The real estate market is an industry that is in a state of constant flux. Nothing ever stays the same and what held true yesterday may not be applicable today. That’s just the nature of the market and in such a whirlwind environment, it can be hard to navigate, especially by yourself. Fortunately, there are professionals available to help you through the proverbial minefield. Real estate agents are just that; trained professionals with years of experience in the industry. They have access to specialized resources, private databases, and knowledge of the local area, so they frequently have an ear to the ground and know what the market is like in the area.
In this modern computer age, where everyone has a smartphone and access to the internet, many people fall victim to the pitfall of thinking they should sell their house on their own. After all, with social media for marketing and the vast wealth of information on the internet for research, how hard could it really be? Well, selling a house isn’t quite the same as selling an old toaster or bike. In fact, it’s not even remotely the same. You can’t just put an ad on craigslist, wait for the phone to ring, exchange keys for cash, and call it a day.
There’s legal matters to consider, mountains of paperwork, negotiations, and a whole mess of factors the average homeowner is simply not equipped to deal with. Studies have shown that homes listed as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) only make up 7% of successful home sales and most FSBO homes eventually end up listing with professional representation anyway because they just don’t sell. Additionally, FSBO homes sell for an average of $40,900 less than homes sold with the aid of a realtor. These numbers fluctuate year to year, naturally, but never by much.
Professional real estate agents have the knowledge, training, and experience to handle the ins and outs of real estate transactions, so let them do their job and remember that they’re on your team!
Teamwork is essential to any winning strategy, as any sports fan knows. If your agent is handling the actual selling of the house, however, what’s your role on the team? Your job is the house itself. Your agent will sell the house, but you need to make sure the house is a house people want to buy. That means getting it into tip-top shape. Everyone knows the obvious stuff like cleaning and repairs, that’s why it’s the obvious stuff. There are some things you should consider, however, that aren’t so obvious and can really help you get a leg up on the competition.
First impressions matter, so start there. A rusty mailbox, damaged or missing house numbers, or a chipped, sagging door can cast a pall over a potential buyer’s view of your home. Dirty windows and baseboards can make rooms feel dark and cramped, but are often only noticed by the subconscious, leaving prospective buyers not liking your house but unable to put their finger on why. Landscaping and fresh paint can go a long way toward increasing your house’s value as well. Plant some inexpensive perennial flowers out front and slap a fresh coat of paint on the front door, walls, or sides of the house.