Selling a Home in Louisville, Kentucky
Most folks have heard that the top three things necessary to sell your home are LOCATION, LOCATION, and LOCATION. This is true when you are in a market where homes are selling at a fast rate. We are not in that market now. We are in a highly competitive market. A recent Fortune Magazine article outlined the top three things needed to sell your home in a competitive market.
1. Price it Right. The worst mistake a seller can make in a (competitive) market is to overprice a home. Even putting a high price on your home to "test the market" for a few weeks, with the notion that you can always lower it later, is a bad idea. Your goal should be to seal a deal during the first two or three weeks your house is new to the market. That's when your home generates interest from serious buyers who have their radar up for fresh properties.
If you're asking too much, they'll move on, and your house will get lumped in with the rest of the inventory. And if it lingers too long, buyers will think there is something wrong with it.
How can you be certain that you're pricing it right? Start by checking out your rivals: similar homes for sale in your neighborhood. But the numbers that you really want are the actual prices comparable homes have sold for recently...
2. Set the stage. In a (competitive) market you need to stand out. That's where something called staging comes in - that is, sprucing up your home in a way that encourages prospective buyers to envision themselves living there.
The first step is to rent a storage locker and fill it with all that clutter from the attic, basement, and garage. Also remove any furniture that makes your home look overcrowded. And you may want to sweep your house clean of such personal items as wedding photos, framed diplomas, or children's fingerpaintings - it's difficult for prospective buyers to see your home as their castle if your family's signature is all over it.
Tone down unique decor. Rooms painted in unusual colors should be redone in neutral tones. "You're not selling your things, you're selling the space," says Barb Schwarz, CEO of StagedHomes.com.
Curb appeal is equally important. Says Long Island, N.Y., agent Diane Saatchi of the Corcoran Group: "The trip from the driveway to the front door can kill a deal." So slap a fresh coat of paint on the door, hang a wreath, hide the garbage cans, and plant flowers along the walkway.
3. Hire an agent. You may hate the idea of parting with 6 percent of your home's value, especially when you're facing the prospect of getting less than you dreamed of. And with the internet making do-it-yourself sales easier... you may be tempted to dispense with an agent.
But in a tougher environment, marketing is everything, and an experienced agent… can be invaluable in helping you price your home correctly and in getting it noticed by prospective buyers. An agent can also steer you through the tortuous sales process and keep a deal on track when the inevitable glitches crop up.