Selling Secrets for an Eastern Shore Market
Selling Secret #1: Pricing it right
If your Realtor or your appraiser has given you a price or price range to stay within, then don't over price. The days of overpricing your home and still having lots of showings is over. The local Virginia Eastern Shore market is full of properties for sale. You need to price your home in the right range...or even a bit lower to get results.
Selling secret # 2: Check your price points
Buyers don't walk into an agent's office and announce that they would like to see homes priced at a specific price like $255,984 dollars. Instead they ask to see homes between $225,000 and $250,000. Price ranges that are in 10K, 25K or 50k increments is what you want. Because of this, consider setting your price near one of these natural price points. If your moving your home down to the $250,000 range (the next price point down)...price it for $249,900 and not $252,000. It will widen your potential buyer pool.
Selling Secret #3: Get Rid of the Junk
Were not saying to put all your stuff in storage. But if you have so much furniture or clutter that you don't feel like your flowing through the house when you walk...thin it out a bit. This also means storing the extra chair or cleaning the laundry and toys off the floor...but it does not mean you have to lock your kids toys up in the attic.
Selling Secret #4: Light it up
Like Motel 6 says "We'll leave the light on for you". Keep the lights on when you leave for a showing. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer says they want in a home. Open curtains, clean the windows, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
Selling Secret #5: Put the Pets away!
This is a big one. You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you'd be wrong. Not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don't want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tons of pet hair stuck to their clothes. They don't want to sit on the couch with their Realtor and have dog hair everywhere. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. The best advice is to have your neighbor watch the animals during showings, have them go to grandma's house or take them for a walk.
Selling Secret #6: Don't over-upgrade
Smaller and Quicker fixes before selling always pay off. Sometimes entire house makeovers, where people dump tons of money, not so much. You probably won't get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware,etc. Also, don't think just because you saw it on HGTV that it is gospel. Most of the advice on HGTV does not work in a market like the Eastern Shore. This is where your Realtor's advice is key.
Selling Secret #7: Listen to your Realtor
Your Realtor has likely years of experience in real estate sales. They know the market and they know what it takes to sell. If they give you advice...take it. Especially, if you had not taken the advice for several months and your house is not selling...try what your Realtor is telling you. Whether it is a price change or changes to your house. You'll most likely start to see a change in the positive direction if you listen to the advice and guidance your already paying for.
Selling Secret #8: Always be ready to show: if it's not easy, you are doing it right.
Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don't leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. If it's NOT inconvenient to have your house on the market, you are doing something wrong. It's a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold. Most Realtors will give you a lot of notice before showings. But just in case...never have more than 1 hour's worth of work to do if you do get that call for a last minute showing.
Selling Secret #9: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. We recommend mimicking everything you see in a fine hotel room. Many people leave stacks of paper, junk mail and laundry laying around the house. What they often don't realize is that potential buyers sometimes dwell on the little things like that instead of the house.
Selling Secret #10 : Take all offers seriously
We recommend responding to all offers no matter the amount. Never take any amount personally, you never know what the buyer's final amount really is. It's business and should be treated that way!!
Selling Secret #11 : SMELL IS IMPORTANT
Having the house smell really good and clean is so important. When you live in your house sometimes sellers don't even smell that the house smells like cat urine or that wet dog smell. One of the first things anyone notices when they walk into a home is odor. A strong odor can put off even the most interested buyers in an otherwise beautiful home. Smokers, pet owners and even people with children should be aware that others may smell odors in their home that they may no longer notice. For set-in smells like cigarette smoke, a paint job and new carpeting can make a huge difference. The small investment can make the difference between someone making an offer and someone walking away. Don't overdo it with the candles or air freshener, though. Even pleasant smells can turn buyers off if they are too strong. Many buyers may wonder what you are trying to cover up or may be distracted by the smell in general. But, when you're selling, make it welcoming by a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even baking some cookies to make the house smell like fresh baked cookies is always a treat. Even keep those cookies out for them is an extra plus!
Selling Secret #12: Renters almost always kill a sale
A lot of sellers decide to put renters in a house until it sells...or they may already have renters in a house and then decide to sell it. Or in resort areas like Chincoteague Island, a seller may have their home as a vacation rental.
Renters in a house for sale will prevent an offer almost 75% of the time. For long term renters...they probably don't want to have to move. So they are not going to bend over backwards to accommodate showings. They also won't take care of the home the same way the seller would. If your trying to sell your home...try it a few months on the market before you give in to putting a renter in the home. Or if a renter is already in...don't rush to replace the renter if they move out. Give your house a few months on the market empty and clean. You'll likely get better feedback from your showings.
As for homes for sale that are also vacation rentals. You really need to decide if it is more important to sell your home or rent it. The busy time for vacation rentals is often the same time as many sales in the area. Most contracts for vacation rentals do not allow sale showings while renters are in the home. If your home is only available for a 3 hour window once a week...YOUR NOT GOING TO SELL YOUR HOME. There are many, many homes for sale in this market and a buyer will quickly move on to another home.
And don't feel forced to use a real estate company to sell your home, just because you have your vacation rental business with them. Most vacation rental companies focus on rentals only. Of course they will take your sales business on top of the vacation rental business...and may even have a clause that you can NOT have it for sale with another company if they are the vacation rental company. If you do your research, you will find that the vacation rental company does not have your sale goals in mind like you think they do. And are most likely are not pushing your sale. ALWAYS use a vacation rental company that ONLY does rentals. And ALWAYS use a sales company that ONLY does sales. You'll see sales results much faster if that is your primary goal.
I hope you have found these items of interest and helpful. If your already listed with myself and Dockside Properties...thank you for your business. If your not already my client or customer...give me a call at 757-894-1479 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would be happy to discuss how I can assist you. Our company is number 1 in sales in several local communities and markets. Call me to find out why!!!