Price and presentation… is the single most forgotten secret in selling a home.
Agents traditionally go to the MLS and pull up all active and recently sold homes in your immediate area for pricing comparisons. An updated clean property is often priced nearly the same as the one that is dog eared and maybe not as clean as it could be.
“Curb Appeal”, remember that old realtor term? Well allowing the front scrubs become overgrown and a blank dirt yard in the back can kill any interest in purchasing your home. Remember when you Dad told you to wash and clean up your car before you take it to the dealer as a trade in? Well, your home is the same. Prospective buyers know they will make changes to “your” house after closing but to present them with an ugly presentation to begin with, they never get to the “what it can be” stage.
The timing for the sale is also a major secret. If a quick sale is important then you have to have the nicest presentation at a price the same or less than the beat up dog down the street. Buyers are fickle. If a dog is a few thousand less than a nicely presented home, they will conclude that they can “fix up” the dog.
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make, when time is not so much an issue, is pricing the home too high thinking they can wait for “the right buyer”. If a home sits at a price for more than 90 days it becomes stale and prospective buyers (and agents) begin to wonder what is wrong with the property.
Agents want listings and will often list a home for a price determined by the seller or the convenient “comp” figures if they don’t know better. If you really want to sell your home in a timely fashion at a good price look at the presentation of the competition, be realistic in your timing and when necessary spend just a little to shine up the house so the curb appeal, in and out, makes the prospective buyer feel better about your house compared to the one down the street.