It can be an unwelcome surprise when an agent tells a prospective client that their suggested list price is lower than expected. This is especially true when improvements and upgrades have been made that the owner thought would raise the home’s market value. Homeowners can be skeptical when realtors provide them with the most likely sale price of their home that does not match their expectations. The bottom line is homeowners who are relocating typically need to quickly sell their home while hopefully make a return on their investment.
Historically, the best time to market a home for sale is from March through May. Buyers are out in the market during the period leading up to the end of school, and then there is a back to school rush, when buyers are making decisions to get children registered in time for the beginning of the academic year. If you are relocating in the fall or winter and you cannot delay listing your home until early spring, be assured there will be buyers out in the market…just not as many.
Working with a trained relocation agent provides the experience needed to put in place a creative and effective marketing strategy; it takes teamwork between yourself, your agent, and your Relocation Consultant. The following tips will significantly increase your chances of receiving an offer on your home:
Agent Selection: Best practice is to interview at least two prospective listing agents when you are listing your home. What qualifies these realtors to sell your home and what strategies will be employed to effectively market your home and bring a bona fide offer in on your home?
Here are some questions to pose:
- Do they invest in a professional photographer to present your home’s online presence and features?
- Do they utilize marketing efforts on social media?
- Do they have homes currently listed in your subdivision/area?
- Do they know your neighborhood well, and constantly monitor the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to keep on top of the competition?
- How often will the agent provide you with marketing updates? (Look for a communication plan and method that will meet your needs.)
Your Relocation Consultant will provide at least two relocation certified agents compete for the listing. These agents understand the demands of a relocation home sale transaction, but you should still make your selection on more than a gut instinct. Your listing agent should have a track record of performance in your market, provided solid data and analysis in the Broker Market Analysis (BMA) report, and be a good fit in terms of your preferred communication style.
Price to sell, not give away: Price your home to sell, and offer attractive incentives if your agent recommends. Review the BMA report presented by your prospective agents, and review with your Relocation Consultant as well. Pay close attention to their opinion on a suggested list price, and the home’s most likely sales price; if both values are within 5% of each other, one way to determine a data-driven list price is to use the average the two most likely sales price values. If sellers in your neighborhood are offering incentives, like paying the buyer’s closing costs or a transferable homeowner warranty, consider offering something as well when you list, to give you the edge on your competition.
Picture Ready Home: Clean sells. An organized home that looks and smells clean communicates that a home has been well maintained. A common reason for moving, is that the buyers want more space and storage. Storage is high on the list of must haves for potential buyers; showcasing the storage your home offers is accomplished by having neatly organized closets, removing excess items will make them appear bigger. Remember to minimize the contents inside and on top of your cabinets, as this will indicate whether there is adequate storage. Clear out the hallways and make it easy to move around throughout the home.
You need to emotionally move out before you physically move out. This means putting in the work to de-clutter and depersonalize your home to ensure that your home shines for potential buyers. A resale will be considered as attractive as a new construction home if it is in pristine condition.
Ensure that the curb appeal of your home is impressive. The front entry of your home should be the focal point, and adding flowers, plants, mulch, or pine straw provides a good first impression. Keep the lawn well-manicured, clean out gutters, power-wash your exterior to remove moss, and re-paint or freshen paint (on the exterior and interior) in neutral colors. You want potential buyers to see themselves living in your home.
Do a walk-through with your agent and ask for suggestions on how to stage your home for showings – and then prepare for your photo shoot accordingly. Clean all windows to make sure the lighting is optimal to make the online photos stand out, and so that potential buyers will be able to see each room. Make the inside of your home look warm and inviting to visitors, even if it means installing high wattage light bulbs and using lightweight or light-colored curtains in all rooms. Be sure you and your agent vet and review the photos that you feel will sell your home. If you have pets, empty and clean pet bowls; a litter box should be cleaned and out of sight for showings. Be flexible with accommodating showings throughout the day, and with setting a closing date for a short period of time as well with your prospective buyer.
Repairs: Prior to listing, or as soon as you list your home for sale, your Relocation Consultant will order inspections on your home. It is recommended that all major recommended repairs are made and provide your Relocation Consultant and Listing Agent with the statement of work and/or billing proof of all completed repairs. Since inspections must be disclosed, buyers will be aware that you have already completed inspections and repairs on the property. A home that is move-in ready will place your home at the top of their list of potential properties they are considering for purchase.
Negotiating Offers: As soon as your agent communicates with you that there is an incoming offer, contact your Relocation Consultant. Your agent will work with the Relocation Consultant pertaining to all the required relocation documentation and processes, which will ensure a fast review of the terms of the offer from the buyer, allowing your home to go under contract as quickly as possible.
To learn more about how InterLink helps homeowners during the employee relocation process, give us a call today at 1-866-254-3910 or click here to contact us online.
Katherine Hines, CRP Ginger Merrick, SCRP, SGMS
Senior Relocation Consultant Senior Global Mobility Consultant
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