Forgive me for stating the obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many people leave money on the table when they go to sell their home. And I'm not talking a few dollars here and there. I'm telling you people leave thousands on the table, that could be theirs, when they sell their home.
I don't want that to happen to you. Next time you sell your home, I want to help you get top dollar for it.
My wife and I have sold many homes at top of the market value, sometimes even over market. We've had houses under-appraise on several occasions. That means the appraiser doesn't even think it's worth what someone is willing to pay us.
Here are the 5 items you need to focus on to sell for top dollar:
- Remodel the areas of your home that are in need of being updated
People don't want to pay top dollar for a home that doesn't look top dollar. That doesn't mean you need to spend a ton of money remodeling. It just means that you need bring each area of your home up to the expectations of a buyer willing to pay top dollar.
If your kitchen hasn't been remodeled in 10 years, you probably need to do some work on it. Replace the countertops. Update the flooring. Get nicer appliances. Replace cabinet hardware. Paint. You get the idea. Do similar things to your bathrooms and other parts of the house in need of being updated. Much of your focus here will likely be on the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Stage the house to appeal to retail buyers
You never want to list your house vacant unless you absolutely have to. The right furniture & decorations placed correctly can sell a home. There's no question about it. This is often called "staging" in the real estate world. You want to stage your home to sell it. You can either stage it with your own furniture/decorations, if yours would appeal to a retail buyer, or you can move your things out & pay a staging company to stage it. I can't stress how important this is. Staging can sell houses because it gives buyers an idea of where their furniture could go & how it could look when they move in. With a vacant home, this is more difficult.
It's usually best to consult with a friend or family member that has sold homes for top dollar before. They can tell you if the furnishings you have will help you or hurt you when you go to sell it. If your furnishings aren't right for your space, no problem. Just move your things out & hire a staging company.
Remember, it's not about whether you like your furniture/decorations. It's about whether a retail buyer will see your home as being worth top dollar with your furniture/decorations in it.
- List it FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or with a Discount Broker
What good is selling your home for top dollar if you have to pay a lot of your profit away in commissions? I've already talked about this extensively in this post and this post, so I won't go into much detail here. But you will likely save thousands, and I mean thousands, if you list it yourself (FSBO) or use a discount broker who will only charge you a flat fee, say $500, to list it (you’ll still pay 3% to buyer’s agent in this scenario on top of the $500). If you go the traditional route and pay the full 6% in real estate commissions, even if you sell it for top dollar, it will bring way down what you actually end up making.
- Price it just above the top of the market
Because you're wanting to sell for top dollar, you want to price it at top dollar. We always like to price our houses just above the top of the market. For example, if top of the market in the neighborhood is $110/ft, we may price ours at $112-115/ft. If someone pays you over market value, and they plan to get a loan, you may have trouble with the appraisal like we've had. That's ok. If the buyer likes the house enough, they can often figure out a way to bring extra cash to closing to cover the difference. If for some reason you don't get traction at your $112-115/ft number, then hopefully after you get a lower offer & negotiate, you can still end up around $110/ft, which is top of the market.
- Be patient and wait for the right buyer
This is SO important! If you price your home like I'm suggesting, you may not sell it in a week or two. It may take a month or two or longer. And that's ok! You want to wait for the right buyer who is willing to pay top dollar for your house. Don't get in a hurry! Being patient can make you thousands of extra dollars.
I hope these tips help you sell your home for TOP dollar when you’re ready to sell!