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Home Selling

How To: Succeed at Real Estate

We’ve heard about the new, scary thing on the block. No, it’s not your neighbor’s new rottweiler. Somehow, it’s the fear of selling your home! But we’re here to tell you that there’s a way to conquer all your real estate fears. Let’s dive in…

#1: You want to get the best price for your current home? Here are a few factors you’ll need to consider:

How hot is the market right now?

Are sold signs going up as fast as for sale signs? That’s a pretty good indicator that your neighborhood or the local market is hot. However, you’ll still need to take strategic steps to list your home. The best way to get the best price is to show off your home and outshine the house next door.

How does your home compare to the home next door?

Speaking of that home next door, how precisely does yours compare? You’ll need to emphasize what your home has that other houses in your neighborhood don’t. It could be anything from having two extra bedrooms to having a bigger backyard. Keep in mind that prospective buyers are comparing the houses against one another (by the way, there are free tools out there that help you find out what your home’s value is. Try our free home estimate tool.). Other homes may have certain (and seemingly smaller) things that make them more appealing and get them sold quickly. Don’t feel discouraged. Find the best features of your home and display them rather than trying to fix every tiny flaw. Plus, you never know, what you consider a flaw might be a selling point to a potential buyer!

What are the best features of your home?

Have you made any updates? Feature those. When was the carpet replaced? How fresh is the paint? We’ll get to “upgrades” in a bit, but try to put those in the back of your mind for now. You don’t have to make your home completely new to get it sold, but it is important to call out all the special things. Home buyers want to hear about that new A/C you installed last summer, so tell them about it! All you need to do is hone in on the BEST features of your home and make those outweigh the possible flaws. Inventory your home for a weekend and take note of the traits that make your home a catch. Then shout about them from the rooftop!

#2: You want to sell your home in the quickest way possible. Let’s do it.

Getting the best price for your home is important, and being reasonable about your home’s listing price is the key to conquering your fear that it won’t sell.

You shouldn’t settle for a low-ball offer, but at the same time, wild expectations that your home will sell for a trillion dollar does more harm than good. You’ll need to be realistic about your asking price and set the price according to current market standards. Otherwise, you’ll scare off potential buyers, and your home will sit on the market much longer.

Did you know that your home’s first two weeks on the market are the most crucial of all?

That’s why you need to make sure that you’re marketing in the best way possible. Create a marketing plan way before it’s listing time. Remember that home inventory we mentioned before? It’s time to utilize it! Highlight everything on the list that is appealing about your home and get it out in the open. Attracting mass traffic to your home is great, but attracting the RIGHT traffic is essential. How well you market has a direct correlation to the speed at which your home will sell. The potential buyers viewing your home are another obvious and vital piece of the equation.

Your timeline will play a big part, but guess what? If you’re trying to sell quickly, it’s time to make your home look like you’re ready to move out.

Take down the pictures. Put away the toys. De-personalize as much as possible, but don’t make your home look empty. You need to ensure that potential buyers can visualize themselves living there. That’s why the giant black and white photo of your great-great grandma probably needs to be taken off the wall.

In order for your home to sell, buyers need to be able to view it.

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many sellers make this common mistake. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Would you have the time to view this home within the schedule you’ve set for showings? Will you have to trip over who’s currently living in the home to walk around and view it? If the answer was yes to either of those questions, then it’s time for some changes. Your house needs to be accessible to get it sold, which means being flexible with your showings schedule and always keeping the home show-ready. Get yourself into the mindset that if you want to sell quickly, you’ll need to grant potential buyers with as much access as possible.

#3: You want to put the unnecessary upgrades aside and just get your home sold? Here’s how:

Do you know which improvements will help your home sell the quickest?

The truth is not all upgrades are created equal, and some upgrades can cost a fortune but make very little difference to the sale of your home.  Of course, there are other upgrades that can increase the value of your home, but get an outside opinion first. Don’t assume. Getting a gauge on what the recently sold homes in your neighborhood have vs. what your home has is a good place to start. But remember, highlighting the best features of your home can be as effective as repainting every square inch of your home.

Too much personalization is a bad thing, but a lack of character can kill the deal.

There’s a balance. Again, consult with someone from the outside. Regardless of how long you’ve been living in your home, it’s your home. You need an outside opinion on which decor seems too personal and which is okay to stay. That blue bedroom wall might seem normal to you, but an outsider could see it as a complete game changer. Again, do everything possible to allow potential buyers to visualize the home as their own--especially if it means painting the blue wall a neutral color.

Be prepared for buyers to have requests.

We’re here to conquer your fears, but being unprepared for buyer requests could be detrimental to your expectations of the home sale. Sure, you may decide to leave that blue wall as is, but if it is a deal breaker for a buyer, you’ll need to put in a few dollars to do it. Don’t let this discourage you! Think of it as another step that gets you closer to selling.

#4: You want to find a dream home you can afford? It’s possible!

Even though it may seem like a no-brainer, but are you doing everything possible to save money for your new home?

Don’t pay more than you expected to close the deal. Conquering this fear will require doing a little bit of research on which methods of selling are available to you.

Have you thought about building?

Maybe your dream home doesn’t exist. But there’s no reason it shouldn’t! Building a new home could be the path of least resistance to affording your dream home. Plus, why should you settle for anything less than your dream home? Okay, sure, money is one reason. But if you’re saving in the right places, you can make your dream home happen!

