So you are getting ready to sell your home! Then now is the time to assemble a Seller’s Survival Kit. Your kit will consist of a calculator, paint brush, duster, pencil sharpener, recent mortgage statement, antacid, moccasins, crystal ball, library card, tennis racquet and sleeping bag.
The calculator will help you crunch the numbers to decide where you can position your home in today’s market. New England, like most of the country, is currently in a Buyer’s Market. That means more homes are available for sale compared to how many buyers are actively making purchases. In a Buyer’s Market there are 3 types of homes listed for sale – those that will sell close to asking price, those that will need to drop their price in order to sell and those that will not sell at all. Here’s where the pencil sharpener and recent mortgage statement become useful. Your Prudential Verani Realty marketing professional will show you what homes have recently sold in your neighborhood and which homes are competing for qualified buyers. If market conditions indicate that your mortgage balance is higher than the anticipated sales price, discuss your options with your Realtor. It may make sense to stay put for now, take a small loss to realize a discount on the home you are buying, rent your home or explore your lender’s short sale options.
Before actually listing your home and having your Prudential Verani agent start scheduling showings, there are a few more items to use from the Survival Kit. Used cars, secondhand clothes and dented cans sell at a discount because they do not look, feel or smell new. Making your home as-good-as-new will not only result in a faster sale but it will also preserve the value when you negotiate an offer. That paint brush and duster will go a long way in getting any home show-ready. Don’t forget to pack up a few moving boxes and trash bags to clear the clutter too! “Walk a mile in another man’s shoes” is an expression often attributed to Native Americans and the shoes in question were moccasins. Put yourself in a prospective buyer’s shoes and view some competing homes for sale, then walk back through your home as if for the first time. It’s not easy to look at your home as a commodity but when selling a property that is exactly what it becomes.
Once showings and Open Houses are scheduled you’ll want to turn on all the lights and leave so that buyers and agents can comfortably assess whether your home is the best choice. Showing activity is typically highest during the first two weeks on the market especially evenings and weekends so it can get disruptive. Plan to eat out a few times and make use of your library card to settle in with a good book or at one of their computer stations. Just remember the goal right now is to sell your property and you’ll have plenty of time to relax and get comfortable in your next home. Keep that antacid handy because showing feedback is a key part of the sales process but it can sometimes be tough to swallow the comments about the home that you have enjoyed and cared for. Mentally separate ‘home sweet home’ from ‘property for sale’ and discuss with your agent how to overcome any pattern of objections. Here’s where a crystal ball will come in handy. Some buyers can see themselves living in your home if certain changes can be made and some buyers simply don’t ever see your home as a fit for them. You can work with the first group by addressing their objections; you can only address the second group by targeting different buyers. Your Prudential Verani Realty professional will review adjustments to price, condition and marketing strategies with you based on showing feedback.
Good news, there’s only two more items left in your kit! You may find that receiving an offer can become an emotional roller coaster. Excitement and anticipation that the marketing efforts are working, disappointment and anxiety that the price and terms are not what you expected, apprehension and determination that you must get your home sold. Breathe: this is where the tennis racquet comes in. It doesn’t really matter where an offer comes in; it only matters where it ends up. Try to reserve judgment until you and your agent are comfortable that the buyer has presented their best and final terms. The way to do this is to ‘bounce the ball back over the net’ by making counteroffers to see if the terms or price of the offer can be improved.
Once there is a “meeting of the minds” and you’ve signed a Purchase and Sales agreement then your agent will coordinate the inspection and appraisal appointments and follow up on mortgage and title search and another other contingencies to the sale. During this process there are many different entities involved and each activity must be completed prior to your closing date. The details and necessary approvals tend to converge in the final days prior to closing right when you are packing and moving. Be prepared for any last minute delays which may result in a night with those sleeping bags or at a local motel.
“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity” – Henry Hartman
…So assemble your Seller’s Survival Kit today!