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.

Getting Your Home in Top Selling Condition

Getting Your Home in Top Selling Condition

Curb Appeal
• Drive up to your home and look at it from afar. Look at it through the eyes of buyers.
• Check the shingles – repair or replace damaged shingles.
• Clean and repair the gutters.
• Clean and repair the HVAC units.
• Repair broken windows and shutters. Replace torn screens. Make sure frames and seams have solid caulking.
• Repair or replace door knobs, doorbell and light fixtures if necessary.
• Remove all toys, equipment and litter.
• Remove cobwebs and nests.
• Remove mildew, moss and stains from the side of your home – use bleach. Remove stains from the walkways and driveway – use concrete cleanser and/or kitty litter.
• Repair and clean patio furniture and deck area. Remove anything that can’t be repaired.
• Make sure the spa and pool sparkle.
• Go around and touch up the exterior of your home with putty and paint.
• Clean or paint the front door and mailbox.
• Hose off the exterior of your home, especially around entrances. Use siding cleanser.
• Wash the windows.
• Wash your garbage can and put it in a place where it’s not the first thing potential buyers see when they drive up.
• Stack the woodpile neatly.
• Mow the lawn.
• Trim the trees and shrubs.
• Weed the gardens.
• Add colorful plants or foliage to fill in bare spots.
• Edge the gardens and walkways.
• Sweep the walkways and driveway.
• Replace doormats that are worn and torn.
• Shine brass hardware on the doors and light fixtures. Polish stained wood doors and trim.
• Drive up to your home again and look at it from the eyes of a potential buyer. Walk into your home as a potential buyer. Determine what kind of impression the walkways and entrances now make.

Overall Interior
• Walk through your home. Store, give away, throw, or donate anything that you won’t need until after the move; e.g. furniture, knick-knacks, clothing, toys, equipment, appliances, worn rugs, papers, books, cosmetics, jewelry, games, CDs, etc.
• Walk through your home again, this time with some tools. Fix loose door knobs, cracked molding, leaky faucets. Remove cob webs.
• Replace worn or broken door knobs, cabinet fixtures, light fixtures, light switches, outlet plates, faucets and vent covers.
• Clean the fireplace.
• Clean the vents.
• Clean and organize your closets. Add extra space by storing or giving away items.
• Add a fresh coat of paint in light, neutral colors.
• Shampoo the carpet. Replace if necessary. Clean and wax the floors.
• Vacuum the window blinds, shades and drapes. Wash or dry clean curtains. Wash all the windows, frames and sills.
• Add dishes of potpourri.
• Remove all valuables, such as jewelry, artwork, knick-knacks, medications, cash, coin collections and so on.
• Open all the window shades to create a spacious and bright look.
• Put pet supplies and dishes in a place where they are not the first thing potential buyers see or smell when they walk into a room.
Living Room and Family Room
• Make these rooms spacious and inviting.
• Discard or repair chipped furniture. Replace worn rugs and pillows.
• Remove magazines, games, toys and so on.
• Make sure the entertainment center sparkles.
• Vacuum upholstery, drapes, pillows, etc.
Dining Room
• Clean out your china cabinet. Polish any visible silver.
• Put a lovely centerpiece on the table – treat yourself to fresh flowers. Set the table for a formal dinner to help potential buyers imagine entertaining there.
Bedrooms
• Arrange furniture to create a spacious look.
• Remove games, toys, magazines, cosmetics, jewelry – especially on the nightstands.
• Replace bedspreads, quilts and pillow shams if they are worn or faded.
Bathrooms
• Remove rust and mildew stains.
• Wash or replace shower curtains.
• Make sure everything sparkles – including grout.
• Replace worn rugs and towels.
Kitchen
• Make sure all appliances work.
• Throw or eat the foods that you’ve been storing for so long.
• Clean the inside of the refrigerator, stove and cabinets. Make sure everything is organized to create a spacious look.
• If your stove has electric burners, purchase new drip pans for each burner. Wash removable knobs in your dishwasher.
• Polish the cabinets with furniture oil.
• Make sure appliances, countertops and the sink sparkle. Install new faucets if necessary.
Attic, Basement and Garage
• Get rid of unnecessary items. Store or pack items you won’t need until after the move.
• Organize everything to create more floor space and make inspections easy. Put things on shelves or in matching boxes.
• Provide bright lighting.
• Clean all equipment and vents. Replace filters. Fix any insulation that might be showing.
• Take care of stale or musty odors. Open the windows, dust and wash the walls and floors, purchase room deodorizers.
When It’s Time to Show
• Make sure your property folder is out in the open. It should contain utility bills, an MLS profile, your Seller’s Disclosure, extra property flyers and extra business cards.
• Do a quick clean and vacuum. Air out your house. Dispose all trash.
• Put pets outside if it’s safe to do so.
• Turn on a radio with peaceful music.

Eight Steps to Selling Your Home

Eight steps to selling your home

Define your needs.
Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with your real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.
Name your price.
Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area. It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so your real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable at this step. Your agent will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This typically costs a few hundred dollars. Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
Prepare your home.
Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. Your real estate agent can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. * A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized décor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs. * Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression. * Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.
Get the word out.
Now that you’re ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: * The Internet * Yard signs * Open houses * Media advertising * Agent-to-agent referrals * Direct mail marketing campaigns In addition to listing your home on the MLS, your agent will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest.
Receive an offer.
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following: * Legal description of the property * Offer price * Down payment * Financing arrangements * List of fees and who will pay them * Deposit amount * Inspection rights and possible repair allowances * Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing * Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home * Settlement date * Contingencies At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with your real estate agent right away.
Negotiate to sell.
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items: * Price * Financing * Closing costs * Repairs * Appliances and fixtures * Landscaping * Painting * Move-in date Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare a contract.
Prepare to close.
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Your real estate agent can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing. Important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so.
Close the deal.
“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Your agent will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, he or she can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. In some states, an attorney is required and you may wish to have one present. After the closing, you should make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a checklist to get you started. * Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable and other routine services. * If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account. * Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.