Experienced Realtors know how important it is to get top dollar for the homes they are trying to sell. A higher selling price will certainly make the person selling the property happy, which can only help bring the real estate agent referrals from their friends and family.
Getting the most you can from a sale is all the more important for those Realtors who charge a commission based on a percentage of the final sale price rather than a set fee for their services.
There are some time-honored strategies for getting the maximum value out of a home on the market. The following tips and techniques will help real estate agents as well as homeowners who are selling their property on their own.
Staging Is Everything
When someone drives up to your home or your client’s home, how does it look from the curb? Is the lawn neatly mowed and without any brown patches of dead grass? Is the siding clean or is it covered with dirt or mildew? If it’s the fall season, is the property covered in a mess of leaves? If the answers to any of these questions is yes, then the owner needs to get to work at straightening up the home and the property it’s on.
Of course, the above only covered first impressions from the outside. You then have to look at what impression the home makes when someone is at the entryway and after they enter the home. There are certain things you can do immediately to make sure your home makes a stellar first impression.
- Have a welcoming entryway. Make sure your front porch or small front stoop is clean and has a nice doormat. Paint the door and surrounding porch area if it looks like it needs it. Adding a couple potted plants or flowers couldn’t hurt either.
- Get the house as clean as a whistle. If you are an agent selling the home for the owner, impress upon them that they need to get it very clean before people come to look at it. This takes a lot of effort but is actually one of the cheapest ways to ensure a home puts its best foot forward when trying to impress buyers. Also, cleaning needs to include both antiseptic cleaning and getting rid of clutter. Weed out anything you don’t need first, and then grab a broom, mop, soap, bucket, sponges and get to work on making it all sparkling clean.
- Your furniture needs to sell the house. While it’s true that the buyers won’t be getting the furniture with the home, it still affects how it looks now. If your furnishings leave a lot to be desired, consider a trip to local thrift stores. This can save you money and you may luck out and find nice ensembles that add to the appearance of any room. Also, the furniture should be positioned in symmetrical arrangements.
- Handle any pet odors or other smells. We love our pets, but you need to impress on clients that people coming to look at their home won’t like pet odors. If they have pets, during the cleaning phase, the carpets should be steam cleaned. Putting down carpet deodorizer should also help. Before someone comes over, recommend that the homeowner put a few drops of vanilla extract in the oven to permeate the house with this wonderful scent.
- Let there be light! No one wants to walk into a dark or dingy home. Be sure to put bright bulbs in all the light sockets, so people can see this beautiful home that’s been cleaned up for them. For any room that has large sliding glass doors or an impressive row of windows, use sheer curtains that let plenty of light in.
Have Professional Photos
Selling a home is not the time to go amateur hour with your promotional materials. A big part of these materials will be photos of the exterior and interior of the house. These will be used in all of your outreach efforts whether online or in print material. Hire a professional to do the job right.
You want to ensure that all of the previous home staging steps are in place before taking the photos to be sure the house is looking its best. As far as where to promote the home, that’s our next step in how to get the maximum value out of a home.
Use Social Media and Other Effective Outreach Methods
Any Realtor would be insane to ignore social media when it comes to attracting buyers to a home on the market. Facebook is, of course, the first social media platform you might think of when it comes to home selling. Thanks to Facebook enabling you to target desired user demographics, this site is tailor-made to find people who are looking for the exact type of home you are selling.
You can refine your outreach to people in your locality and within a given age and income range. If you have an in-house list of contacts from earlier transactions or advertising, you can try using email as well. Social media and email are also excellent ways to advertise an upcoming open house.
Don’t neglect the tried and true outreach method of direct mail for Realtors. Because advertising online is all the rage nowadays, you may find you don’t have as much competition when it comes to reaching people through their mailbox. There is a company called Wise Pelican that can enable you to easily send large, full-color, double-sided postcards including postage for 70 cents per card. They have the professional templates all ready for you online, and you simply fill in your specific information.
Consider Light Renovation Projects
People will generally be willing to pay more for a home if they consider they’ll be getting more in return. For this reason, you may want to consider convincing your client to do some things to the home that will make it more functional or attractive. Granted that they might not want to do anything too extravagant. For example, kitchen remodels are known for increasing a home’s value, but they’re also know for being pricey. They would definitely risk not getting back what they invested in it.
There are, however, some ideas that would go beyond the aforementioned staging tip but don’t cost too much money to do. If it has been a few years since the home has been painted, this would be the type of light renovation work that would make the home look better for prospective buyers but won’t cost a lot. The home may also be a color that the current homeowner likes but that might turn off some potential buyers. Advise that they stick to neutral colors since they’ll match most other home décor.
When the goal is getting the maximum value out of a home, it can take some time to sell it at the asking price you would need to accomplish this. As a Realtor, you need to utilize all available avenues of getting a client’s house out there in front of prospective buyers. Hold open houses and advertise them online and through direct mail for Realtors.
Network with other agents to see if they know of anyone looking for a home in your neighborhood. Once the sale is completed, you should then send a thank you gift to your client. A gift basket or other item that includes some branded promotional products, so they’ll have your name and phone number nearby for future business or referrals.