Homes in Central Florida are still selling incredibly quickly, and though inventory is slowly rising, we’re still in the midst of a hot seller’s market. But it’s still important for sellers to make a good first impression on potential home buyers in the market by paying attention to detail in preparing your home for sale. Here are a few items I’ve noticed that make my clients’ listings stand out amongst the competition.
Price vs. Condition
I can’t stress enough how important it is to hit the target when pricing your home. Even $5,000 can mean a difference between you having no offers or 10 offers in your first week on market. And the condition of your home goes hand-in-hand with pricing. This is true of any item you’re selling – cars, boats, furniture, all of these demand a higher price the better condition they’re in. Your goal in pricing your home is to attract the attention of multiple buyers and encourage all of them to make an offer, driving the sales price up and netting you more money. If you price too high from the beginning, you can discourage buyers from making an offer, especially if there are defects in the condition of the home such as deferred maintenance, roof leaks, bright colors, or dated kitchens and bathrooms.
Ease of Showing
Make sure you’re giving enough buyers an opportunity to see your home. Buyers are less likely to make an offer if they can’t schedule a tour at a convenient time. Making your house available for show in large, frequent blocks of time makes it possible for more people to view the home and want to make it their own. Your agent should also be utilizing tools such as ShowingTime, which is included in the MLS, to instantly approve showing requests so that buyers and other agents are not having to chase you or your agent down to get into the home.
Creating an Experience
One of my favorite stores to visit in the fall is Williams-Sonoma. You walk in and smell apple cider, there’s usually some kind of bakery item fresh from the oven (like Pumpkin bread), and the displays make me visualize their items in my home. Contrast that with a store like Bed Bath and Beyond, where it’s almost like walking through a confusing warehouse with product on every shelf even 20 feet in the air. I’m 10 times more likely to walk out of Williams-Sonoma with a ton of merchandise because they provided a great experience. Same goes for a home. When a listing is filled to the brim with personal items, has weird smells, or is dirty, buyers are probably not going to see themselves in the home. On the other hand, when a home has neutral colors, a pleasant aroma, minimal and modest furniture and few personal details, it is much easier for a buyer to visualize their own belongings in the home.
A detailed marketing plan is essential to the successful sale of a home, even in a strong seller’s market. According to the National Association of Realtors, 50% of buyers moved to our area from over 15 miles away. The typical farm area of most local real estate agents is about 2.5 miles, which represents only about 8% of the total buyer pool. Another 42% of buyers come from within a 15 mile radius (think Winter Park, Delaney Park, Apopka, Curry Ford, Bay Hill). So the rest of the buyers come from further away like Lake Mary, DeBary, Leesburg, Tampa and beyond. And a full 11% of buyers are international. So a typical local agent may be able to get all of buyers in your immediate neighborhood to look at your home, but in order to reach the other 92% of potential customers, it’s important to have an agent with a solid, proven marketing plan that targets every single potential buyer.
If you’re looking to sell for the best return possible, give me a call. I’ll sit down with you to create a personalized home prep and marketing plan that will reach as many potential buyers as possible, and encourage them to write strong offers quickly.
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