Many home owners are preparing to sell their homes this year. And in doing so, home sellers are looking for new and exciting ways to sell their homes fast and for top dollar. But the reality is that selling a home is not rocket science. There really isn’t a secret trick or approach to selling a home. Rather, it’s more like magic, where properly performed fundamental tasks can set the stage for a satisfying experience.
Unfortunately, it’s a human trait seek a complex solution to a simple question. In other words, applying Occam’s razer to your home sale can save you time and allow you to get out of your own way. Occam’s razer is a tool that is often used to figure out solutions and devise scientific theories. It has become popularized as the “keep it simple stupid” method. However, Susan Borowski’s history and explanation of Occam’s razor, written for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, gives it teeth (The Origin and Popular Use of Occam’s Razor; aaas.org; June 12, 2012). Borowski states, “Occam’s razor doesn’t necessarily go with the simplest theory, whether it’s right or wrong; it is not an example of simplicity for simplicity’s sake. It merely tries to cut through the clutter to find the best theory based on the best scientific principles and knowledge at the time.”
In other words, focus on the tried and true fundamentals of selling a home. Anything above and beyond may not necessarily help to sell the home faster or for more money, but could help make the process more enjoyable. That in mind, let’s consider these four basic concepts:
First, consider the condition of your home. Do you have deferred maintenance issues? Does your home need a makeover? Homes that get top dollar are “turnkey.” Many home buyers are willing to compete and pay more for recently upgraded and renovated homes. Selling a home with deferred maintenance or lacking recent updates can not only turn off many home buyers, but can encourage low-ball offers. A pre-listing home inspection can help you identify maintenance issues. Also, consider consulting with a design professional to help you understand which updates (if any) are necessary to help your home sale.
Next, work on the home’s presentation to give it a clean and spacious feel. Decluttering is one of those tasks that can be overwhelming, but it’s importance cannot be overstated. Decluttering will force you to decide which items to keep in the home. Additionally, staging your home can help balance space, furniture and décor. This can help home buyers envision living in the home.
Deciding on a list price is often a conundrum. Although enticing, don’t be seduced by the agent who tells you the highest sales price without understanding their rationale. The housing market can turn on a dime. If your home isn’t priced correctly, it can languish on the market. There are many aspects that go into deciding a price, so work with a respected seasoned agent to go through the market details and scenarios.
Finally, when the home is ready to list, how is it to be marketed? Today’s MLS listing syndication takes advantage of the fact that most home buyers actively search homes on the internet. Don’t rely on gimmicks that promise activity on your listing. A complete marketing plan will take into account the factors we discussed here, and apply strategies to attract motivated home buyers.