Hi, this is Mikki Ramey with Healthy Realty. I’m the broker and owner of Healthy Realty. We designed our company specifically with the needs of healthcare professionals in mind. Here are ten tips to sell your home.
All right. So tip number one timing, create a sold by goal. It’s very important when you list your home to think, “I need to sell my home quickly. I need to sell this home in 30 days be under contract, closing in 30 more, and be moved in a total of 60 days. To figure out your timing you may actually want four or five months from the time you list the home on the market until the time you close and you have to move out of the property. So, really calculate the time on the market that is of benefit to you. I’ll tell you the average time of days on market in the areas in Charleston varies. So, if you’re not in the Charleston area listening to this definitely contact a local realtor to find out how quickly homes are selling in your area.
I’ve pulled some stats for us. So, in James Island homes are tending to sell your home in 51 days is the average days on market. In West Ashley we’re at 47 days on market. In lower Mount Pleasant we’re at 49 days on market. And then if you have a home in the Somerville area it’s closer to 65 days on market so a little bit longer. But the average time to get your home from contract to closing is 30 to 60 days. So, I let people know that 120 days from listing to closing in our area is a pretty good average for most Charleston neighborhoods. So to give your home 30 to 60 days to be marketed, to get under contract, and then contract to close a total of 120 days is a pretty safe time period. You may want to allow for a little bit more than that if you’re in an area where the sales are a bit slower.
So tip number two, price your home competitively. You can look at comps and past sales to do this. You can look at your current competition. So homes that are actively on the market those are your current competition homes. So make sure you’re looking at those properties that are active listings. In a strong market you want to price your home to be competitive with current listings in your neighborhood. You also want to price slightly higher than similar properties that have sold. So slightly higher will give you a little room to negotiate.
And then I highlighted similar properties that have sold because you can’t compare your home to a home that’s very different. If you’re selling a $200,000 home and you’re comparing it to homes that are $400,000 that have sold in your neighborhood the stats won’t line up. It just doesn’t make sense. So they have to be very comparable homes that you’re looking at. If you’re in a slow to average market, I consider Somerville to be a little bit more slow to average with the time it takes to get homes sold, it’s very important to price your house at the same or lower than some of the cons to be very competitive. So keep that in mind.
All right, tip number three is a marketing plan. Internet marketing is key. You need to have your home marketed on the internet, on MLS the Multiple Listing Service that realtors use is probably the number one way homes get sold. Facebook, Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com. Zillow is actually the number one website for the average buyer to use in looking for a property and that number is growing so it is number one right now. And then number of users is definitely growing. Trulia was recently acquired by Zillow. Realtor.com is also starting to amp up some of their marketing. You might see commercials for realtor.com now. So they are definitely trying to get in the game with Zillow and Trulia to get home buyers to look on that site for homes for sale. Networking, connecting with other realtors and buyers is very important. Having a plan for networking to show other people that are buyers or realtors that have buyers is a great way to get your home sold. The property should be assessed weekly to see if your showings are strong and if they’re not adjust your marketing plan, very important.
All right more on marketing because the marketing plan is a big important piece of getting a home sold pre market. Pre market is huge. I tell people if you can get your home marketed before it’s officially listed that is a huge step. Potentially creating a multiple offer scenario it helps secure more showings the first day of listing and it just creates this great anticipation of the property coming on the market. So pre market is something great that we’ve started doing recently that’s very important, a great piece to a marketing plan. Focus on all buyers and have a target market. So at Healthy Realty our target market is medical professionals so we obviously focus on all buyers but we also have special marketing pieces that we send to this target market of healthcare professionals. So, it’s important for a company you work with to have that.
Have a team concept, I think it’s so important to have a team concept. In our real estate company we have a full time buyer’s agent, we actually have two, we have a closing coordinator, we have me who handles our listings, so we have a team of four. We also have someone who’s handling our marketing. So, we have everybody working together to meet the goals of helping buyers and getting our listing sold and bringing those buyers to our listings and to other listings. So a very important piece of the marketing plan is to have a team concept.
All right. So tip number four, this is what you usually think probably when you thought about, “How do I get my home sold quickly?” This may be one of the things you were thinking of staging, curb appeal. Curb appeal sales so if you focus on the exterior of the home, I talk to my clients about using the three P’s. It’s simple pressure wash, pine straw, and a potted plant. So easy, inexpensive ways to get your home noticed. Pressure washing helps the exterior of your home look clean and neat. Pine straw adds a fresh look. Even if you don’t have a great yard with grass and flowers adding pine straw just really transforms the house. So putting pine straw in your beds is very important. The potted plant upfront most realtors spend a lot of time at the front door dealing with the lockbox, trying to get the house opened for the buyer so having a nice potted plant and a nice entry way is important. It’s a great first impression.
Tip number five, incredible interiors sell. So make sure you paint or do touch it paint in your home. Neutral colors are important. I always get comments if we go and look in a home with buyers and they’re really bright pink colors in there that’s usually a no, no. The buyer will say something about it. Going neutral is important. It’s a simple idea but it’s very important. Clean flooring, replace your flooring, or have an estimate for new flooring available.
If your carpet is worn. I get this all the time. “Do we provide a carpet allowance?” Well, I think that’s fine but more specifically I encourage you to get a carpet, hardwood professional, whomever over to your home and give you an estimate for new carpet is going to cost $2,500. Have an estimate on your kitchen counter during showings of the home to say, “Hey, we know that this is an issue. We’ve thought about it. Here’s our estimate.” That really helps buyers say, “Okay, well we know that this cost is part of buying this home so we’re going to keep this in mind.
