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ARG's DFW Home Sellers Guide
Review The Basics For Selling Your DFW Area Home
Price it Right the First Time
Price is the single most important reason why homes sell or do not sell! If you truly want to sell your home then pricing your house right from the very start should be your number 1 priority. You can actually earn less if you allow your home to stay on the market too long.
Additionally, your home really needs to be "MLS" ready. If your house does not look its best from day 1 you undermine your most critical days on market, the first 30 - 45 days. This "bubble of opportunity" happens only once per listing and for those sellers who make their house look "right" from day 1 and price their house correctly, experience the best offers and least amount of headaches during the "Active" online marketing of your listing.
When sellers have dated paint jobs, or non-neutral paint colors, dirty windows, carpets, counters & floors, and the home is in need of repairs, then those sellers do nothing to help motivate buyers to bring them a respectable offer. Every home has a price, and knowing your home's number is important if you are wanting to sell in a proper amount of time for the best possible price. Too high of a number can put off buyers, lengthen your time on market and really interrupt your daily routine with unnecessary showings. Generally speaking, if after a dozen showings there are no second showings, then your home may not be priced correctly except for higher priced homes, which traditionally take longer to sell.
Consider This Before You List
If you need a cosmetic review, I can help you. For example, if you have a room that is carpeted and is considered part of the "living area" then adding "Wood Floors" and removing the carpet is going to give your home a different look and feel and allow you to sell for more money. Sometimes paying $5K to $7K to complete the look of your home can be the difference between selling at $400K or $425K. Why give away equity? If adding $7K gets you to ~$425K versus $400K, then $7K actually earns you up to $18K more when you walk out of closing! YES, appearances are that IMPORTANT to buyers who write checks based upon an emotional response to what looks good.
Bottom line, when your home looks its best you earn a higher pay day and your listing agent can ask for a higher price in MLS.
Ok, so you think your house is worth more than the average nearby homes in your neighborhood and that you have something ‘special?’ Well maybe you do. Lot location & lot size are critical factors that buyers are willing to pay more for. In fact buyers will pay more for the right set up. And what is that?
- Large Lot - .3 Acre or larger
- Cul de Sac
- Greenbelt / Creek lot
- Private backyard
- Backyard faces EAST (afternoon backyard shade when it is 100F)
- Convenient closer-in Location for short work commutes
- Away from noisy roads
- Sought after floorplan
If you don’t have most or all factors above, and most don't, then you need to base your home's value upon comparable neighborhood "Comps" that are adjusted based upon your home's upgrades and conditions.
Shopping For Realtors Until They Tell You What You Want to Hear
The easiest way to achieve failure in your efforts to sell your home for the top price the market will actually pay is to shop Realtors until you get the highest starting Listing Price, or who have marketing ideas that sound good but add little to your true ability to sell your home. ARG offer of an ultra low to completely FREE move up for example that provides real hard cash savings, but we don't offer listing advice that undermine the sale of your home.
What you should be asking is to see the percentage of homes listed to homes SOLD from the agent you are considering and then consider the advice being given. About 90% of Realtors are part timers, hungry for business, and are more prone to give you exactly what you want versus what you should hear in order to get your business.
There is simply no getting around advertising at the right price. In the end, Realtors who are honest and truthful with their advice are actually doing you and your family a great service.
Listen to Your Realtor!
Your Realtor will present you with a very careful competitive market analysis or “COMP” to show you what other homes have sold for. In fact, every month it would be wise to review a new COMP to see if average sales prices are changed so you can adjust if necessary. If after being presented with this information you insist on pricing your home above market pricing then you are most likely setting yourself up to join the long list of expired MLS listings, or you may find yourself selling at a lower price then if you priced your home right from the start!
Importance of Staging Your Home
You have something to sell, and buyers are looking for something to buy. Your job is making a buyer want your home! A refreshingly good looking home is the No.1 reason why a home sells.
If your home looks cluttered, needs to be cleaned, is arrayed with worn out furniture or furniture that does not complement your home, has funky paint colors, visible damage, dog damage, dirty paint and other unsightly "red flags", then you are setting yourself up to fail in your effort to sell. Unless you are prepared to take care of business on your end, you are most likely wasting your time trying to sell your house.
