These are tried-and-true strategies that will sell your home fast.
1. The most important strategy is list your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If you want to list your property on the MLS, you’ll have to use an agent. However, I recently discover a new service for home sellers who want to do for-sale-by-owner. Check out owners.com. You can list your property on your local MLS for a reasonable fee through owners.com who has a license to list your property on the MLS for you.
Why do you want to list on the MLS? Because when a property is listed on MLS. It is automatically listed in other real estate websites as well, such as, Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, Google, etc.
Why is that important? Today, more than 95% of homes buyers find their homes online. Therefore, it is important to have an internet presents to be in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Furthermore, MLS are geared more toward retail home buyers, who are looking for their own homes, and are willing to pay more for properties.
2. Write an appealing listing description. In a MLS listing, there is a small space for agent to write a brief description of the property. You, as a home seller, assume your real estate agent is competent is writing an award-winning and catchy description that will get your property multiple offers in no time, right?
You are so wrong…You’ll be lucky if your real estate agent writes anything at all, let alone writing something appealing.
Whatever your agent is writing make sure they don’t use the following words or phrases in the listing. This list of words and phrases came a 3-year study in Dallas’ market and are found to be associated with lower sales price and longer days of markets.
Avoid these words or phrases:
“motivated sellers” - lower sale price and longer listing period.
“good buy” - lower sale price
“vacant” - lower sale price, assume can offer less. Not need to.
“repairs” - longer time on market and lower sale price. However, “updated” sold for higher price.
“good location” - lower sale price
Instead, focus on using the listing description to draw out emotion and help buyers to visualize living in the property. People buy for emotional reasons and justify with logic later.
3. Including a link to a video tour of your property is the simplest thing that anyone can easily do. Almost everyone has a camera with video recording capacity on their smart phone. So there is almost no reason to NOT to do one. A video tour is a great opportunity to showcase the best features of the property. Remember, your listing agent is not necessarily the one who shows your property. it’s usually the buyer’s agent who shows the property, and very likely he/she is showing the buyer another 3-4 properties too. So your potential home buyers will not know all the cool features of your property.
Remember, 95% of home buyers search for their homes on the internet, a video tour will give them a very good reason to call their agent to schedule a showing at your property.
4. Price it right at the start to avoid property sitting on market for too long. When you see a property with a days on market greater than a month, the number one reason is always price.
One of the thing I see frequently on the MLS is the astronomical asking price. This intimidates many potential buyers because real estate prices are already high. Most logic behind listing high is “I’ll start high and see if anyone would buy. If not, I’ll drop the price”. And real estate agent doesn’t mind that logic and, in fact, some promotes it telling seller it’s seller’s market. Really? Or it is because their commission is tied to the sales prices…
When I see sellers start reducing price, I know this is a motivated seller, and will put in a low-ball offer.
Sometimes, home sellers worry that they priced too low and is selling themselves short. No…sales price is determined by supply and demand. If you list at a reasonable price, compared to all those overpriced listing, home buyers feels they’re getting a deal, and you’ll end up with multiple offers, which creates competition. You know how competition makes people wants to win, and likely offer to buy at a price higher than your asking price.
When you list at too high of a sales price, you risk not getting any offer, then your property sits on the market. The longer it sits on the market, the less interest you’ll get from home buyers because they’re concern that something is wrong with the property that’s why it still not sold.
Another reason why listing high to start is a bad move is because when you first list your property on MLS, that listing is distributed to other sites. But when you reduce the price, MLS does not update other sites. And you end up missing many potential buyers because your property will be out of many buyers price range.
Pricing too high not only cause your property to sit on the market for too and ending selling for a lot cheaper, but it also end costing your more considering all the expenses you have to pay on an empty property.
5. Your first offeror (the person who put the offer) is always, always, always your best, assuming this person has the ability to purchase with cash or mortgage. This offer may not be the best offer. First offer is usually lower than what they are willing to pay, or the terms needs to be worked out. The reason why your first offeror is the best is likely because these individuals has been on the market looking for a specific property, and when yours show up on MLS, they spot it, they want it and put an offer right away.
Remember, no matter how good your real estate agent, or he/she is your cousin or neighbor, these people have different motivation than yours as a home seller.