Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Set the Stage for a Home Sale in a Buyer’s Market

Before the curtain is raised and the action starts with the first showing, the stage is set for the perfect home sale. Sure the market has changed but you want or need to sell your home! After reviewing websites all winter for the best of the best agent, you have called in the expert. The Realtor has reviewed the comps..actives, solds and expireds…and explained the perfect price point. A condition was noted: Get the home in picture perfect condition.

Here is where the storyline can change: Sellers chose to either embrace the suggestions of the Realtor or balk make excuses. Who will get a SOLD sign on their home first?

There is no magic to this market…Sellers MUST have their home prepared and set the stage for the sale. Homes are selling
every day in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. And contrary to public opinion, price isn’t everything…Condition and preparation are essential pieces of the puzzle that get that SOLD sign in the yard!

In the past few weeks I have done several pre-listing market analysis plans for potential sellers across Anoka County. Some were home owners who tried to sell their homes last year with a different agent and failed. Others were ready to make their move in this year’s spring market. All were left with my analysis and checklist of what would need to be done to get their home SOLD. Pricing was the easy part...Preparing takes time.

Last year my listing to sales ratio was 100%.

Yep…I sold every home that I listed last year. Half of the homes were relists…homes other agents could not get sold. Many of these sellers were not properly prepared the first time.

My first step in working with a seller is a pre-listing consultation at the client’s home. If they have been listed previously, I have the MLS information and photos from the previous agent. Throughout the visit, I share with the potential sellers, tips and ideas on what is working and what is not from a buyer’s point of view. I arm the home owners with a laundry list of things to do to set the stage for a sale.

If a home owner doesn’t want to do what I suggest, I won’t take the listing. I don’t want to waste a seller’s time or hurt my reputation. Most sellers do want their homes SOLD... so they listen intently, take pages of notes and we get the job done together!
Reasons Homes Don’t Sell
Inventory—Yes, there is a lot of inventory out there! If you decide to put your home on the market you will have a ton of high quality competition and you will need to take these homes into consideration. Depending on a buyer’s criteria for a home, there can be literally hundreds of homes for them to consider.
How do you make your home stand out from the pack?
Price—Some properties will be priced lower for the square footage as there are many bank owned and distressed properties out in the market place. This can work to a seller’s advantage. Many buyers don’t have the stomach to deal with the problems and risk of buying a distressed home. Pricing a home to reflect the competition is essential. Your home doesn't have to be the cheapest home on the market to sell but
it must appear to be a great deal!
Online Photos—There is a statistic being tossed around that estimates 80% of home buyers start their internet search online. In my opinion this is low. I would guess it to be more in the range of 90-95% of home buyers start the buying process online. Whatever the percentage, serious home buyers are scouring the internet and marking their favorites…from the PHOTOS! A bad photo will stop a buyer from viewing your home.

Staging—Some home owners just do not want to do the work to get ready. After visiting with a relisting client, their get ready for market“to-do” list can be just as long as a first time seller. I explain what needs to be done and why. Clean. Paint. Remove and pack belongings. Consult with a professional stager. These things must be done or the photos will look terrible. Since the internet photos are the core of today's successful marketing plan, it pays to do it right from the get go.

Exterior—Don’t ignore the entrance to your home! Add flowers…A wreath…A cute welcome sign…Dress up the entrance,trim back the foliage and clean up the driveway. Store the boat and camper in another location. Let me have a clean, clear, awesome shot of your home for that main internet picture!


Featured Listing in Ham Lake, MN:
15139 E Vermillion Circle NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304


Ready to set the stage to sell YOUR Twin Cities home and need help from a professional Realtor? Give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2008 Teri Eckholm