Any home can sell in any market, if you line up what I call the 3P’s of Home Selling. The 3P’s consist of:
- Preparation- What are you prepared to do to your home to make it stand out from the crowd?
- Pricing- The most critical piece and must be looked at very carefully without pricing your home properly there is no amount of pricing or presenting that will sell your home.
- Presentation- What the agent does to put the most positive spin on your home and expose it to the most amount of home buyers.
One critical step of the 3P’s is honest and open communication as well as trust between the real estate agent and the home seller. You need to have an agent you are comfortable with and you feel is providing you with good information. Without honesty and trust between the parties, it makes a successful home sale much more difficult.
If you get the 3P’s to line up you will sell your home fast for top dollar.
I recently sold a home in Melrose Massachusetts at 157 Perkins Street. This was a perfect home sale as the homeowners payed attention to the information I gave them and did a lot of hard work to prepare their home for the local real estate market. We met back in September 2010 and worked through the fall and winter to prepare the home. At our first meeting we discussed the general marketplace, pricing their home and what preparation they were willing to put into their home as well as expectations.
Preparation– The first thing we discussed was bringing in a home stager, which I highly recommend. Margaret Innis of Decorate to Sell is my preferred home stager. She gives a lot of bang for the buck and is very good at what she does.
Margaret spent several hours at the home making suggestion to layout and what to do with certain areas of the home as well as discussing basics like de-cluttering. Some struggles that we had were:
- Awkward layout of some of the rooms. Furniture was carefully rearranged or removed to maximize the flow of each room
- Rooms not used to their best potential. Each room was highlighted for its best use for todays home buyer.
- Lack of backyard due to ledge. We highlighted the outdoor space and made it look like a Beacon Hill patio.
Margaret puts out an excellent report detailing her suggestions. My home seller went through and addressed each line item in Margarets report.
I also went through and suggessted minor repairs and cosmetics. Some of the biggies were painting the kitchen cabinets, repairing doors, repainting the front entrance plantings in the font of the house to soften its edges as well as the rear to make the back patio shine.
Overall it took the better part of the winter and early spring to prepare the home for the spring real estate market. My home seller did everything asked of them. Kudos to them!!
Pricing– While we discussed pricing the prior summer/fall it was time to relook at the data. Based on everyhing they did to the home and a stengthening of the market place we were talking about a higher price than we originally discussed. While my clients spent very little money preparing their home they did put in a lot of time and energy. It certainly paid off. We were able to list the home close to what they bought it for in 2007… when many homes are seriously underwater that were purchased at that time.
My home sellers were very pragmatic about pricing their home. They understood the downsides of their home…. lack of backyard and location on a busy secondary road vs a neighborhood setting. We had a discussion about being a market leader when it comes to pricing and condition. The house needed to stand out and shine and not just be part of the pack. We together picked a price and strategized , that we would list the home with no showings until the first open house. This strategy only work when the house is priced right and is in excellent condition. We withheld showings for almost a week before the open house to give buyers time to discover this gem.
Presentation– First and foremost I needed to leverage this home on the internet. The internet is now the #1 tool for home buyers to find a new home. The online presentaion needed to be key.
The first step was taking top notch [intlink id=”887″ type=”post”]real estate photography[/intlink]. In a previous life I was a photographer and take the photography of my listings very seriously. I have about $3500 in photography equipment including a tripod and multiple lights. I spend about 3-4 hours on the photography and the post processing of the photos. it is important to remmeber that homebuyers are accepting or rejecting homes based on the online images of a home. It is the #1 most important step in your homes online image.
From there I leveraged the home on the interent. Using every avenue of advertising including social media, listing syndication and personal sites. This site alone I can post a home and have it ranking on the first page of google in just hours of being listed!!
Right away my clients said that they were seeing tons of cars a day stop in front of their home. They were excited!
Pulling it all together- We had both worked hard and now the first open house. It was a constant stream of people we had over 60 interested parties come through with over 12 buyers coming with their agents. When this can occur you send a very powerful message to buyers….. Theres a lot of interest in this house and we need to act if we want to purchase this property.
By Monday we had several multiple offers just over asking. We picked one and closed about a month and a half later. I would also just like to say multiple offers puts the home seller in a great negotiating position. If the buyers push because they think they are in a buyers market, we can push back and say step aside their are several offers right behind you and we don’t want to play games….. and mean it!!
You will tend to get better offers early on in the process, when the property is new and fresh to the market. Be careful of the can’t we just try syndrome where you hope for more money than the data indicates. Your property will sit on the market through a couple of price reductions than buyers feel that the property is stagnant and becomes stigmatized ultimately causing you to lower the price below fair market value to secure an offer.