How to Price and Sell your Houston home to Make a Profit

Price and Sell your Houston Home for a profit

How to price to sell and still make a profit

The asking price you set for your home significantly affects whether you will profit in the sale, how much you will profit and how long your home will sit on the market. Your real estate agent’s knowledge of the overall market and what’s selling – or not selling – will be invaluable in helping you determine the price. The objective is to find a price that the market will bear but won’t leave money on the table.

Here are some points to consider:

Time.
Time is not on your side when it comes to real estate. Although many factors influence the outcome, perhaps time is the biggest determinant in whether or not you see a profit and how much you profit. Studies show that the longer a house stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell for the original asking price. Therefore, if your goal is to make money, think about a price that will encourage buyer activity (read: fair market value).

Value vs. Cost.
Pricing your home to sell in a timely fashion requires some objectivity. It’s important that you not confuse value with cost – in other words, how much you value your home versus what buyers are willing to pay for it. Don’t place too much emphasis on home improvements when calculating your price, because buyers may not share your taste. For instance, not everyone wants hardwood floors or granite countertops.

Keep it simple.
Because time is of the essence, make it easy for the buyers. Remain flexible on when your agent can schedule showings. Also, avoid putting contingencies on the sale. Though a desirable move-in date makes for a smoother transition between homes, it could cause you to lose the sale altogether.

Importance of Pricing @ Fair Market Value

Local Houston home prices

Importance of Pricing (Fair Market Value)

The Fair Market Value (FMV) of your home is determined by the market – that is, what today’s buyers are willing to pay. Buyers are comparing your home to other homes now on the market.

 

 

 

 

Buyers do NOT care about:

  • What your neighbors say
  • What another Realtor Says
  • What you spent on Upgrades
  • What it costs to Build Today
  • What you spent in repairs
  • What you spent on remodeling
  • What you spent on New Carpet
  • What you Paid when you bought
  • What you need
  • What you want

Increasing Your Houston Home’s Curb Appeal

Increasing your Houston home’s curb appeal

Increasing your Houston home’s “Curb” appeal

Remember the 60-second rule: That’s all the time you have to create a winning first impression. Here are some simple to significant ways to maximize your home’s appeal.

 

 

 

 

Exterior

  •  Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.
  •  Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.
  •  Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
  •  Tighten and clean all door handles.
  •  Clean windows inside and out.
  •  Powerwash home’s exterior.
  •  Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
  •  Paint the front door.
  •  Buy a new welcome mat.
  •  Place potted flowers near the front door.

Interior

  •  Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts “the flow” or makes the room appear smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.
  •  Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
  •  Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  •  Shampoo carpets.
  •  Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.
  •  Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
  •  Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).
  •  Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
  •  Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.
  •  Fix or replace discolored grout.
  •  Replace broken tiles.
  •  Replace worn countertops.

Special details for showings

  •  Turn on all the lights.
  •  Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.
  •  Keep pets secured outdoors.
  •  Buy new towels for bathrooms.
  •  Buy new bedding for bedrooms.
  •  Replace old lamps or lampshades.
  •  Play quiet background music.
  •  Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.
  •  Infuse home with a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.
  •  Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.
  •  Vacate the property while it is being shown.

Practicing Good Seller’s Etiquette

Practicing good seller’s etiquette

Practicing good sellers etiquette

Let’s face it: When your house goes on the market, you’re not only opening the door to prospective buyers, but also sometimes to unknown vendors and naïve or unqualified buyers. As with any business transaction, there is an expected protocol to how sellers, buyers and their respective agents interact. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation, alert your agent so he or she can address and remedy the problem.

The Aggressive Agent
When your agent puts your house on the market, typically all promotional materials state clearly that your agent is the primary contact for buyers and buyers’ agents. However, sometimes a buyer’s agent will contact a seller directly to try to either win over their business or cut the seller’s agent out of the deal. This is not reputable behavior and you should report it to your agent immediately if it happens to you.

The Unscrupulous Vendor
Have you ever started a business or moved into a new house and suddenly found your mailbox full of junk mail? Unfortunately, this also can happen when you put your house on the market. When you sell your home, it necessitates all kinds of new purchasing decisions and less-than-ethical vendors are keenly aware of this. Though MLS organizations enforce rules on how posted information is used, some companies have found ways to cull information from various sources to produce mass mailing lists. If you find yourself regularly emptying your mailbox of junk, let your agent know. He or she can tap the appropriate sources to prompt an investigation into the matter.

