Ever notice this? You see a home in the neighborhood goes on the market only to get snapped up in a matter of weeks. Then, you see another home that’s similar to the first one in most ways, that ends up sitting on the market for months without a single offer. There are many factors that can affect a home’s overall selling time. Most are due to common traits and issues that are quite manageable for the most part, if not downright avoidable.
In this post, we’ll try to answer some of the more common questions that a homeowner should ask. It should help the home avoid being the one that ends up wallowing hopelessly in the marketplace.
How Does The Home Look From The Street?
Many homeowners tend to underestimate the importance (and relevance) of that special thing called “curb appeal”. The harsh reality is that it’s one of the more significant factors that determine how long a home will sit on the market.
Rest assured that if the home is looking sharp on the outside during a drive-by, it will attract FAR more people inside to further investigate. More prospects mean a much higher chance of getting an offer and ultimately, a sale.
It’s also important to note that most homebuyers are doing an ongoing comparative analysis of homes when checking out a neighborhood. That analysis is largely dependent on the first impressions gained by a home’s curb appeal. Furthermore, they’re also likely using the home’s curb appeal value along with the impression that they’re getting of the neighborhood in general.
Rest assured that if the home’s looking great on the outside, it will dramatically improve the chances of a prospect wanting to check out the home more in-depth. So make sure that proper steps are taken to prepare the home for sale.
Is The House “Ready To Move In”?
Along with curb appeal, most homebuyers are taking into consideration how easy it will be to move in and get settled. Most buyers will want to avoid the hassle of making repairs, painting, or any deferred maintenance issues as much as possible.
This means making sure that the home’s paint is at least in decent condition. Ensure that major/minor issues are taken care of such as creaky doors, outdated windows, leaking faucets, peeling paint, ratty old cabinets, and so on.
As we covered in a previous post, homeowners should do a once over on the home. It’s the best way to ensure that as many outstanding issues are resolved as possible. Making sure that the home is in a condition that in effect screams out “I’m ready for you!” to home buyers is the right bet to make.
For most home buyers, not seeing a home that’s in a “ready to move in” state could easily be the factor that pushes them to make an offer on another house that is.
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Is The Home Well-Represented In The Photos?
It’s a fact that most home buyers start their home buying adventure by browsing online. Once they find some homes of interest there, they will then determine which of them will be worthy of an on-site inspection.
This means that having high-quality and professional-level photos of the home are downright critical. Rest assured that if the pictures of a home posted online are not doing the home justice, prospective buyers will just keep looking.
Another important tip is to ensure that each room in the home has at least one clear photo that highlights the space in the room properly. For larger rooms, two or more photos from different angles will not hurt.
How Is The Home’s Energy Efficiency Score?
There’s no doubt that a home’s energy efficiency is a HUGE factor when it comes to making a fast and efficient sale. That means ensuring a home is updated with the latest energy-efficient (and even green energy) features is often an investment worth making.
Making a home more energy-efficient is often fairly easy and inexpensive to do. It usually involves updating the home’s thermostat to one of the new “smart tech” ones as well as updating the home’s lighting systems to modern LED-based lighting. On some older homes, updating the home’s insulation and heating/air-conditioning system is usually a safe bet.
It can be readily assured that most money invested in a home’s energy efficiency will not only help the home’s marketability. It should also improve the chances of fetching a higher sale price as well.
Is The Home Priced Right?
Most homeowners don’t realize that they can easily price themselves out of a sale by placing the price higher than what the home can realistically get. It’s widely believed that a home’s sale price should start somewhat higher than average, then get reduced incrementally as time passes.
Though this philosophy had more validity back in the day when real estate brokers dominated the market, it’s quite outdated now. This is mainly due to the powerful game-changing effect of the internet. These days, a home that’s priced too high will often mean that prospective home buyers will just give it a pass. Pricing a home too high will just make it a turn-off to potential buyers who may otherwise be interested.
At the same time, a homeowner doesn’t want to price the home too low that money ends up getting left on the table. What’s more, pricing a home too low will often give buyers the wrong impression. They may assume that a homeowner is desperate to sell. That vibe can lead to even further underbidding.
In every local home market, there will always be a veritable “sweet spot” in the overall price range. Keeping a home’s price in that zone ensures that a home will gain more of the right kind of attention from potential buyers.
Homeowners need to understand that a significant amount of time and effort should be committed to determining the home’s selling price. It’s always best that the necessary preparations, research, and due diligence before the fact. The homeowner benefits if there’s an effective game plan in place, especially when taking the “For Sale By Owner”(FSBO) route.
Getting these questions answered, among others that are particularly relevant to a specific home, can go a long way. Doing all the right things now will surely help a home spend less time on the market later.