by Deborah Randolph
Selling your house is not complicated when you have considered and acted upon the five basics which matter the most when putting your property on the market. These basic items apply to all home sales regardless of price and the good news is the seller controls three of the five.
One: Pricing your home correctly is a the most important thing you can do when selling and the price is controlled by the seller. Overpricing your home irritates the buyers who take their time to look at it. They know what a $200,000 home looks like and if your house should be priced at $175,000 and is $25,000 over that amount the buyer will either give you a very low offer or move on the next house which fits their criteria. You have wasted their time and have made yourself look unrealistic.
Two: You cannot move your house so adjust your price for the location. Location values can also change within a neighbourhood. The house on a busy corner will not sell as quickly or for the same value as the same house at the end of a wooded cul-de-sac.
Three: Condition is controlled entirely by the seller. And condition includes everything from the paint on the mailbox to the age of the roof. Keep in mind the difference between an upgrade to the house, such as a remodelled master bath, and owner maintenance. Maintenance is keeping the house and yard clean and free of debris, replacing fogged windows and torn screens, replacing worn out carpet and broken bathroom tiles. These are things a seller is expected to do and a buyer can quickly spot deferred maintenance. The result is a low offer or worse, no offer at all. Do not under estimate the power of cleanliness. A spotless and decluttered home, even if the colors are dated, calms the buyer and adds to their positive feelings about the property. I have had buyers walk out of houses, not getting beyond the foyer, due to the sheer amount of furniture and “stuff” confronting them. Don’t be that seller. Listen to your Realtor and purge, purge, purge.
Four: Terms are also controlled by the seller. Can the house be vacated in thirty days? Will the seller contribute to the buyer’s closing costs? Will the refrigerator and washer/dryer convey with the house? Is the seller willing to add a home warranty to the property or have the house professionally cleaned before closing? A flexible seller can add value to the house.
Five: None of us control the market. At present in Pitt County we have an historically low inventory of homes. This contributes to a seller’s market overall but that can change within neighborhoods. If there are 10 houses for sale in your area and all are similar in size and condition the days on market will expand until the supply is lower than the demand.