DFW Home Sellers "Pre-listing" Guide
How to Think Like a Successful Home Seller in the N. Texas Real Estate Market
- Price it Right the First Time
- Shopping For Realtors Until They Tell You What You Want to Hear
- Listen to Your Realtor!
- Importance of Staging Your Home
- Turn on the Lights and Open the Blinds
- Sell Your Home, Not Your Personal Belongings
- Leave Your Emotions out of Your Home Sale
- More Helpful Resources
Pricing Your Home Right Day One is Sound Advice
Setting your sales price too high is the number 1 reason homes fail to sell. Today's information age buyer and buyer's Realtor® can spot the wrong price quickly. Homes priced too high put off critically important prospect showings in the first weeks your listing is active. If you want a higher selling price, consider some eye-catching cosmetic enhancements or even large remodeling projects. Money spent on enhancement projects will raise your price and move the needle on appraised value. Normally, pre-MLS preparation expenses are recaptured 100% and can increase your sales price substantially.
Maybe You Have That Special Home?
Ok, so you think your house is worth more than the average nearby homes in your neighborhood and that you have something ‘special?’ Well, maybe you do. Lot location & lot size, pools, updates, and enhancements can add special value that buyers are willing to pay more for. In fact, buyers will pay more for the right set up. And what is that?
- Sought after Schools
- Sought after Community
- Exceptional Floorplan
- Larger Lot - .3 Acre or larger
- On a Cul de Sac
- On a Greenbelt or a Creek lot
- A noticeably Private backyard
- For many, a backyard facing EAST is a sought-after quality for owning a pool.
- a location that offers easy commuting advantages
- Away from noisy roads
Scarcity greatly affects the "supply and demand" aspects of real estate. It is why certain homes, like on greenbelts, command a higher price versus an identical home on a more typical interior lot.
Shopping For Realtors® Based On Who is Offering the Highest Listing Price
The easiest way to undermine your efforts to sell your home for top market value is to shop Realtors® until you get a price no longer supported by CMA Comps. Once your home has been on the market for an extended period, you begin to jeopardize the money you could have earned had you priced your home correctly from the start.
It would help if you were asking prospective Realtors® to see the percentage of homes they list and homes they Close so that you can understand the agency's quality. About 90% of Realtors are part-timers, hungry for business, and are more prone to provide you with exactly what you want to hear versus what you should hear. There is just no getting around pricing correctly as today's COMPS are too easily obtained by buyers and their agents. When you are at the right price, many times you get a full offer or very close to a full offer, and your time on the market, along with the associated interruptions, is greatly reduced.
Over the years, we have certainly seen many incorrectly priced homes expire, even after being re-listed with multiple agents. Had these home sellers worked with CMA values and priced their homes accordingly before their listing became stigmatized, they would have sold sooner and for market value. Going through 3-4 Realtors® is not how you succeed, but how you fail. When Realtors® present you with hard facts about the market, they are for your benefit.
Listen to Your Real Estate Expert's Advice!
An experienced Realtor® knows the process, challenges, and how to navigate a home sale to a successful conclusion. If you want to prevent common seller mistakes, your agent's carefully researched CMA Comp report along with critical preparation advice is key to getting top dollar and finding a buyer sooner. A teamwork mentality is exactly what you need from your agent and how ARG™ approaches their client relationships.
If your home is not under contract in 30 days, a new COMP report is needed to review market changes. Price reductions help stimulate interest and alert prospective buyers via email updates. If a new COMP report suggests a price reduction, it is generally better to act sooner before competing listings adjust their pricing.
Importance of Staging Your Home to Look its Best
You have something to sell, and buyers are looking for something to buy. As a seller, you control the stage and what buyers will see, so why not direct a masterpiece? Our concept of "Lighten-up (declutter), Fix-up, and Clean-up" has been a guiding agency principle for getting our MLS listings ready to sell and sold. With a near-perfect success rate of 95% selling our MLS listings, our system works. Quality MLS Photography plays a big role in creating a positive first impression, but great photography depends on a home that is ready to market. The above photo illustrates how 5000K LED lights can brighten interior spaces. As a seller, your primary objective is to increase your home's impression value so your home can connect mentally and emotionally with buyers. A well prepared, well lighted, properly staged, de-cluttered, and sparkling clean home sends all the right inputs a buyer needs to bring an offer. The above photo is from a recent ARG listing. Click here to view SOLD listing.
