Submitted by Terra Caribbean
To buy or sell in 2012, what with Armageddon coming and all? Absent any ancient Mayan wisdom on real estate strategies, let’s just hope the real cataclysmic event in the real estate market already has passed, even if the rubble from the bubble remains. Meanwhile, here are some tips for 2012, aimed largely at the group that needs the most help — home sellers.
- Price it right from the start
The old-school strategy of real estate sellers crossing their arms and holding out for a better offer will be brushed off by most home buyers. For a gauge, have your agent produce the latest comparable sales including latest sales and foreclosures as well as a recent summary of sales prices versus original list prices. But be wary that such information doesn’t reflect the homes that failed to sell.
- Put your best foot forward
Prepare, paint, stage, scrub, improve, repeat. Efforts can include caulking, plastering, planting flowers, adding potted plants, making the windows spotless, pressure washing that oily driveway, edging the walks, trimming the bushes and trees, and mending the fences. None of these is excessively capital-intensive, but when applied en masse, they say “buy me.”
Be flexible I’m not saying bend over backward to accommodate real estate buyers. Bend forward and sideways, too. Be ready to negotiate and offer extras such as closing cost, remodeling work (or a cash credit), appliances, paid condo association/homeowner association dues, a few months of mortgage payment or seller financing. Home sellers who’ve been on the sidelines and who advised their agents to ignore offers by low ballers don’t have that luxury now. Instruct your agent to listen intently to prospective home buyers’ misgivings about the home and adjust accordingly
- Get a good agent.
Hire a listing agent with lots of experience in modern marketing methods who use Facebook and other social media to sell and seek, not to mention dozens of online selling sites. Some agents even make YouTube videos to showcase your homes, making it easier to quickly link to potential buyers via email.
- Cash is King
Consider cash offers, even if they’re not the highest. Reject too-low offers from homebuyers gently and with encouragement, telling them they’re oh-so-close. You don’t want to give away the farm, but you don’t want to give it back to the bank either. These days, meeting halfway usually means meeting buyers on their half. Be your own spokesperson. Agents once advised home sellers to retreat from view during showings, lest they disclose something unsavory or otherwise botch the deal. That’s changed. If you can control your ego and emotions and come off as an earnest, flexible seller, you can serve as your best spokesperson. Be ready to answer would-be buyers’ questions about the neighborhood and area schools. Be careful about making verbal promises! In closing, keep in touch with your agent as time passes, ask him/her for regular feedback and about buyers comments, remember your agent is working for you, to get you the best possible price in the quickest time, with the least problems, keeping close to him/her will get you the best results.
… And Good Luck…