is when an agent that is in a rush to "get the listing in the MLS" will enter the listing before all the photos, video tour or brochures are complete. This should be avoided and the listing should not be entered in the MLS for agents to see until all the photos, videos and marketing materials are 100% complete.

Key Strategy #3 - Know Your Competition TODAY!

Yes, selling your home is competitive. Remember, you are not the only homeowner out there trying to sell a home and, even if you are confident yours is the "best on the block" or the "best deal in your subdivision", buyers rarely restrict themselves to one subdivision. Buyers are typically looking throughout at least one school district or, if they do not have kids in public school, then throughout a larger geographic area so there may be more competition than you think. Also, many sellers (and real estate agents for that matter) dwell too much on the past. Focusing on what the neighbors house sold for last month, what the house down the street sold for 4 months ago, an so on. This is NOT the competition. Those homes are gone. The competition comes from the homes that are currently for sale so those are the prices that matter. For an improving market this can work in your favor as the "right" price might be a higher one than the identical house brought last month but in a declining market the opposite may well be true. In either event, it is critical to have real-time, comprehensive market data available.

Key Strategy #4 - Price Fixes Everything; 2nd Chances Are Expensive

NOTHING is more important to selling your home quickly at the maximum price than price itself. So, if that is the case, why do we have it at #4 on the list? Well, until you have done the assessment in #1 and know the condition your home will be in when it hits the market, know the timing of when you will hit the market as described in #2 and have thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the competition in #3, it is premature to talk price. These three things are critical issues and must be taken into account to properly price your house. Like the heading indicates, price fixes everything so, if your house has "terminal" issues as described in #1, don't fret, it will still sell, it will just need to be adjusted for in the price. Something else that is key to remember, 2nd chances are expensive! What we mean by this is it is imperative your home be priced right to start with and the idea of overpricing it because "I can always come down" generally means in the end you will end up selling for a lower price than if you would have properly priced the home to begin with. Statistics show that if the home does not sell within the first couple of weeks of hitting the market, the amount it does sell for in relation to the original list price, steadily drops over time so you want to get it right the first time.

Key Strategy #5 - YES and GO

Finally, remember your favorite word should be "YES" and, just like in the restaurant business, "the customer is always right." Your house should always be ready to show, at a moments notice whenever possible and, unless the requested showing time is just plain unreasonable you should always be responding "YES" to showing requests. Then, after saying yes, you need to go. You need to be gone (pets too) when your house is shown so that the buyer feels comfortable looking and is not hindered in any way by your presence. For many sellers this can be disturbing or even aggravating, but today given hi-tech electronic lockboxes and an abundance of vacant homes, buyers (and buyers agents) have become somewhat spoiled and are used to getting their way on showings.

We can get you through it!
Our team of professionals at MORE, REALTORS can show you just how easy we can make it for you to sell your home from start to finish! We know the St. Louis market, we know the real estate business and have some of the most knowledgeable and experienced brokers and agents in St. Louis in our firm.
Phone (314) 414-6000
Email: Info@MO-RE.com