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Mother, Father and in Front of Their New Arizona Home with Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign.

Top 3 Home Seller Questions

7 Oct 2016 1

How do I know my house will sell?

If your house is priced right and marketed correctly, it will sell.

When pricing a house, it’s important to get the house listed at the “correct” price.  The “correct” price doesn’t mean a discounted under value price to attract buyers and start a bidding war.  Nor does it mean to price it higher than the neighbor’s comparable properties.  In fact the correct price is actually both of these options or anything in between.

You see there is not one size fits all for pricing a house.  Certain property types, areas, zip codes, styles, condition, etc. play a factor for a properties “correct” price. Some homes are best suited for a ‘price low and let buyers bid it up’ strategy.  Other homes may be in fact much nicer than the neighbors’ homes, which means you SHOULD list and sell your property higher than the neighbors.

Secondly, marketing your house is key to a successful sale. The first part of a successful marketing plan starts with professional photos and staging/prepping the house.  Once the home is looking it’s best, it’s all about getting the home in front of the right buyers in the marketplace. There are many ways to accomplish this to varying degrees of success: MLS publication and syndication, flyers, open houses, to name same of the most basic and widely used methods.

It’s really quite simple, the more marketing methods used the higher the chances to find a buyer in the least amount of time. Let’s for a second pretend an open house has a 5% chance of finding a buyer for the house. We get another 5% chance by sending flyers to local buyers. Let’s say we have a 20% chance of finding that buyer by getting it listed in the MLS and syndicated to other websites.  While one of these single items may not be incredibly effective, the combination of all of them is very effective. This is the reason why I personally have an exhaustive marketing checklist of 25 items that I use for every house I market.  The more I can do to expose the property to as many buyers as possible, the higher the chance of getting it sold quickly at the best possibly price. Make sure you MARKET!

How do I know I’m getting the highest price for my house?

Comps and negotiations!

Comps, or comparable properties, are recently sold properties of similar finish, style, location, and condition. Before ever listing your house, finding a listing price should start with comps.  Your Realtor should pull the best comps and compare them to your house to find an estimate of value.  This is known as a Comparable Market Analysis.

Comps are an important baseline for your property pricing. They are not only used up front, but when a buyer goes to look and make an offer at your property, you can be sure that their Realtor will also pull comps.  Most likely they will be looking at the same comps you did when you listed the property.  The buyer will be using these to make sure they are not overpaying for a house, just as you are using them to make sure you are not accepting less than it’s worth.

Remember, comps are a good baseline, there are plenty of situations where a house is worth significantly more or less than its best comps.  You CAN (and should) absolutely sell your property above comps if it’s truly a nicer property than all the comps.

Once you have your listing price set in line with comps at the “correct” listing price and marketed correctly, getting the most money from the transaction relies on negotiations. There are many opportunities for negotiations throughout the purchase process. An experienced agent has been taken to the front lines to battle for their clients and knows how to get the best deals.

Many times getting the best offer can be more about the terms than anything else.  Remember, many buyers will ask for the seller to pay for a LOT of fees and costs associated with buying a home.  There are literally dozens of fees that are negotiable on the sale of a home.  They range from pennies, to tens of thousands of dollars, so these terms are not to be taken lightly! The amount and regularity of buyers asking for fees will vary based upon market conditions, price range of home, and other circumstantial reasons.  Remember, just about everything is negotiable in a real estate transaction!

Will my house pass inspections?

Did you prepare your buyer to accept the inspection report?

When you live in a home for a long period of time, you are most likely aware of its quirks, oddities or “issues”.  In reality every house has “issues” of some sort that will show up on an inspection.  These Issues can range from completely benign to major deal breakers.  You may wonder WHAT items will show up on an inspection report and how the buyers will react to it.  The best way to overcome any known issues is to be upfront about it.
When an inspection report shows issues that you as the owner clearly knew about, it can make for some uncomfortable tension.  The better option is to use the Arizona required “Seller Property Disclosure Statements” (S.P.D.S.) to disclose any known issues you have about the house, large or small.  This way, the buyers know you are being upfront with them, and will not be surprised when they get their inspections completed.  When a laundry list of major items show up on an inspection report, buyers can get anxious and want everything fixed, or thousands of dollars re-negotiated. Disclosing up front can alleviate these issues.

Whether or not your house will “pass inspections” is subjective.  There is no pass/fail grade for in inspection.  The buyer will ultimately decide if the condition is acceptable or not.  The buyer will have an opportunity to request repairs, which means even if you do have some issues, that’s OK.  The buyer will be aware of the issues, and if not acceptable still provide you with an opportunity to correct them.

No matter what the issue is, there is a good chance you’re not the first house with it.  The fact is homes are a manmade product that require ongoing maintenance and upkeep. There are many issues that come up time and time again. (If I had a nickel every time an oven/range is missing the anti-tip bracket or the dishwasher line wasn’t “looped” properly…)

If you fear there may be a long list of issues in your house, it may be in your best interest to have an inspection done for yourself before you list the property.  This way, you will know all the items that a buyer’s inspector will come up with, but also have an opportunity to shorten that list by completing some of the items that buyers will be concerned about. If you complete repairs items, now you have additional firepower of upgrades that enhances your marketability and justify your asking price.  In short, being on top of any repair items can save you BIG!


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Jon Knutson Realtor

Jon Knutson, REALTOR®

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