- Hire A Pro – Times are ‘a changin’ and this is not a time to go about it alone. A pro can help you pick the right price, understand and navigate the legalities and new contracts, pro-actively find buyers for your home, and have a marketing plan that get’s your home maximum exposure where buyers are looking.
- Disclose, Disclose, Disclose! – Does your home need work? Did you have a leaky dishwasher or water heater and you think it “may” have created some mold? Does an outlet trip a breaker often so you just don’t use it? In this market, buyers are looking for ever reason to NOT buy your home and finding a surprise like this can cost you the sale. Even worse, you can be in a lot of legal trouble if you don’t disclose things like this!
- Price Must Be Realistic – Homes that are priced right from the start sell for more than homes that start out too high. I know you hear this often, but it’s not just babble, here’s the real reason why. A+ buyers (those that are qualified, ready to buy, know the market, and are just waiting for a home like yours to become available) are the first ones to look at your home. If it’s priced fairly they are willing to pay that price because they want YOUR home! If the price is too high, they know it because they have seen everything on the market and they won’t buy it. Now B and C Buyers come along (not as qualified or motivated – they are looking for a “Good deal” . They always offer less, and often not until you lower your price. The A Buyers have already seen your home and moved on – and they are the people who would have paid MORE than the B or C buyers!
- Separate Emotions From The Sale – The moment you list your home, it is a product available to the marketplace, not your home. The sooner you can become comfortable with this and detach your emotions, the easier it will be to make process showing feedback, react to staging recommendations, or negotiate an offer with a buyer. I know this can be challenging but this is the reality.
- Recognize the Scammers – A lot of shady folks are preying on “underwater” sellers. They offer “foreclosure rescue programs” under various creative names..but the bottom line…be weary! Lenders in 2012 are only doing modifications directly with the mortgage holders and Colorado law now prohibits anybody (mortgage broker, realtor, rescue specialist, etc) from receiving any upfront compensation for helping you get a modification. If it sounds shady, call an attorney or trusted real estate adviser before signing anything with these folks. Better yet, kick ’em out and call your lender directly
- Show Me The Money! (Interview the Buyer’s Lender) – Qualifying for a loan is harder now than it used to be. Just because the buyer shows you a prequal letter doesn’t mean the financing is rock solid. Have your agent call the lender and get the nitty gritty details about the loan such as: loan type, source of downpayment, has documentation been provided and verified already, does the buyer risk not qualifying if the sales price is higher than the prequalified amount.
- Make Your House Sexy – In a more formal post I would call this staging or preparing your home for sale. I don’t need to belabor this….declutter, maximize curb appeal, bring in a staging professional if necessary, etc….but make your house shine! If you want a higher price than the foreclosed home down the street, you have to make your house sparkle in comparison and show buyers why it’s worth more. If you don’t, they will opt for the cheaper house
Times have changed and so has Colorado real estate market. Here are 7 tips I believe are critical for home sellers to have success in this market.