You may think buyers will love your home because of your extraordinary taste in home furnishings or the incredible job you did with your home addition. Nope, it's not the décor or the vast add-on that gets them to commit, although they may help. There are three top reasons a buyer chooses to buy a home -- price, condition, and location.
Let's start with Price. To choose the right asking price for your home, you need to know if your neighborhood is in a buyer's market or seller's market. A buyer's market is characterized by large inventories of six months' supply or higher, few buyers making offers, low offers, and many other concessions asked of sellers. A seller's market is characterized by low supply of six months on hand or less, heavy buyer traffic, multiple offers, and close to full price or full price offers.
Bankers, buyers' agents and buyers all have access to the same market information that your agent has given you. If you overprice for the current market, your potential buyers won't get to see your home, and even if they do, they won't get their loans approved.
Allow your real estate agent to help you market your home by putting it in the best condition possible. Buyer's pet peeves may be easy items to fix, but you don't want your house to go to the bottom of their list because you failed to paint, mow, replace the carpet, etc. Sometimes you have to invest a little money to make money.
Remember, today's buyers are more skeptical about buying a home, so creaky steps, dripping faucets, and outdated wallpaper just give buyers a reason to skip your home.
You can't do much about your home's location, but you can make your home more attractive with lovely landscaping, fences to block out ugly views and sounds, a lower price and immaculate condition.
If you do have a great location, don't overprice. People expect to pay more for a great location next to schools, transportation, shopping and restaurants, but if you overprice, they will scrutinize the price and the condition.
It's hard not to be sentimental about the home you've lived in for years, but to buyers, your home is a commodity. Like you, they simply want to make a good deal on a home they love.
You'll quickly find out what real estate agents and their buyers think of your home. If you get a quick offer, you know you priced it right for the location, condition, and the current market.
If you don't get an offer within a couple of weeks, or whatever period is normal for your area, there's something wrong. Look at your price and condition and see if you can make your home a little more desirable.