You’re a pretty smart person, right? If you weren’t you wouldn’t be reading this blog. But something that might surprise you is that even smart people do things that are less likely to get them the best results and they resort to being penny wise and pound foolish, especially when it comes to selling a house. So let me give you the cram course in being a SMART SELLER!
1. One of the keys to getting the most out of your house when they talk about that infamous ROI Business (return on investment) is you have to have your property market ready. Buyers are amazingly picky today and even with almost no inventory, they don’t mind paying more for a house than they expected, but they want it to be in good condition (move in.) Everyone knows “you get one chance to make a good first impression.” So before you put that For Sale sign in the ground, remember this, living in a house is different from selling a house. Fix what needs fixing. But don’t beat yourself up too much because You still will simply overlook things and you just won’t see your house the way a buyer will.
2. So, in addition to the obvious of getting the house market ready, take the next step; I suggest a pre-inspection from a licensed home inspector. For the few hundred bucks that it might cost you, you are likely to net thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars, by attending to some relatively minor items that you didn’t catch in your zeal to get the house market ready.. I recall selling a historic home a few years ago and I had an inspection done prior to the sale and they came across a few Mickey Mouse items, one of which was addressing the electrical cable coming into the house where the wires were starting to fray. Who notices stuff like this? I fixed it and when buyers came though the house, I told each and every one of them, “by the way I had an inspection done and they pointed out three things that needed addressing and I have taken care of all three ,of them. It is just information, if you want to hire your own inspector, more power to you, but as you and they will see the house is in great shape.”
3. The third thing they do is offer a Home Warranty. This wraps the buyer in a cushion of safety and assures them that if any of the big ticket items go, they will be fixed or replaced for the first year from the date of closing. This is a serious boon to the seller too because God forbid the hot water heater goes 10 months after they close, the seller will not have their sleep cycle disturbed because the buyer will be calling the warranty company NOT them (at 3 o’clock in the morning.)
Now remember that historic house I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, I took care of everything and replaced whatever needed to be replaced. I did not, however, replace the boiler which was 25 years old. Why? Because I had it serviced every year from the best HVAC man in our area and he told me this thing could go another 15 years. It was that good. When I got the offer it came in at $10,000 under the asking price and the buyer’s agent told me the house was great. Their own home inspector said it was great too, but the buyers were nervous about the boiler. I explained to them that it had been serviced every year and showed them the receipts. I then went on to show them that it was a covered item by the warranty company. They considered what I said and what I showed them and they said, “Never mind.” They bought the house. By the way, a boiler doesn’t cost $10,000 to replace, but that is what I was being squeezed for and if I hadn’t offered the pre-inspection and the warranty I would have taken it on the chin. I was a smart seller. And just for the record, that same buyer sold the house 5 years later and it still had the same boiler happily boiling away and keeping everyone snug as a bug.
4. And the most important thing a smart seller does, of course, is they hire a good local Real Estate Agent (or a Realtor, which is even better.). It will sound totally self-serving as to why I think this, but suffice it to say when lawyers get into trouble they hire lawyers to figure out their next step. They DO NOT represent themselves. If you are trying to go it alone without a Real Estate agent to do all the leg work, and represent your interest better than you could ever dream of representing yourself, there may be little hope for you. But here’s something you can do in the meantime.
Click Here and get my FREE 120+ page “Selling Your Own House Guide” today. It’s like Chicken Soup…It couldn’t hurt. Oh, did I Mention, it’s FREE.
“Hey, I wrote the book on Real Estate, literally.”
Author Brendan J. Cunningham is a New York Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, lead of the Platinum Team at HusVar Real Estate, as well as an accomplished writer, Shakespearean trained professional actor, and podcaster.
Start your home search now at www.husvarre.com