If you need to get a better price when selling your home, you may feel that the only options are to do expensive upgrades or additions. But, there are actually several cheap or free things you can do as a homeowner in order to increase your chances of getting a high price. Here are 6 strategies anyone can follow.
Scope Out the Comps. Most homeowners know about "comps" -- similar homes in the area that are used to gauge the suggested listing price of your house -- but few people go to check out these homes. If your real estate agents is basing a somewhat low price on the comps found in the area, visit them during open houses or appointments in order to see the actual condition for yourself. You may be able to make an adjustment in your price expectations when you see the reality of these other homes.
Hire an Inspector. Invest a few hundred dollars in hiring a professional home inspector before you list the house. This way, you can know the true condition of the home and have time to make any necessary repairs that could damage your listing. It also gives you a solid footing for negotiating with buyers and avoiding lowball tactics.
Do the Math on Discounts. You may not want to replace some old or broken items in the home -- such as the carpet, appliances, furnaces, or fencing. However, be certain that you calculate the actual cost of repairing the item and the amount of discount you'd have to accept for not repairing it. As a general rule, buyers want a larger discount for having to do the work themselves... often up to twice what it would cost you to fix it before selling.
Learn Your Market. Timing can be everything when selling real estate, so be aware of the market fluctuations in your immediate area. If there are homes that are being "dumped" at a low price by banks or investors, you may want to wait until those particular houses are sold before listing yours. Other factors can affect the price negatively -- including selling during the winter, selling before major neighborhood improvements are in place, and even listing when university students are leaving for the summer.
Search Other Listings. Keep searching your home address online to look at what has been listed without your knowledge. Other companies may use public records or your listing to put your home on their websites -- sometimes with incorrect pictures and a different, lower price. Be diligent about contacting anyone wrongly listing your house and get it corrected or removed. Bad listings can make it harder to get the price you want when negotiating.
Document Maintenance. If you can come up with records relating to your home's repairs, upgrades, and maintenance, do so. Make a short and simple printed handout for potential buyers -- listing regular repairs and maintenance as well as specifics on updates done to the home. A well-maintained home is almost always a good selling point to buyers.
By utilizing one or more of these tactics, you can be an active participant in trying to increase your home's selling price. And when you do finally sell, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did everything you could to get the very best price possible. For more information and advice, talk to a real estate agent at an agency like Keller Williams Realty River Cities.