Have you done the research on your preferred neighborhood?

If the neighborhood you want to live in is hot, prepare to pay that “hot” price. If you haven’t realized this already, know that location is a very important piece to this whole real estate puzzle. You need to know your current neighborhood as well as your desired neighborhood. Knowing the ins and outs of both will help you get the most money when you sell; money you can put towards your dream home in your dream neighborhood.

#5: You want to avoid commissions?

Let’s face it: commissions are weird and one-sided. Here’s where we’ll get a little personal. Shouldn’t this whole thing of selling your home and finding your new home be all about you? Yes. It should be. You could sell on your home on your own, but in the long run, it could cost you valuable time and lots of money.

#6: You want to seamlessly sell and still have a life? Here’s what it takes:

Selling your home doesn’t mean your whole life needs to go on a roundabout detour.

Sure, this is a pretty big thing you’re embarking on, but you should still be able to enjoy your life. Some modifications here and there will get your home solder faster, but you don’t have to pause everything to move out of the house. Here’s some advice: at the first inkling of wanting to sell, think big picture. Do you want to sell in 3 months, 9 months, or a year? Knowing your timeline can make sure that you don’t need to halt your life completely. Take a few hours to map it out--think about everything you’re doing within the next year and how your life can come together around selling your home.

You don’t have to do it alone.

Having a trusted partner throughout the nitty-gritty process of home selling is an excellent investment. A trusted outside source can help you conquer the fear of putting your life on pause for the sale.

#7: You need to get clear on what you want.

It’s time to get a general idea of what you’ll actually be able to spend on a new home.

Start by thinking about your needs vs. your wants (yes, there's a difference). Once you can determine what your needs are, you’ll be able to estimate how much you’ll need to spend. Then, you can focus on your dream features. Dream big, but keep the dollar signs in mind. Installing a waterfall swimming pool in the backyard: definitely cool, but it doesn’t help you get over your fear of being able to afford your dream home.

Make a must have/like to have/don’t care list. Things on this list should include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Gas stove
  • Formal dining room
  • Separate laundry room
  • Two-sink master bath
  • Garden space
  • Carport
  • Front porch
  • Shed
  • View

This will help you figure out which features are most important to you in a new home. Once you have this list written out, start your house hunt by visiting our Marketplace. You will find a home you love, but first, you need to know what you want. Once you know your criteria, head back over to our Marketplace and set up auto-alerts! That way, you’ll be notified when your dream home finally goes on the market.

Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish.

The other homes won’t be offended if you just decide to build one of your own. Since, you know, it is important that you find a home you love. Why would you ever settle for one of the most important things in your life? Knowing what you can spend on the next place you’ll call home might mean building it yourself.

#8: You want to sell when the time is right and get the most equity? Here’s how:

Generally, the home selling season is right around spring/summer.

Depending on where you live, this could vary. Plus, it can start sooner or last longer--in some places, selling season could even be year round. If you work closely with a real estate partner who is an expert in your neighborhood, they’ll be your main source of knowledge when it comes to seasonality. There are a lot of factors that go into the right time to list and part of it goes back to making sure your home is listed at the right price from the beginning. Working all the angles of your neighborhood is extremely essential to maximizing your home equity.

Consider what’s happening around you geographically.

Is there a new company moving to town? Is there a reason people want to move elsewhere? Both positive and negative factors play into when the right time to list is. The positives will create more demand, but if you don’t do the correct calculations and jump on the opportunity too soon, you might be on the market longer. Then again, there’s a chance that the supply will be lower than the demand (yes, the law of supply and demand applies to everything). Something causing people to move out of your neighborhood might cause you to list faster, but if you’re not well prepared, you might do more harm than good. Believe it or not, that “sweet-spot timing” exists, and it’s essential to list within that timeframe to yield the best results.

#9: You want the real estate process to fit your timeline? Here’s what to do:

Call Bob Barker if the price is right on your home because it’s going to make planning your timeline much easier.

All the factors that are necessary to get your home sold will play into your timeline. If you’re prepared, it will all fall into place nicely. If you’re looking to sell immediately because that’s what all your neighbors are doing, you’re going to fall short in a few areas. Taking the time to carefully plan your home sale will do wonders for you in the long run.

Really ask yourself, “what factors are driving me to move?”

It’s time to manage your own expectations correctly. Level with yourself. What’s a want vs. a need? Selling your home is super exciting, but if you set unrealistic expectations, your fears will become reality. Of course, as we’ve mentioned plenty of times in this guide, there are many outside factors that play into getting your home sold. You could end up being your own worst enemy if your expectations are running amok.

Being flexible is half the battle.

Things will come up. Maybe you’ll sell your home quicker than expected. Maybe your home will sell a little bit slower than expected. Plan for these things. You’re embarking on an exciting new journey that will have the occasional twists and turns. Going back to your planning will help keep your fears from becoming reality. And in the end, you might be pleasantly surprised at how fearless you’ve become about listing your home on the market.

Fears tamed? We hope so! Feel free to refer back to this guide whenever you need to ease yourself into the home selling process. You know that “real estate partner” we referenced earlier? Well, we’re Jovio, and while we support you in whatever home selling path you choose, our agents would love to help you sell your home. Let them help you conquer your fears--you’ll save time and money in the process.

Have questions? Get in touch with a Jovio Real Estate Specialist.

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