Owners directly control four of the five factors that affect the sale of any home: price, location, condition, terms, and the agent you select. The one thing you can't control is the location of the home, but you can adjust the other factors to compensate for failings.
The seller controls the price of the home which determines its positioning in the marketplace. If is priced too high, it will take longer to sell and, in some cases, for less than what it should have sold for because when it doesn't sell immediately, it is assumed that there must be an issue with it. If it is priced too low, the owner will not realize as much of their equity as they should.
Not pricing the home in the proper search brackets could keep the property from being exposed to potential and likely, buyers. For example, if a home is priced at $399,000 to follow an age-old retail marketing principle, many of the most likely buyers will never know about it because they are searching for properties in the $400,000 to $450,000 range.
The seller also controls the condition of a property which affects not only the marketability of a home but indirectly, the price. Homes in the best condition appeal to more buyers because for the most part, they are using their available cash for the down payment and closing costs and may not be able to afford to make cosmetic or more expensive improvements to the property.
Clutter can keep buyers from seeing your home, and more importantly, it will keep them from seeing themselves in your home. There are three basic causes of clutter: there is too much stuff in the home; there is not enough space in the home; and there is no organization.
Selling a home is about positioning it to sell which sometimes means temporarily or permanently getting rid of things that make the home look small or distracts the buyers from seeing its potential for them.
Terms are the financial preferences established by the seller. In a competitive market with multiple bids, a seller may not have to offer any terms such as a financing, appraisal, or inspection contingencies. This will restrict the number of buyers who are financially able to pay cash and are willing to do so.
In lower price range homes, there could be a wealth of qualified buyers that need to use low down payment options, closing cost assistance from the seller, or other things. When the seller consents to offer a variety of terms, the market of potential buyers increases. The seller can still select the most qualified if they are not limiting protected classes.
The fourth marketing factor that the seller controls is the agent they select to represent them in the sale of the home. Selecting the "right" person to market your home is very important and worth careful consideration.
Your agent will be the manager of the entire marketing process. They'll position your home to be competitive with the other homes in your price range and area while attracting the broadest range of buyers possible. Your agent will offer advice on what needs to be done before the property is offered for sale. Your agent can also offer recommendations for a variety of service providers if work needs to be done.
There are a lot of professionals involved in the sale of a home like lenders, title officers, appraisers, inspectors, insurance agents, surveyors, and the buyer's agent, just to name a few. Your listing agent will coordinate the communications between the other professionals and negotiate directly with them. Your agent's role as third party negotiator is critical and you need to feel confident in their ability to serve your best interests.
- Too high; not realistic
- Doesn't acknowledge Internet search range
- A poor location can negatively affect price
- Since location cannot change, must adjust price for a poor location
- Drive-up appeal
- Deferred maintenance
- Lack of updates
- Terms (applicable to certain price ranges)
- Buyer concessions like closing costs
- Incentives like home warranty, appliances, floor covering, etc.
- Buy-down interest rates
- The Agent you select
- Knowledge of neighborhood
- Promotional expertise
For more information, download our Sellers Guide.