Light is a Seller's Best Friend
Before a showing, turn on the lights and open the blinds! The age-old Realtor® expression, "Light and Bright" is as good advice today as it ever was. In fact, the above photo is a former ARG Listing that switched to 5000K LED. The owner said it was transformational. LED's are also "instant-on," eliminating any warm-up that is inherent with Fluorescence Bulbs. ARG sold that home to the very first showing. "Make the impression, that makes the sale" is the advice we have shared with clients since 2004.
The photo below from a recently closed ARG listing shows soft lighting before and cool and brighter lighting after switching over to 5000 K LEDs. We can help suggest cost-effective new LED lighting to help brighten your home. This listing sat unsold for ~4 months with another brokerage, then ARG took over the listing, had the owner upgrade lights to 5000K LED's, remove dark screens, and do a few touch-ups. Then we added complementary "Accent Staging" and relisted the home. It contracted in 2 days and CLOSED. View all photos of this home.
Sell Your Home, Not Your Personal Belongings
Unless you're a very talented stager or interior designer with beautifully matched furnishings, it is best to go minimal. People often wonder why vacant, clean and like new homes sell so fast with minimal accent staging? The fact is a buyer is more prone to notice and remember a house with less personal property distractions.
More importantly, sellers really need to understand they have a limited time to connect with buyers. The "clock" starts at the curb, and the precious few minutes a buyer is considering your home has a dramatic effect on what they choose to do. Every distraction that overwhelms the view-scape in your home reduces the buyer's actual time looking at the house itself. I can’t tell you how many times a house would have had a chance to sell had it not been for the personal property distraction seen by the buyer.
On the other hand, if your home truly looks like an expensive model home and has a central accent theme, that can actually work to your advantage. Remember, you are competing for a buyer that has been through dozens of model homes and dozens of clean empty new homes. Example – If you live in a $500K home, but your furniture looks like it belongs in a $150K home, what kind of impression does this send to the buyer? Does it complement or distract? Does it help the buyer like your home more or less? Remember, the buyer is trying to visualize how your house would look with their belongings and not yours. This is why it is always good to rent a storage space and remove excess items from your house to make your home feel more open with fewer sight distractions for the buyer to see.
My favorite saying concerning personal property is, "when in doubt, get it out," which has served me well.
Try to Leave Your Emotions Out of Your Home Sale
When you finally get an offer, don't blow your top if it's not what you expected. It is not about you; it's about the house. It is a business transaction that requires a cool hand to prevail, but we understand how financials can get underneath your skin, as it can raise our eyebrows. Bad offers can be countered. Again, selling a home is a fact-finding exercise that began before you listed in MLS. Sure, buyers can present unreasonable offers, and those are easy to counter, but the goal is to use market facts to justify your price and responses to offers.
Just remember, don't take it personally. Your agent's job is to stay professional and grounded and focused on the best outcome possible. And remember, it is a process, with each home sale being a unique set of circumstances.
Learn more about the Selling Process (Once you've received an Offer)
ADDITIONAL SELLER INFORMATION RESOURCES
- Thinking About Selling? Time to Plan Ahead
- Seller Tips From a Proven DFW Listing Agent
- The Real Cost of a "Home Buy-Out Offer" is Your Home Equity
- 21 Staging Tips on Houzz
- The Art of Light Management Can Benefit Home Sellers
The professional Realtor® team at Askins Realty Group, McKinney, TX, will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the selling process for your DFW area home. While our savings offer is amazing, our Realtor® services are even better. Please find out how you can save thousands with our Texas Best Buyer Rebate. Please email or call (972)529-2394 Local Office.
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