The sellers top five list is a check list for being successful in selling a home. In the marketplace, we often see homes that are not ready to be sold. Here are some ideas to assure a positive selling experience:
1) Know the market. Did you know that even in La Plata County, there are vastly different markets, with huge differences in supply and demand. Some of these markets are dependent on price ranges, and, of course, the location makes a big difference.
The National Association of Realtors provides information about the market and how to judge if it is a balanced market, a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market. If the inventory level is in the range of five to seven months, it is considered a balanced market. If there is more than seven months of inventory, it is considered a buyers’ market, and if there is less than five months of inventory, it is considered a sellers’ market.
2) Price it right. This takes good information and good judgment. In our area, pricing is much more difficult than in most large cities, because most of the homes in La Plata County have been individually built. In larger cities, homes typically are built in similar sizes and similar finishes. It is for this reason that Zillow estimates are not as accurate here. Good comparables need to be similar in location, nearly the same size and approximately the same age and finish. This is one of the areas where judgment is very important.
3) Have your home ready to sell. The first step is thorough cleaning. Second, make all those small repairs that you have put off. Third, paint where needed, and paint to add appeal. Painting provides the most bang for the buck. Increase the lighting in the home with higher wattage bulbs and open the window coverings for the most light. Remove clutter and arrange rooms to their full advantage.
4) Consider having your home pre-inspected and radon tested. Most of the failed contracts between buyers and sellers occur because of inspection issues, and many of those issues are not visible to the common person. Pre-inspecting allows the seller to address major issues prior to the stress and timing requirements of a contract.
The other hidden item in older homes is the sewer line, and you may want to have it scoped.
Most of the inspection issues can be mitigated and taken care of in advance. Often times, sellers save money on inspection issues when they have more time and can adequately bid for repairs. After the major and minor inspection issues are repaired, the inspector can return and update the report.
5) Be prepared to show the property on short notice. It is OK to request overnight notice, but often, sellers will lose a showing if they can’t meet the buyer’s schedule. Keeping a home ready to show on a daily basis is a huge commitment, but it makes it easier to schedule showings, and it can be less work than waiting for a request to show.
Don Ricedorff is a Realtor at The Wells Group in Durango, and a past president of the Durango Area Association of Realtors. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org