If buyers pull up to your home only to see a yard that needs obvious attention, or finds litter, and other personal effects scattered about, think of the initial impression you are sending a buyer? Since this is a buyers' market, and you get only one first impression, you want it to be a good one.
Sometimes good advice is hard to give by an Agent and may be tempered by the agents underlying desire to obtain and keep your business, but in the end being honest may be the difference between getting your house sold with the least amount of headaches and for the best price, or not selling at all. As a seller, it can be difficult to hear criticism about your home, but remember, both you and your agent have the same goal.
As a seller, the choice is yours, and what you do will be the difference between success or failure, between getting a better offer or a below market offer.
Turn on the Lights and Open the Blinds
For a showing it's critical that your home looks its very best. Before the potential buyer arrives, turn on the lights and open the blinds in every room. Even if your home is a Mansion, lighting is critical for a good first impression. Second impressions are hard to come by if you don't get it right the first time.
If you are selling Big Screen HDTV's or Media Room Equipment, turn it on and show it off, and do pick out the best hi def channel you have.
Sellers if you can just hold just one basic thought about today's buyers it would be this: today’s buyers are busy people and you only have a short amount of time to attract their attention while they are in your house! My experience has shown me over and over again that buyers don’t want to buy a project and most won’t hang around your house for more than a few minutes if your home does not make a good first impression. They want to find a great looking house for the lowest possible price. That is the mind frame of today's buyer and a successful seller needs to know this and use it to their advantage to capture a buyer's attention.
So, deep clean, paint, touch up, pack up and thin out furniture and personal belongings to make your home look and feel spacious and new. Then light a candle or add fragrance to the air, turn on the lights, open the blinds, switch on the ceiling fans, turn the radio on low, and switch on the media room equipment and give the buyers something to really stand up and take notice of!
Sell Your Home, Not Your Personal Belongings
People often wonder why vacant, clean and like new homes sell so fast? The fact is a buyer is more prone to notice a clean vacant home more then one that is lived in.
More importantly sellers really need to ponder that during each showing the buyer will spend only a certain amount of time in your home. The "clock" starts at the curb. Now do you want buyers looking at pictures of your family members hanging on the wall in every room and other personal nick knacks in an effort to try and figure out who lives in your house, or do you want them focusing primarily on the house you so desperately want sold? Every distraction in your home reduces the actual time the buyer spends looking at the house itself. The buyer really is not interested in you or your personal belongings and I can’t tell you how many times a house would have had a chance to sell had it not been for the personal property distraction seen by the buyer.
If, on the other hand your home truly looks like an expensive model home and has a central theme, that can actually work to your advantage. Remember you are competing for a buyer that has been through dozens of model homes and dozens of clean empty new homes. Example – If you live in a $500K home, but your furniture looks like it belongs in a $150K home, what kind of impression does this send to the buyer? Does it complement or distract? Does it help the buyer like your home more or less? Remember the buyer is trying to visualize how your house would look with their belongings in it and not yours. This is why it is always a good idea to rent a storage space and remove items from your house to make your home feel more open with less sight distractions for the buyer to see.
Leave Your Emotions out of Your Home Sale
The selling of your home is a partnership effort between you and your realtor and a free market business transaction and should be treated as such versus and emotional event. When you finally get an offer, don't blow your top if it's not what you were expecting. It is not about you, it's about your house and the free market! A low offer is nothing to pout about. Some people never see an offer. If market numbers bare out and support the offer you received, then you may be over priced.
If your home has something special going for it, like a premium lot location (listed above) and special upgrades, then you may want to counter offer. Just remember don't take it personally, its not about you. Your agent will help you counter the buyer's offer and work to make the buyer's agent understand the important differences that warrant a higher selling price.
Learn more about the Selling Process
SELL YOUR DFW HOME FAST REFERENCE GUIDES
49 Tips To Get Your Home Ready To Sell (Courtesy of Hexter Fair Title Company McKinney)
The professional team at Askins Realty Group, McKinney, TX, will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding selling your home in McKinney or surrounding area real estate. Find out how you can save thousands with our Texas Best Buyer Rebate. Please email or call (972) 529-2394 Local Office.
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