Remove your personal photos. It’s important for the buyer to envision themselves and their family in your space and not you. Add colorful bedding and throw pillows. Even white bedding with colorful throw pillows is helpful. As much as you can make the walls look neutral but then add little bits of color here and there that’s the best way to stage your interior. And tables need center places. Every room has to have a definite function. Don’t make your play room look like a play room and an office. It needs to be an office or a play room. Don’t make a bedroom look like an office. It needs to be one space or the other when you’re getting your home sold. I know that’s not how people live but it is how houses get sold so you’re just going to have to make it happen. Have every room have a definite function.
All right the most important is the last. Remove your clutter. You’re moving, you’re moving, everything has to go. There’s no reason that you need to be attached to that picture on the wall or that desk that doesn’t belong in that space. Put it in the garage, give it away to Goodwill, you need to remove your clutter.
All right. Tip number six, create an amazing atmosphere for showing. So once you’ve done all the work on the front end when you get the house listed for sale you have to create a great atmosphere during your showings. The house has to be clean. Number one, make sure it’s clean. A dirty house is not going to get sold. Number two, lights on, music playing. Those are important pieces of creating a great atmosphere. Having a basket of water and a nice easy snack on the kitchen counter for your buyers that are looking at properties that’s a great thing to do as well. In invites the buyer to stay and to look at the home. So have those things available. The buyer will stay and enjoy a snack, look around. It’s a great opportunity.
Leave a note on the kitchen counter for the buyer about why you love your home. The last thing I have is create an emotional appeal. So all of these items preceding are done to create an emotional appeal to the property. As a buyer you want to try to stay very neutral, look at the price, look at the features of the home, but on the seller’s side you really want to try to draw people into your home and give them this great emotional feel that, “This is where I want to be. This is where I want to raise my family. This is where I want to spend my free time.”
All right. Tip number seven, “Do I FSBO? Do I For Sale By Owner?” Well, some people choose to do this and you completely can. There are many FSBOs out there that are quite successful. You just need to plan. So do you have time to do a for sale by owner? Do you have the knowledge to do a for sale by owner? I would suggest that someone be fairly familiar with real estate contracts to do a for sale by owner. And then do you have a marketing plan for your home? Many realtors and real estate companies I know we spend thousands of dollars per month on our marketing plan. So having marketing through the internet and through other features is very important and it does require a lot of overhead on our part. So, certainly cost is something that needs to be considered.
All right. Tip number eight, ask your realtor these questions. I’m a big advocate of making sure if you choose to use a realtor that you’re interviewing this person and making sure they’re an appropriate fit for helping you get your home sold. So, when talking to your realtor ask, “How many homes have you sold this year or the last year?” Obviously if you’re interviewing in January you want to ask them about 2015. How will you market my property? So find out a detailed marketing plan. Do you have a target market? Like I said at Healthy Realty we target medical professionals. Other real estate companies should have a target market so that’s an important question to ask.
Do you work as an individual or do you work as a part of the team? I’ve done both. When I started in real estate I worked as an individual. So I was showing buyers, I was helping listings, I was closing, coordinating all of the closings. I wore many hats. I tried to get new business. I just found that I couldn’t be effective that way so now we’re part of the team where we have full time buyers agents, full time closing coordinator, and a marketing person as well. So it’s very important that you have specialties and a team concept. Do you have recommendations or reviews? Zillow posts great reviews about realtors, Trulia, those are great places to go to find out about your realtor.
All right, tip number nine. This is something to think about before you get your home sold. As you’re going into the process money and time are so important. They are some of your most valued resources. In this process you may have to give more weight to one over the other. So you might be able to sell your home more quickly and it may cost you less money. So it may bring in less money rather. So it’s important to know, “Well, I want to sell my house this month. I want to be done with this process. I’m willing to take an offer that’s maybe two thousand, five thousand dollars less than I wanted in order to sell now.” You can wait for more time. So the longer your home is on the market you can wait and maybe as appreciation grows in the market that there may be a higher dollar amount that will come months down the road. So just think about that.
In my opinion and experience the best price for the house is the one that comes more quickly and the more serious buyer usually. The longer your house is on the market sometimes people do try to take advantage and think, “Oh well now they’re desperate to sell.” So keep that in mind. Getting the home sold and your inconvenience as far as where you have to live for a month or two months that’s a pretty good problem to have actually. So getting your home sold, I tell people knowing that that’s done that’s a good problem to have. A lot of people would like that problem that have been trying to sell their homes for months.
Tip number 10, value the process. This is one of the most important financial investments you have is your home. So, take time to prepare your home for sale and price it appropriately. Getting your home sold in a timely manner is important, pricing it appropriately is important. I tell people that you have a 100% control over the price and condition of your home. You can’t put your property on a tidal creek if it’s not on a tidal creek. You can’t create a wooded backyard if you don’t have a wooded backyard, if you’re an interior lot and you’re looking into another home. So you don’t have control over that. You have control over what price you put on the house and the condition that you keep it in. So spend time getting your home ready and putting it in great condition before you get it listed for sale. Think carefully about how you want to price to him as well. Those are your best points of where you have control and you can make things happen.
Mikki Ramey is the broker in charge for Healthy Realty and has served the Charleston area for over fourteen years. She has sold over 750 homes in her career and is consistently in the top 1% in sales in all of Charleston.
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