Home Selling Tips #3 from Beth in Haverhill
We left off with Beth having gotten an accepted offer on a “charming house” in the Bradford section of Haverhill, but … Beth was not quite done with the preparation for her home for the market. At this point Beth found herself extremely motivated to sell, especially because one of the contingencies for Beth’s new purchase, was the sale of her own home.
The next home selling tips from Beth are not numerous, but they can absolutely make a difference in selling the home quickly and for top dollar!
Create a “home binder”. The home binder contains any receipts, warranties, surveys, etc that you have associated with the home. It is really impressive to buyers when they see a binder full of documentation on the home they are considering buying! Think about it, if a person could hand you all the information about each appliance, warranty, and plans for the house they lived in for 20 years, wouldn’t you think “Wow! This owner really cared about the home!” (This home selling tip is used by many homeowners with great success for the WOW factor.)
Price the home aggressively. Having a strong agent who knows how to use the market data and explain the strategy of competitive pricing is a must. Many sellers don’t understand the purpose of competitive/aggressive pricing and some are afraid that “competitive pricing” means severely underpricing the home. Watch the video below and this may help you better understand aggressive pricing:
Beth knew from her agent that the “Absorption rate” in Haverhill for homes in the $400,000 price range was 1 year. What does that mean, you wonder? Absorption rate is “the ability of the market place to absorb (or sell) the houses currently listed in a given amount of time”. Beth also knew that there was a recent sale on her street (a smaller house) and a new construction home of similar size to her’s that had been listed at $429,000. Given all these factors, Beth chose to price her home aggressively at $399,900. (This home selling tip is generally the most difficult for homeowners to embrace, unlike Beth, who had her new home “under contract”.)
Live a spartan life. Beth really didn’t like the idea of people coming in to view and critique her home. She made it a priority to de-personalize everywhere, and in doing so she felt almost like she didn’t live there. When she would leave in the morning for work, an appointment could happen anytime where buyers would walk through while she was gone. During this time frame, Beth made sure to clean and put away all her dishes, always kept the toilet seats closed, clothes hung up, and much more. I liked this saying from Beth: ”once you decide to list, the home is a commodity. It’s not your oasis, it’s now a shelter.” (This home selling tip is the most difficult for families with kids, as you can imagine!)
Be prepared to negotiate. Beth did a LOT of prep work on her house, as you read in the last post. After Beth accepted one (of the two offers that were presented to her in the first 10 days), the home inspector came through and pointed out something unusual in the electric panel which lead to the buyers wanting a credit of $250. Beth was certain that there was nothing wrong with her panel and quickly cleared up the mis-understanding – something that the home inspector had over-looked. $250 may seem like a small amount to quibble over, but it could certainly be something greater than that and sellers need to discuss these issues with their agents carefully to see what is worthwhile and what isn’t…. (Most of the negotiating happens before the home inspections, but on occasion, things come up as a result of the home inspection too.) This home selling tip often comes as a surprise for sellers who haven’t ever sold a house.
Prepare for your move. (I love these home selling tips that Beth gives!)
- Color code boxes based on their future destination in your new home (or storage location). Beth did this with colored duct tape!
- Have a pizza packing party! Beth has a group of friends who she gets together with every 4-6 weeks and they decided to have a packing party to help her.
- Consider moving in stages. The home that Beth is moving to needs some work, so she decided to store part of her belongs on one moving truck and move the other belongs directly into the house. At this time of year (January) movers have a lot more flexibility and people moving have a lot more room for negotiating with movers to have this possibility (but YOU will never know unless you ask!). I had friends that moved out of their home 2 summers ago and couldn’t move in to their new home for 3 weeks. They stored all of their belongings on the trucks in the mean time!
Since Beth hasn’t moved yet, I can’t tell you anymore…. What I can tell you is that Beth accepted a price for her home of 20 years that was OVER the list price. That is highly unusual in the towns along the MA/NH border these days and is a tribute to Beth’s impressive preparation and the price she chose to list it at. Congratulations, Beth, on a job WELL DONE!! And THANK YOU for sharing your home selling tips with me and my readers!
If you are ready to have a consultation to sell your house this year, whether it’s in a month, 6 months, or in the fall, contact me and we can get you started on projects (if necessary) asap! You can reach me at 603-318-6953.
Alternately, if you have some home selling tips that you’ve used successfully, please share them below!