Sunday, March 5, 2017

Selling Your Home Starts the Day You Buy Your New Home!

I always urge home buyers to think long term - not necessarily about the years of mortgage payments but rather about when the time comes to sell.   After all, unless it is a retirement home, most buyers will not be living the rest of their lives in the house.
This long term consideration is especially important when a property has some distinguishing quality that may not be appealing to most others.
Still, more often, the realities (and challenges) of selling a home do not become clear until well into the process.    Hopefully, the light bulb comes on before the omissions/commissions translate to dollars lost.
For those who may one day sell a house the below list should be reviewed before the time comes.   Many of these are the opinion of the writer, only.  Some are common sense.
  • Being healthy (good condition) is always better than an insurance policy (home warranty) that pays and helps deal with problems later.   Offering a home warranty (insurance, sort of) does not compensate for poorly maintained/prepared homes.
  • Add ons and improvements should be done without an expectation of an expected return of investment.   It is all about what an owner likes now when it comes to improvements. 
  • Over-improvements don't mean much.   An addition that doubles the size of the house means little if the house is now twice the size of all others in the area!  And recoup the cost is unlikely as there is never a 1:1 return on investment. Besides, buyers do not care what you paid for anything!
  • Not everyone in Florida wants a pool, really!   Just because someone is moving to Florida does not mean they absolutely must have a home with a pool.
  • Real estate brokers are not created equal.   Being a "big box" brokerage does not mean there is an audience size advantage. Size does not matter - its the message, method of delivery, customer service, experience. 
  • Functional obsolescence must be priced out and not explained in.  Trying to rationalize  (marketing as vintage, retro, etc.)  structural design and preferences of decades ago rarely translate to value today.
  • Colors and style do matter.  Tacky rarely sells.  Of course, tacky is in the eye of the beholder!  Buyers know what they want and understand what they see.  Piecemeal (found) updating and rehab looks like piecemeal updating.  
  • Staging can help sell your home.  When getting your home ready for selling remember a great staging job will not overcome deficiencies in design, structure or condition.  Your house is what it is.
  • Outside often reflects inside.   The outside of a house is almost always an indicator of how well the inside is maintained.   If the yard is neglected, paint is fading, plants are dead it is quite likely the inside will show neglect.  It all starts with curb appeal.
  • Location can't be changed unless its an RV.    A new coat of paint will not change the zip code.  The house may look great but it will always be location, location, location. 
  • Price should reflect three things if a seller is motivated: condition, location and competition.  Proper pricing takes into account issues.  If your house is just like the rest, then the price will be pretty much just like the rest!  
  • Quick closings are always preferable.  The longer the time between the contract and the scheduled closing the greater the chance something will happen to derail the transaction.
  • Memories are mobile.    Sometimes sellers attempt to price in their memories when they are trying to sell their home.  If memories could have a price tag associated with them you can be sure the seller's price will not be anywhere near a prospective buyer's value.
  • Emotions must be contained.  Selling a home requires sellers to keep emotions in check. When deciding on a listing price for your home an unemotional cost-benefit analysis is a good starting point.
When buying, prospective buyers will find reasons to pay less. 

When selling, prospective sellers will find reasons to price their home higher.  Value, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.   A good, local knowledgeable Realtor, whether working with buyer or seller, is critical.
Ready to buy or sell in Viera, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help!

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