The Naïve Buyer
Yard signs, Internet listings and other advertisements can generate a lot of buzz for your home. Some prospective buyers – particularly first-timers – will be so buzzed to see your home that they’ll simply drop by. If this happens, no matter how nice these unexpected visitors are, it’s best not to humor their enthusiasm by discussing your home or giving an impromptu tour. Instead, politely let them know that your real estate agent is in charge of scheduling tours and provide them with the agent’s contact information. If you attempt to handle these surprise visits on your own, you might inadvertently disclose information that could hurt you during negotiations down the road.

Six Selling Myths Uncovered

Six selling myths

Six Selling Myths Uncovered

Myth #1: You should always price your home high and negotiate down.

Truth: Pricing too high can be as bad as pricing too low. If you list too high, you’ll miss out on buyers looking in the price range where your home should be. Offers may not even come in, because buyers who are interested in your home are scared off by the price and won’t even take the time to look at it. By the time you correct the price and list your home at its fair market value, you will have lost that window of opportunity when your home draws the most attention from the public and real estate agents; i.e. the first 30 days that it is on the market. A well-trained real estate agent who looks out for your best interests will consult with you on your home’s fair market value and different pricing strategies for the current market.

Myth #2: Minor repairs can wait until later. There are more important things to be done.

Truth: Minor repairs make your house more marketable, allowing you to maximize your return (or minimize loss) on the sale. Most buyers are looking for homes that are ready for them to move into. If your home happens to attract a buyer who is willing to make repairs, he/she will begin asking for repair allowances that come out of your asking price. The amount of an allowance that you have to offer a buyer is usually more than what it would cost for you to make the repair (or hire someone to make the repair). Remember, buyers are comparing your home to other homes that are currently on the market. Your home should be inviting so that everyone who looks at it can see themselves living there.

Myth #3: Once a potential buyer sees the inside of your home, curb appeal won’t matter.

Truth: Buyers probably won’t make it to the inside of the home if the outside of your home does not appeal to them. Buyers and their agents often do drive-bys before deciding whether a home is worth their time to look inside. Your home’s exterior must make a good first impression so that buyers are compelled to stop and come inside. All it takes is keeping the lawn mowed, shrubs and trees trimmed, gardens weeded and edged, and clutter put away.

Myth #4: Your home must be every home buyer’s dream home.

Truth: If you get carried away with repairs and replacements to your home, you may end up over-improving the house. There is a point where improving your home doesn’t pay off. The key is to consider what competing properties feature and look like. A highly-motivated real estate agent will consult with you on what competing properties have to offer – he/she can even show you competing properties so that you can make sound home improvement decisions.

Myth #5: You are better off selling your home on your own and saving money on the commission you would have paid to a real estate agent.

Truth: Statistically, many sellers who attempt to sell their homes on their own cannot consummate the sale without the service of a real estate agent. Homeowners who succeed in selling their home by themselves usually net less than if they had a real estate agent working for them. The National Association of REALTORSâ surveys consumers every year, including homeowners who succeeded in selling their home without a real estate agent. Over 70% of these homeowners say that they would never do it again.

Myth #6: When you receive an offer, you should make the buyer wait. This gives you a better negotiating position.

Truth: You should reply immediately to an offer! When a buyer makes an offer, that buyer is, at that moment in time, ready to buy your home. Moods can change, and you don’t want to lose the sale because you have stalled in replying.

The many decisions to Buying and Selling your home

So Many Decisions

There is so much to think about when selling your home:
1) Is it a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market? How can I price my home so that it sells quickly?

2) What marketing strategies are effective and will sell my home quickly?

3) What’s this thing called “curb appeal?”

4) What should I do to have my home in top-selling condition?

5) How much should I fix? How much should I leave as-is?

6) How much of a hassle is involved in showing my home?

7) Should I try to sell my home all by myself? Or should I use an agent?

8) What about all the paperwork and legalities?

9) What about my next home? Should I buy or rent?

10) And more!

I Can Help!

I am more than happy to answer any of your questions. Please put a check Mark next to any of the above that you want to discuss.

10 Steps to Selling your Home

Ten Steps to Selling Your Home

Define your goals, wants, needs and expectations. A good place to begin is by exploring your short and long term goals in life and how selling your home fits in. I will walk through a process I use to thoroughly understand my client’s goals, wants and needs to ensure that your expectations are met.

