I have a 5 bedroom 1 bath house on an acre of land I need sold NOW!!!
Lanna M. on 8-11-2008
If you really need it sold fast, the place to start is with PRICE. I don't think I've ever seen a more price conscious market, and I've been involved in various aspects of the real estate business since the 1970s.
My advice is to find out what other comparable houses (as to size, age, number of rooms, style, condition, etc.) in your neighborhood have SOLD (not asking, but sold) for in the recent past. Price your house just below that.
You can find sold prices at the local courthouse, and many jurisdictions post them online. Many local papers print them. Or you can use the home valuation service available on our Seller's Tool Kit page.
After you set your price and get all your marketing tools in place, you should have at least 1 to 3 showings per week. If you don't get them, lower the price, and be sure the word gets out about the new price. If needed, keep lowering the price at short intervals until you do get the showings. Then, stand pat on price. You will get an offer. You may need to negotiate then, but you don't need to lower the price any more if you're getting showings.
Make sure your house shows well and is available for showings at all reasonable times, and even some unreasonable ones as well. (We showed ours early in the morning and late in the evening. Our son and his wife even showed it several times when we were away on a trip -- bless them.)
You can see ideas on making your house show well on the Making It Show Well page. (Ignore the two Google ads in the middle of the page. Our competition and people we don't know anything about advertise with Google who pays us to use some pages on our site for their ads. Some of the advertisers are good. Others we don't know much about.)
As for ideas for promoting and marketing your property, there are several pages on our site with lots of really good ideas. I've used them all. First, as a real estate broker, and later, as a FOR SALE BY OWNER seller. The Marketing Plan page has concise ideas. The Promotional Ideas page has more. (Again, ignore the Google ads.)
I hope this helps, and good luck with your selling project. This is a tough market, but sales are being made. You only need one buyer.
I want to sell my home myself, however I am getting overwhelmed with all the "must do" things that people are telling me about. The latest is having my home "staged", I have been told that if I do not have my home properly staged it will not sell. I am on a limited income and do not want to pay for something I do not need. So, what is staging and do I really have to have it for my home to sell?
Barb M. of Addison, Illinois (Barb sent this question to Diana Brodman Summers via the publisher of Diana's books. Diana's answer is below, plus you can access more of her wisdom on our Ask A Lawyer page.)
Staging is a service that involves professional stagers rearranging furniture, window treatments, and items within a home to make it look its best in order to sell. It may also include a thorough cleaning of the home.
According to some staging services, the goal is to eliminate the clutter, open up rooms to make them look bigger and lighter, emphasize the positives of the home, and arrange the interior so that the potential buyers can visualize living there. Some stagers will use the home owner's current furnishing and eliminate anything that the stager feels is extra. Others prefer to bring in their own furnishings.
Stagers disagree about leaving personal items out during the showing of the home. Most prefer that personal mementos such as family pictures, diplomas, awards, etc. are put away on the theory that such personalization detracts the buyer from seeing the home as their own. I disagree with this unless there are so many of these items they become "clutter."
There is a divided opinion about staging and whether it really works. Many real estate professionals support staging a home, especially in this tight economy. Some even offer staging as part of a selling package. They point to the fact that most homes are plagued with clutter and extra furniture, which a stager removes.
On the negative side, some home buyers can be turned off by staging because it can be perceived as a manipulation and a sign that the seller underestimates the intelligence of today's home buyer. The serious home buyer in today's economy has done their homework about the home they want and the homes they are looking at. Ignoring the intelligence of a buyer by expecting them to purchase a home because it was staged right is just as dumb as the 1970's must-do of ?having fresh bread baking in the oven' to sell a home. In the 70's, buyers looking at homes put up with the stench of cooked bread that overtook every home on the market. The baking bread became a joke, a con, and a sign that the seller did not have much respect for the intelligence for the buyer. Many of us believe that the same will be true of staging when we look back on this era.
No, you do not need to have your home staged to sell it. You do need to put away clutter, maybe even store some extra furniture, and you need to keep the home clean both visually and in terms of the way it smells. Most importantly you need to make sure that your home is priced for today's market. No amount of cleaning, fixing, or staging is going to sell property that is not priced correctly for today's market.
Diana Brodman Summers
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From the Home page, click on "SEARCH FOR A HOME." Next, choose the type of property which interests you, and the state you want, and then click "submit."
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I'm having trouble printing my listing to use as a brochure; the right side of the page is cut off; how can I print the whole thing? First, try clicking on the "printer friendly" version and printing that. If that doesn't work well, click "print," then "prefrences," then "landscape" (instead of "portrait" which is the typical default position).
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We used your site and sold our home, however I have a question about pest inspection and home inspection, is it common practice to put a lid on how much as sellers we will spend on any repairs, such as $1,000 on pest and home inspection?
Congratulations on your sale. Thanks for using our multiple listing service. I'm glad it was useful to you.
We are physically based in North Crolina. I'm familiar with how termite/wood destroying insect damage and/or any problems turned up in a home inspection report are handled in our area, but I don't know what's typical in other parts of the country.
However, in buying or selling real estate, it's good to remember two basic ideas.
Idea one --
Virtually everything is negotiable. And it doesn't necessarily mean "I win/you lose" or vice versa. Different things are important to different people.
Idea two --
The buyer isn't the enemy. Your goal should be to sort through to a conclusion which feels fair and acceptable to both buyer and seller.
In North Carolina, the pest inspection company will show you what they found and where they found it. It generally costs about $650 to about $800 to treat for wood destroying insects if infestations are found. You can always get a second opinion/quote from another company, but the pest control companies here seem pretty reliable. It would be unusual for one of them to risk their reputation by not being honest. If they also found damage which needs to be repaired, you can get estimates from more than one contractor.
The way the realtor's contracts are written here typically call for the seller to make the repairs if willing, the buyer to make the repairs if the seller declines (or the buyer to accept the property "as is"), or the contract to be voided in neither is willing. Typically each person has about 3 to 5 days to make a decision when it's his turn to decide.
A similar approach is used for the home inspection. And any repair requests are accompanied by a copy of the home inspection report. I have never seen the home inspector do the repairs. A separate company is chosen by the person who is going to pay for the work.
I've seen sellers take the approach, I'll pay for up to "X" dollars toward the repairs. I've also seen them offer a credit toward the repairs at settlement in lieu of doing them before settlement. Either approach works fine as long as the buyer agrees, so, yes, your idea of "putting a lid" on costs is apt to work out just fine.
Occasionally, I've seen a lender require that something be done prior to their funding the new loan so the buyer can buy the house.
Usually, here, the buyer chooses the home inspection company and pays for the inspection, and the seller chooses the pest control company and pays for that inspection.