What Does it Take to Sell a Home in This Market?

By: Brian L. Thomas

In the current housing market; specifically in the resale homes, it takes more than dropping a sign in the front yard and proclaiming, 'Come one, come all. Buy this home!' The keys to a successful home sale are price and salability. Price is pretty self explanatory on the surface; but I'll get into the details. Salability is the ability to be sold. Again I will cover the details.

You will find, in this current buyer's market (I'm speaking generally about the nation and specifically about the Denver, Colorado metro area) that circumstances have to be close to perfect to sell a home. Buyers and Sellers will get what they are looking for out of the transaction when everything meets their needs and/or desires. So many homes are on the market right now in varying conditions. You have the foreclosure properties; which may be missing from a toilet and range to all of the cabinets, doors, fixtures and furnace. The short sale; which is a deal that the homeowner makes with the lender to sell the home for less than what is owed. (see my article titled 'Foreclosure May Not Be Your Only Option') Shortsale properties could be in complete disrepair all the way up to show home condition. And you have the normal resale home. Someone is selling their home to move up, move down, relocate, retire or any number of reasons. Usually these homes are in great condition; maybe only needing a touch up or repair here and there. They have equity enough to sell their home and are not in dire straights to get it sold. So what's the difference? Motivation.

This article is directed toward the homeowner that is motivated to sell their home. For whatever reason, you want to sell your home for as much as you can get out of it.

First, you have to get people in to see your home - price. Then the prospective buyers have to want to buy your home as opposed to another one down the street - salability.

Price. Without the price being set correctly, your home will never be seen. It has to be competitive with the other homes of comparable size, location and style. I don't care if you know for a fact that the house down the street is a pile of junk; if you price yours too much above that one, yours will not seem attractive to anyone. Buyer agents are very customer oriented. If they think they can get their buyer a deal, they'll go for it every time. Example: the average price in your neighborhood is $250,000; you have the best house on the block so you feel your house is worth $260,000. Guess what? The house down the street with the same square footage and floor plan as yours that needs a new lawn, a roof, some paint and carpet is being sold for $225,000! You are $35,000 higher than the 'junk house' down the street! How much grass seed, shingles, paint and carpet could you buy for $35,000? Probably enough for your home and have some money left over to buy a barbeque pit, some patio furniture, and maybe a new television among other things. I'm not recommending that anyone 'under' price their home to get it sold. I am saying, listen to your Realtor, they are the professionals and they know what they are doing.

Salability. Your home has to be in show home condition to attract people to put in an offer. They need to picture themselves moving right in and relaxing that evening, knowing that they just bought a jewel. I use an interior designer; not to drastically change your home, but to assist you in organizing and arranging what you already have to make appealing to buyers. The purpose of the designer is to help you depersonalize your home from being YOUR home and setting it up to potentially be someone else's home. You would be amazed at the difference.

So here you have it; price your home to be competitive using a Realtor, use a professional to help make your home look the best it can be, and set yourself up to win. You will be glad you did.

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