Determine the best price for what’s going on in the market right now. We assess the current state of the market and what comparable homes are actually selling for by reviewing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your home. That way, we can objectively determine its fair market value and price it right.

Prepare your property so that it is in top-selling condition. Most of us don’t keep our homes in top-selling condition. I will work with you to help you see things from a buyer’s point of view. I will consult with you on what to repair, replace or remove so that your home makes a GREAT first impression.

Implement time-proven, research-based marketing strategies. Your home will be marketed with a 10 point marketing plan that has the highest potential for bringing not only the most buyers, but also the most qualified buyers to your doorstep.

Show your property. Always keep your home in top-selling condition. When you leave for work, make sure that your home remains in top-selling condition. You know what they say about first impressions!

Receive an offer. When a buyer decides to buy your home, an offer will be presented. I will advise you on the offer and whether the buyer is qualified to purchase your home.

Negotiate to sell. Most offers require some level of negotiation. We will work together to decide your parameter and I will negotiate on your behalf.

Have your home appraised and inspected. Once you have accepted an offer, I will work with the buyer’s agent to coordinate an appraisal, inspections and a survey (if required). If the buyer requires that certain repairs be made on your home, I will continue to negotiate on your behalf and recommend vendors so we move successfully from contract to closing.

Prepare for closing. A few days before closing (also known as settlement), I will contact the title company and the buyer’s agent to ensure that all the necessary forms and documents have been prepared. I will meet with you to review the closing documents and let you know what additional forms and information you need to bring to the closing meeting.

Close! At the closing meeting, ownership of your property is legally transferred to the buyer. I will be present to advise you and ensure that everything goes according to plan.

Created by: Nema Ghalamdanchi – Keller Williams Realtor
Cell: (832)-692-2979 Email: NEMA@Houston-RE.com

Understanding the Buyer

Understanding the buyer

As the seller, you can control three factors that will affect the sale of your home:

* The home’s condition
* Asking price
* Marketing strategy

However, it’s important to note that there are numerous other factors that influence a buyer, and you need to understand these consumer trends when you enter the sellers’ market. The more your home matches these qualifications, the more competitive it will be in the marketplace. Your real estate agent can advise you on how to best position and market your home to overcome any perceived downsides.

Location
Unfortunately, the most influential factor in determining your home’s appeal to buyers is something you can’t control: its location. According to the National Association of REALTORS(r), neighborhood quality is the No. 1 reason buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school.

Size
While some buyers want to simplify their lives and downsize to a smaller home, home sizes in general have continued to increase over the decades, nearly doubling in size since the 1950s. Smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and “empty nesters,” or couples whose children have grown up and moved out.

Amenities
Preferences in floor plans and amenities go in and out of fashion, and your real estate agent can inform you of the “hot ticket” items that are selling homes in your market. If your home lacks certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal, but be forewarned: That’s not always the right move. Using market conditions and activity in your neighborhood as a gauge, your agent can help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your profit margin and time on the market.

Houston Education School System

Houston Education School System

Educational opportunities play a key role in Houston’s quality of life. Houston is a City known to be rich with distinguished school districts and prominent colleges and universities.

The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the largest school district in the Houston area. Ranked as the nation’s seventh largest district, HISD serves 312 square miles with 288 schools, 13,000 teachers and more than 210,000 students.

Newcomers with families and those wishing to pursue higher education are amazed at the City’s countless educational opportunities.

Houston-area independent school districts operate with the basic premise that every child can and should learn.

HISD serves a dynamic, highly diversified community and is one of Houston’s largest business enterprises.

Houston educators and the community as a whole are working toward creating a high-quality educational environment to serve the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.

Other educational options in Houston include a diverse selection of private schools.

OTHER AREA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Aldine

Alief

Channelview

Clear Creek

Conroe

Crosby

Cypress – Fairbanks

Deer Park

Fort Bend

Galena Park

Galveston

Goose Creek

Houston

Huffman

Humble

Katy

Klein

La Porte

North Forest

Pasadena

Sheldon

Spring

Spring Branch

Tomball

The City of Houston Public Library, a department of the City of Houston, consists of a Central Library complex in downtown Houston, and a genealogical research library. It also offers 35 neighborhood branches, services for children and parents at the Children’s Museum of Houston and for patients at M.D. Anderson Hospital, and a book-by-mail service for the homebound. It serves the seventh largest service population in the country and has more than 300 public computer terminals. These terminals offer access to the library’s catalog, the Internet, and extensive electronic databases.

