Selling a house begs the question: For how much? The asking price is one of the key questions when I determine if I should buy a property. But let me clear something up that you wont find on many ‘real estate blogs’… The asking price is essential in our purchase agreement but is is not thee most crucial element. Unlike Realtors and FSBO, I can also work with a homeowners terms of sale.
TERMS OF SALE - how and when the seller receives, and the buyer pays for, the agreed purchase price.
Contrary to popular belief, I often pay full market value for a property because the seller is flexible with the terms of sale. Case in point: a rental house I bought from a tired Landlord who said “I don’t care how or when I get the mortgage paid off- I just don’t want a foreclose I my credit.”
The Landlord had a loan the house for $30k and it is worth $30k – when the sun was shinning just right and the the tenants were not drinking beer on the front porch (at breakfast at 10 am).
Because the loan was fixed at a good rate I offered to take over the all tax, insurance and mortgage payments, manage the property and non-paying tenants and do the repairs and sell it retail or offer it as a rent-to-own house. I basically took over the property and problems from the Landlord (who already made his money on the past rents). I don’t want to say ‘assumed’ the loan because the loan stayed in the Landlord’s name.
How do I Find a Fair Price
Pricing a house takes some footwork and someone not familiar with what to look for can easily get frustrated. First we need to compare your house to similar properties in the market that have sold within the last 6 months. Look for actual sold and closed deals- not unsold asking price – anybody can ask for anything, its what a buyer and banker is willing to pay and lend that matters here.
After going through a good amount of recent sales information you’ll be able to establish a range of value and will feel more confident formulating an educated opinion. Now you have a handle on getting an idea of a reasonable asking price.
But, of course, the buyer making the offer holds the most important opinion. To get a better understanding of what he or she might want, try putting yourself in his or her shoes and ask yourself some simple questions.
- What properties sold recently, and what did they sell for?
- How do those values compare with those of your house?
- What are the other properties for sale in the area?
- How long have those properties been on the market?
- And what properties did not sell – and why?
I often advise homeowner to sell a house as quickly as possible because the longer a house sits on the market, the less money it will yield. This means that there’s less of a risk in pricing your house below competition than pricing it too high. A house priced below competition will generate multiple offers that will drive up the price to market value, but an overpriced house will sit on the market indefinitely.
Pricing your house to sell fast can save you time, money and stress.
Pricing your house is important so make sure to take your time and weigh all your options before making decisions – it could cost you more time and money than you expected if you hold out for that elusive ‘big fish’ of a buyer to come along.
What Retail Home Buyers Are Looking For
If you plan to sell to a retail buyer – someone who will live in the property instead of me, an investor who will flip it or rent it, you’ll have to get the house into the ideal state. Here are the things retail buyers look for and you should focus on most:
THE HOUSES MECHANICALS
If a retail buyer needs to get a mortgage the houses mechanicals is the issue that will kill the mortgage approval first. It will probably be the retail buyers agent, home inspector or lender who will require that the house’s mechanical infrastructure is 100% intact. The most basic things are water, electricity, and heating. Every single house has an infrastructure, but retail buyers tend to be very picky these days. When selling to retail buyers, everything needs to be in a perfect state – retail buyers do not want a house that needs a new heating system in the near future.
Patio might not be the most important feature for many buyers, but it is a feature that has a huge influence on the buyer’s first impressions and we all know how important that factor might turn out to be. Someone who will have to walk through a patio that is in a state of disrepair is surely not going to regard the entire property very highly. On the other hand, a well-designed patio with seasonal decorations that is kept in a good state might have the opposite effect on the potential buyer, so make sure that your patio is indeed going to start the inspection on a high note.
When it comes to exterior features, roof is one of those things that stand out the most and any deficiencies in that department are going to be noticed by everyone who will want to take an in-depth look at the property. This is especially true in locations that experience their fair share of bad weather and where it is a really good idea to have a roof of the best possible quality. You might not be willing to invest into a complete renovation, but you should undoubtedly fix the most obvious problems in order to make your house more attractive.
The layout is what is going to hit the buyers straight away. Changing the layout is an incredibly tough task and, unfortunately, you will have to pitch your layout a little bit if it isn’t designed according to the current trends and tendencies. One of the things that modern families like to have is shared space between the living room and the kitchen. You are obviously not going to change the entire layout just because you have the two rooms separate from each other, but you should know how to convince the buyer that this is no issue at all if the topic comes up during the inspection.
If your price your house to sell fast I am happy to provide you with full details of how to sell your house without commissions, home showings or the the extra fees and costs of traditional real estate sales. For a FREE valuation complete the form below