Hey first time home seller what are the tips and tricks for navigating the new world of home selling. Yeah – we know you are bursting from the seams of that adorable 2bd/1ba house in Seattle’s next up and coming neighborhood. It is time for you to make a transition to something better. But wait that whole recession thingy changed the way real estate happens since you first bought your home.
Hire The Best – Hire someone who can get you top dollar AND keep a transaction together. Did you know that there are 30% fewer real estate professionals in the business than there were back in the mid 2000s. And did you know that the top 10% of real estate professionals own about 90% of the real estate business. Yeah – it’s an inside network of professionals. The good ones are picky on who they are willing to work with but it is critical that you work with someone who is good. We Divas love a good up and coming professional or someone who has genuine hustle in this business. Cause we know it takes hard work to get into that top 10%!
Work With An Agent You Trust – At the end of the day you have to trust that your agent has your back and is willing to go the distance for you. If you do not have that trust them why did you hire them? You also need to trust their advice. They say that this is the market range than trust they know what they are talking about. They say that you need to update paint colors in the home cause it looks shabby than do it!
Pricing is Critical – Despite the recent huge increases in home values folks are only willing to pay what they think a house might be worth. For instance, in our neighborhood not a single house has sold over $500,000. Some have tried but many have failed. Looking straight at the home values from a square footage and upgrade standpoint makes our house worth well over $600,000. But guess what? No one will buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood. Today’s buyers want reassurance that someone else has paid the same if not more for a house in their neighborhood or building.
House Needs to be in Diva Dwelling Shape – Yes – your house needs to be as close to perfect as we can get it. And this takes time. Yard needs to look fabulous. Fix what broken. Paint rooms that will not photograph well. Have the home staged. Do what it takes to retain as many buyers as possible. No need to create a scenario that will scare away a potential buyer. Here are some hints >
When to sell? Up to you. From a seasonal standpoint we always recommend Spring and Fall are the prime Seattle selling times. It is a myth that summer is the get rich month in real estate. Most real estate professionals are on their boats, camping, or doing something to soak up the two months of glorious summer goodness. Once again we are all focused on those top 10% of producers cause they own the real estate market.
Understand Today’s Buyers – Lending requirements have changed completely since the mid 2000s. In today’s world buyers have to have hard cold cash and really good credit in order to purchase a home. As a result they expect a lot from both the home and the process. Any little thing can scare one of today’s buyers. So get your house in Diva Dwelling shape for the sale. Here is a little nugget we wrote a couple of years ago but it still stands true today about the next generation of home buyers >
Understand the Contracts – Lots of sellers today bought their houses in the mid 2000s and have been holding on waiting for values to come back. Back when they bought a house you just signed the paperwork and took whatever loan was given to you. The world has changed since many of you bought your first home. As a seller your have a ton of responsibility for disclosing facts to buyers. One other little nugget is that a lot of sellers glaze over the listing contracts. Specifically in the contract it states that the seller owes the buyers and sellers agents commissions if a buyer’s agent brings a full price offer that is within the terms that are stated on the MLS. For instance you cannot ask the sellers for more money if they brought you a full price offer unless you have competing offers. You also cannot ignore the offer. I know you wanted to sell your place for a ton of money but things change quickly in the real estate world.
Cost to Sell – A lot of first time home sellers think that the cost to sell is only 3% of the purchase price. As a buyer you do not pay for the agents fees or other closing costs. But as a seller there is a lot you do pay for. Generally a good estimate is about 8.5% of the purchase price is the cost to sell PLUS what you need to spend to get your home into Diva Dwelling shape. Below is a quick breakdown:
- Prep – TBD
- Agent Fees – 6% (3% for your real estate team and 3% for the buyers agent).
- Closing Costs – 2.5% (estimated)
Fair Housing Laws – You as the seller can sell your house to who ever you want but you cannot discriminate against people based on race, familiar status, GLBTQ,, persons with disabilities, seniors, Vetran status, etc. Let’s say you decide that your condo building is not good for people with kids. You are only going to sell your condo to a single person. Seems right but guess what you are discriminating against people based on familiar status.
Expect More From Your Agent – Real estate marketing has changed from the mid 2000s. Sure you can sell a house by putting a sign in the yard. But you can sell your house for more money by going the distance with your agent. Download our list of listing awesomeness to see what the Divas do >
Good luck and as always feel free to call us Divas if you have any questions.