Houston boasts more than 40 colleges, university and institutions – offering higher education options to suit all interests.

Gifted & Talented Houston Students

Houston Schools families who have children who are identified as “gifted” or “talented” academically face unique problems. The biggest one is ensuring that the child in question is being adequately challenged, without suffering burn-out. “I’m bored” is one of those phrases that all parents hate hearing. I mean really hate. It’s frustrating for a parent to be relied upon for entertaining and keeping the child busy, especially when that child is of school-age. By the time they are in 2nd or 3rd grade, kids should be able to find things to entertain and keep themselves occupied. The bright ones are no exception, and may be the ones doing the most complaining. Too often, kids who aren’t being challenged in school get themselves into trouble. Some see no point in even attending classes, are truant, or get into things they shouldn’t. Keeping these Houston Public Schools kids busy and challenged is the best way to ensure that none of the situations mentioned above occur.

Houston Schools are working to make their centers of learning ones where the gifted and talented are continually challenged with unique magnet programs and rigorous standards.

Starting in the ’07-’08 school year, students who are gifted or academically talented will all attend magnet schools called Vanguard Schools. Students are identified for placement in a Vanguard School by looking at various indicators and traits. The “identification matrix” used by Houston Schools includes test scores from the Stanford/Aprenza exam and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. Report-card points and teacher recommendations are also considered.

Students who have limited English proficiency, are enrolled in special education, or qualify as having low socioeconomic status are also considered for placement in one of these special Houston Schools. These Houston Schools are continuously monitored to help ensure that high-quality and more-rigorous instruction is provided in all classrooms. These Houston Schools students are expected to score above grade-level on the Stanford test. In addition, any of these Houston Schools high-school students who are enrolled in a Vanguard School are required to take a minimum of two advanced-academic courses (ex: Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or dual-credit).

Having programs like the Vanguard Schools help make Houston Schools a desirable place to be and learn. Most kids who fall into the “Gifted and Talented” category want to be challenged and learn more. However, these kids look at the world a little differently than most, and require a unique program that will serve their needs. Houston Schools have made sure to identify these students and provide them with excellent places that they can attend to make the most of their public Houston Schools education.

Houston Colleges and University Location Map

Houston Colleges and Universities Location Map

Greater Houston Area Colleges and Universities Location Map

Accredited two-year and four-year Houston area Title IV colleges as reported by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the National Center for Education Statistics. Institutions participating in Title IV financial aid programs must offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, have been in business for at least 2 years, and have signed a participation agreement with the department.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES Baylor College of Medicine — 713-798-4951
One Baylor Plaza, Suite 143-A, Houston, TX 77030
Houston Baptist University — 281-649-3000
7502 Fondren, Houston, TX 77074
Prairie View A&M University — 936-857-3311
P.O. Box 188, Prairie View, TX 77446
Rice University — 713-348-8101
P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251
Sam Houston State University — 936-294-1111
1803 Ave. I, Huntsville, TX 77341
South Texas College of Law — 713-646-1819
1303 San Jacinto, Houston, TX 77002
Texas A&M University-Galveston — 409-740-4400
P.O. Box 1675, Galveston, TX 77553
Texas A&M University — 979-845-2217
805 Rudder Tower, College Station, TX 77843
Texas A&M University System Health Science Center — 979-845-7902
John B. Connolly Building, College Station, TX 77840
Texas Southern University — 713-313-7036
3100 Cleburne, Houston, TX 77004
Texas Woman’s University Institute of Health Sciences-Houston — 713-794-2331
1130 M.D. Anderson Blvd., Houston, TX 77030
The University Center — 936-273-7510
3232 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77384
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center — 713-792-8500
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030
The University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center — 713-500-3000
7000 Fannin, Suite 150, Houston, TX 77030
University of Houston — 713-743-8820
4800 Calhoun, Houston, TX 77024
University of Houston System at Cinco Ranch — 281-395-2800
4242 S. Mason Road, Katy, TX 77450
University of Houston System at Fort Bend — 281-275-3300
550 Julie Rivers Drive, Sugar Land, TX 77478
University of Houston-Clear Lake — 713-283-7600
2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, TX 77058
University of Houston-Downtown — 713-221-8000
One Main, Houston, TX 77002
University of St. Thomas — 713-525-2160
3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston — 409-772-1902
301 University Blvd., Suite 604, Galveston, TX 77555
LeTourneau University — 713-622-1368
1233 West Loop South, Suite 900, Houston, TX 77027
Our Lady of the Lake University-Houston — 281-618-5499
2700 W. W. Thorne Drive, Houston, TX 77073
Southern Methodist University (Perkins School of Theology) — 713-662-9768
3471 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77027
Southern Methodist University Advanced Computer Education Center-Houston —
713-662-9768 — 6575 West Loop South, Suite 700, Bellaire, TX 77401
University of Phoenix-Houston Campus — 713-465-9966
11511 Katy Freeway, Suite 590, Houston, TX 77079

COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS

Alvin Community College — 281-331-6111
3110 Mustang Road, Alvin, TX 77511
Blinn College — 979-830-4000
902 College Ave., Brenham, TX 77833
Brazosport College — 979-230-3000
500 College Drive, Lake Jackson, TX 77566
College of the Mainland — 409-938-1211
1200 Amburn Road, Texas City, TX 77591
Galveston College — 409-763-6551
4015 Ave. Q, Galveston, TX 77550
Houston Community College System — Central — 713-718-6040
1300 Holman, Houston, TX 77004
Houston Community College System — Northeast College — 281-718-8010
401 Northline Mall, Houston, TX 77022
Houston Community College System — Northwest College — 281-718-5721
1550 Foxlake Drive, Suite 101, Houston, TX 77084
Houston Community College System — Southeast College — 281-718-7071
6815 Rustic, Houston, TX 77087
Houston Community College System — Southwest College — 713-718-7748
5407 Gulfton, Houston, TX 77081
Lee College — 281-427-5611
511 S. Whiting, Baytown, TX 77520
North Harris College — 281-618-5400
2700 W. W. Thorne Drive, Houston, TX 77073
North Harris Montgomery Community College District — 281-260-3500
250 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. East, Houston, TX 77060
North Harris Montgomery Community College District — Kingwood College —
281-312-0440
20000 Kingwood Drive, Houston, TX 77339
North Harris Montgomery Community College District — Cy-Fair College —
281-290-3200
9191 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress TX 77433
North Harris Montgomery Community College District — Montgomery College —
936-273-7000
3200 Texas 242 West, Conroe, TX 77384
North Harris Montgomery Community College District — Tomball College —
281-351-3300
30555 Tomball Pkwy., Tomball, TX 77375
San Jacinto College Central — 281-476-1501
8060 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, TX 77505
San Jacinto College North — 281-458-4050
5800 Uvalde Road, Houston, TX 77049
San Jacinto College South Campus — 281-484-1900
13735 Beamer Road, Houston, TX 77089
Texas State Technical College — 281-238-8646
1707 Ave. L, Rosenberg, TX 77471
Wharton County Junior College — 979-532-4560
911 Boling Highway, Wharton, TX 77488
American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine — 713-780-9777
9100 Park West Drive, Houston, TX 77063
Center for Advanced Legal Studies — 713-529-2778
3910 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77098
College of Biblical Studies — 713-785-5995
6000 Dale Carnegie, Houston, TX 77036
Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service — 281-873-0262
415 Barren Springs Drive, Houston, TX 77090
Houston Gradate School of Theology — 713-942-9505
131 Holman, Houston, TX 77004
ITT Technical Institute — 281-486-2630
2222 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, TX 77058
ITT Technical Institute — 281-873-0512
15621 Blue Ash Drive, Suite 160, Houston, TX 77090
ITT Technical Institute — 713-952-2294
2950 S. Gessner, Houston, TX 77063
MTI College of Business and Technology — 713-974-7181
7277 Regency Square Blvd., Houston, TX 77036
MTI College of Business and Technology — 281-333-3363
1275 Space Park Drive, Houston, TX 77058
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary — 713-643-4303
4101 Broadway, Houston, TX 77087
Texas Bible College — 713-926-8808
816 Evergreen, Houston, TX 77023
Texas Chiropractic College — 281-487-1170
5912 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, TX 77505
The Art Institute of Houston — 713-623-2040
1900 Yorktown, Houston, TX 77056
Universal Technical Institute — 281-443-6262
721 Lockhaven, Houston, TX 77073
Westwood College Of Aviation Technology — 713-774-2521
8880 Telephone Road, Houston, TX 77061