As a real estate adviser, having many clients with many different personalities, it can sometimes be difficult to say things as it is, but in my experience, doing so is guaranteed to help everyone in the long run. Every industry has its own undeniable truths that have taken shape over years of trial, error and a healthy dose of data; the property market isn’t any different. In my nearly ten-year career I have narrowed down these truths to nine that are fundamental to selling your home.
These facts are designed to assist you in preparing your home for an expeditious sale.
Knowing Your Local Market Is Imperative
Just like when you go fishing, you need to know the best time to fish, as well as where the best places are to set yourself up, which other fishermen you are competing with, selling your house is like putting bait to get bites and ultimately catch the right “fish.” Your local property market is the only lens through which you should sell your home. The market doesn’t lie. It will dictate the real price of your home, the state your property should be in, and the type of marketing your agent should conduct. An agent with enough experience and access to local data will help hasten the sale process.
Selling a Home Is Not Convenient
Prepare to be disrupted when selling your home. The process itself means you may have to remove some of your belongings from the home, spend weekends away as your home is being toured by prospective buyers, and be willing to make changes to your home when your real estate agent suggests them. The entire process is inconvenient. But the sacrifice pays off, resulting in a quicker sale and a more advantageous price.
Incomplete Repairs Reduce Your Sale Price
My experience as an agent has given me insight into how expensive a lack of repairs is. Once a buyer is aware of any issues present in the house, they may start to wonder what other problems your house is hiding, affecting their opinion of your property and their offer. It’s far cheaper to complete the repair than have the perception of a home that’s in disrepair affect your sale price.
Buyers Negotiate After Inspection
If there’s one time during the sale process that a buyer feels confident requesting a discount on the price, it’s after the inspection. Therefore, I encourage my clients to disclose any defects with the property so interested buyers are made aware and can ensure their offer reflects this knowledge. If buyers are blindsided by defects, they may try to nickel and dime minor repairs, causing the value of your property to deteriorate and unnecessarily extending the closing process, and in many cases the deal may fall though completely due to some minor things that could’ve been avoided in the early stages.
Lack of Communication Jeopardizes a Sale
One of my favorite sayings is “Strike while the iron is still hot.” Moving fast when there is a prospective buyer is key. The more time you give someone, the more they overthink, and possibly reconsider. Nothing derails the sale of a home more than an unresponsive seller. If an interested buyer is asking questions, ensure your real estate agent has the information promptly. This ensures that the agent can relay the information and you can move forward with an offer and a quicker closing. If it takes you a while to respond, buyers will become agitated and begin to consider their other options.
Pre-Qualifying Buyers Is Necessary
Any real estate agent who is showing your home to a buyer that they haven’t assessed to determine if they meet eligibility requirements is an agent you shouldn’t consider using. In my experience, buyers may have every intent to purchase your home and may be willing to make an offer. However, without the proper vetting process, many of these offers are redundant as the buyer isn’t eligible for a mortgage large enough to purchase your home. Therefore, don’t be concerned when your agent suggests a strategy that requires buyers to show proof of eligibility. In most cases the buyer’s agent will vet the potential buyer, but it is still very important for the listing agent to verify that the buyer will qualify for a mortgage. This can save lots of time, headache and aggravation.
A Successful Sale Boils Down to a ‘Selling’ Agent
In real estate, I see myself more of a matchmaker than a salesperson, because the house sells itself. Despite my pre-real estate years in sales with extensive cold-calling selling wholesale cell phones and Bluetooth headsets, I learned to take a step back and do less talking and more listening. Aesthetics and repairs may aid a sale, but selling your home comes down to your agent’s ability and knowledge how to really “sell.” A skilled agent knows how to highlight the benefits of the home, understands what
buyers are searching for, and can guide negotiations so buyers are willing to pay the price you want.
The Sale of Your Home Begins With an Image
I have seen countless homes, some with over a million dollar asking price, with photos that look like they were taken from a cell phone, which is a big no-no. Curbside appeal is coveted. That’s why focusing on your facade is vital. But how you capture that appeal—through photo and video—determines how many buyers will show interest in your home. Your real estate agent should be hiring expert property photographers and videographers to make your home competitive on the market. According to data gathered by VHT Studios, high-quality photos can reduce days on the market by 32%. Hire an agent that has a large marketing budget and will be generous on investing in beautifying your house with stunning photos and video.
A Seller Should Never Be Present at a Showing
Besides making the viewing process uncomfortable for prospective buyers, being present at a showing invites unnecessary scrutiny and questions, many of which you won’t be prepared to answer. Any questions you decide to answer will be analyzed to give the buyers the upper hand during negotiations, hindering your real estate agent’s strategy. The only way to avoid this happening is to be out of the house during a showing and to remove any personal effects from your house.
To help you navigate these and other truths about selling property in Bergen County or NYC, reach out to me. My time working in one of the most competitive housing markets in the USA has given me a unique perspective on the local market that ensures my clients sell their properties at top dollar.
Levy Tewel is the founder and team leader of the Tewel Team at Compass. He has overseen over 1,000 closed real estate deals in the last 9+ years. Levy can be reached at 201.477.0117 [email protected] TewelTeam.com.