After having helped thousands of people in the DMV area sell their homes and by speaking with real estate agents across the country, I can definitively say that one of the top questions sellers in any market have is how to get the most money for their home.
Sellers often wonder what the pricing strategy should be or what improvements/repairs they need to make. While these are definitely important questions, they are only part of the bigger strategy, and that strategy works best when you have a top real estate agent directing it.
Most real estate agents use the strategy known as the 3 P’s:
Too many times we have been called after a homeowner hired a real estate agent that did not have a winning strategy. While we are able to get homeowners great results, even if they have tried one or two real estate agents before us, it is always disappointing to see people waste time and lose money by not hiring a top real estate agent.
After years of experience selling thousands of homes and helping agents across the country, I have seen the best results happen for sellers when they pick a real estate agent that knows and implements the following strategy:
The best home selling strategy starts with knowing the product. You must understand what you are selling and its relationship to the entire market. The most important questions are: location, type of home, size, features, and age. You cannot change what you are selling, but you must understand fully what it is so you can effectively price and market it.
Overpriced homes for the most part will not sell. High prices prevent buyers from falling in love with a home. They judge it before they see it – that is, if they even see it at all. At best, an overpriced home compels a buyer to ask, “How much can I get off the price?”. At worst, they do not even consider it at all. Correctly priced homes create a fear of loss in buyers. They wonder about what they need to do in to make sure they do not lose out.
There are sometimes instances where a unique or rare home does not have recently comparable sales. In these cases there is an argument to setting a high price for anchoring purposes, but this is definitely the exception to the rule. More often than not, an overpriced home will lead to more time on market and thus necessitate price drops to below where it would have sold had it been priced correctly from the get go. If a home is priced at or even slightly below market price, more often than not it will attract the most buyers and potentially get multiple offers to drive up the price.
3. Packaging and Presentation
Homes that show best sell best. It is hard for buyers to see around faults, so it is best to make sure the home is in top shape. This means getting repairs done, making sure the exterior looks great, getting rid of clutter on the inside and doing everything to make it look move-in ready. We provide our sellers with consultations from stagers to make sure they are getting the best advice. If the owner is going to live there, we make sure they do not have too much furniture. If the home is vacant, we recommend staging. The easier it is for a buyer to imagine living in the home, the better the chances of getting the maximum sales price.
If a home is priced right and is in top shape, the next step is to make sure the positioning strategy makes sense. Ask yourself, “Who is the most likely buyer for this home?” Is it first time home buyer? A move up buyer? An empty nester? The answer to this question will dictate how you market the home.
How are you going to showcase the home to the most potential buyers in the best possible way? Since most homebuyers find their home on the internet, first you need to make sure your home will be found online and that buyers can easily see it once they do find it. Top-notch professional photos are a must. Virtual tours are also important. The right people need to see the home both online and through social media. Other marketing channels can be important as well. Targeted direct mail can make a big impact if done correctly. Print is nowhere near as relevant as it use to be, but on some occasions for certain types of homes it can still have importance. The same can be said for events. Overall, the goal is for the most potential buyers to see your home and for it to look its best when they do.
The first five points addressed marketing processes. The next two address the logistics of the selling process. From the start of selling a home to getting it under contract and then to getting to the closing table, it takes a lot of different skills. Some people can do it all, but most cannot. Even those with experience in every part of the process can become overwhelmed. To ensure as smooth a process as possible, having a team of specialists working with you will yield the best possible result. It’s hard to compete with a team of people each committed to getting the best possible results.
Along with having great people to sell a home comes the importance of having proven processes. This simply comes only from experience, trial and error, and seeing what works over and over again and what does not. When a team has sold hundreds or even thousands of homes, they naturally climb higher and faster on the learning curve. An agent that sells 24 homes a year for two decades will have less experience than a team that sells 500 homes in a year.
Make sure the first five P’s are done correctly to ensure that your home will have optimal marketability. The best way to do that is to hire an expert that has done it more than anyone else. In order to have this kind of success, the person you hire needs to have the best people and proven processes.
Our team has sold thousands of homes and is consistently ranked by Real Trends in the Wall Street Journal as one of the top selling teams in the nation. If you want to find out how we can get you the best possible price for you home contact us at 703-609-5183.