VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — If you are looking to sell your home, many Realtors will tell you, now is the time. Demand is up, and more than likely, so is the price of your home. So, how can you make sure you get the best offer from a buyer?
Erin O’Brien is a realtor for Howard Hanna. She says while houses are more than likely going to sell quickly, and for a higher price right now, you must remember, “Buyers have been in this market for a while, and so I like to say buyers are tired.”
O’Brien says you want to present a good product that is priced appropriately.
“Pricing is still very key. You don’t want to price something above where it should sell, because then it sits on the market longer, and if something sits on the market, buyers are looking at that and they’re saying, ‘Why is it sitting on the market?’ Because if everything goes so quickly, why is this house sitting on the market, or they look at it and say, ‘If it’s priced higher than I think it should be, and it’s going to go high, I don’t even want to get involved.’ So, as a seller, you want to price your home where it’s going to bring in the quantity of buyers, that they’re actually going to come and look at it and then drive (the price) up.”
Of course, O’Brien says the price isn’t the only thing you should focus on when trying to attract buyers.
“You want to make your home presentable where a buyer can come in, and look at it, and say, ‘I can see myself living here.’ And ‘I’m not just going to come in here and have to do all this work, because I’m already going to overpay for it, and I don’t want to have to come in and then have to put in a bunch of extra money into it.”
Meaning, you may need to upgrade those floors or that kitchen, and don’t forget to depersonalize your home starting with family pictures.
“The buyers are going to gravitate toward those and say, ‘Oh do I know them? Did I go to school with them? Did my kids go to school with them?’ Camp, whatever, and they forget to look at the house,” said O’Brien.
It might feel like a lot of work to remove all your family pictures. O’Brien suggests, “If you don’t want to necessarily take down all of the frames and patch all the holes, maybe take the frames and take pictures that you print off of the internet, some landscapes or whatever, put those into the frames over your pictures.”
Staging is always a hot topic for sellers.
“If you are living in the home, (you can) stage the home with your own stuff. Depersonalizing it, staging it with your own stuff, your own belongings, and making it so someone can see themselves living in it, staging it to create the scene of how you live in that home because sometimes there are different sections of your home that may not scream what that section could be. For example, in my house, I have a landing between my second floor and third floor, and it could look like wasted space. I have it set up as my office. There’s a desk in that area. You could set it up as a reading nook, and people see that as usable space. Where someone that was looking for, I need a work from home space, if I didn’t have that set up, they could look at my home and say there’s no place where I could work from home here, but because I have that set up, that could work as a space for them.”
You can also use a professional staging company depending on your financial situation and needs. When offers come in, O’Brien says there are several contingencies to keep in mind. First, the appraisal. If a buyer needs a loan, and the house doesn’t appraise for their offer, the buyer must be able to come up with the cash to make-up the difference. Find out if the sale is contingent on the sale of another home. Also, find out if there is a home inspection contingency.
O’Brien says there are a lot of factors to finding the best deal for you, and it isn’t always necessarily the highest net.
Next week, starting on WAVY News 10 Today, we will share the best practices for buying a home in this market.