Seven tips when selling your home

By Vern McClelland

November 24, 2016 12:00 AM

If you have been in the business of marketing real estate for as long as I have, it’s hard not to grit your teeth when you see someone making an obvious mistake that will almost certainly cost them money or, worse yet, no sale.
One: Let’s say you have decided to sell on your own.
You put this 400-word essay about the attributes of your property on Kijiji that would make a Gr. 10 English teacher proud.
By the third sentence prospective buyers have lost interest.
Obviously, you may think it’s heaven on earth, but honestly? You are moving, aren’t you?
It’s the same primary rule as making a point in a public forum—stand up, speak up, shut up, sit down.
Keep it short and simple.
State the main features of the property and invite people to explore the rest with an onsite visit.
Two—and probably most important: State your asking price.
Don’t make people guess unless, of course, you don’t know what it’s worth yourself, in which case you have a fool for a client.
It’s hard to put a ship in the harbour if you don’t know where the harbour is.
If you aren’t sure of the current market value you can bet a motivated, qualified buyer will.
Get a proper valuation from an experienced residential appraiser who doesn’t work out of their back bedroom.
Better yet hire a Realtor.
We actually have to prove our opinions on a daily basis or we don’t get paid.
Three: Price it right, then price it tight to where you want to land.
Everybody expects some room for negotiation, but buyers who believe your expectations are unreasonable will simply move on or wait until a later date when you’re forced to sell for a discount.
Don’t believe me?
Ask any clerk in a clothing store.
They know between an astute shopper and someone who’s just killing time fondling the racks.
Four: Post decent photos.
Seems like a no-brainer, but I don’t know how many times I’ve seen houses advertised with no exterior views.
Yes, you may have a great man-cave or family room, but kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.
It usually takes only three minutes to walk from curb side through the front door to the center of the house.
In that time, a buyer will decide if he or she is interested or not.
As I have said before; it’s like dating folks—first impressions count!
Five: Don’t leave necessary repairs for the next owner.
Time and again, I’ve had buyers over-estimate the cost, sometimes by a factor of five times, then deduct that amount from their initial offer.
Buyers want to be compensated for a seller’s laziness.
Six: Mount a good sign out front.
It’s a loyal salesperson that stands there 24/7 in all types of weather.
Don’t you just love to see a floppy dollar store sign with a faded phone number on a property worth $300,000?
Seven, and finally: You can’t sell if people don’t know your home is for sale.
Houses sell year-round, but—get this—only when the buyer is motivated.
People get transferred every month, babies come on their own schedules, someone moves out, or health conditions prevail.
Yes, it’s true that 80 per cent of acreages sell in the April to October time period, but one in five still sell in the other months.
Some properties are more active in winter than summer: lakefront cabins, lake lots, farmland, even certain types of commercial buildings.
So why keep it a secret?
Movers, like Realtors, work year-round too.
Vern McClelland is an associate broker with RE/MAX of Lloydminster. He can be reached at (780) 808-2700, through or by following the Midwest Group Lloydminster on Facebook.

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