Written by: Michael Lee Simpson
It’s that time. The holidays have come and gone and now you ( or at least some people) are making efforts to fulfill their new year’s resolutions. Maybe you are planning to quit smoking, buying a new car or getting better job. Maybe your list includes spending more time with your kids or finishing a book you haven’t picked back up in years. The big one, though, for may individuals this new year will to sell their home. Once you’ve made a solid decision and built up the courage to put up a For Sale sign in your yard, what do you need to do next?
“The best thing a homeowner can do before putting their home on the market is to apply a fresh coat of paint inside and out,” says Ellen Perrone, agent and owner of Legacy and Realty & Associates. If an owner is trying to sell their house on thier own, Perrone recommends using free websites to advertise. Good ones include ForSaleByOwner.com, Craigslist, Ocala4Sale.com and even Facebook.
Audry Don Silverson, an Ocala local, used facebook to try and sell her home. In a group called Ocala Homes For Sale, she posted, “It’s official. We are selling our historical house, cottage style, built in 1918, located in SE Ocala, near down town, both hospitals and most desired schools. It is completely redone with an open concept. It is a 2 B, 1 1/2 bath on 1/4 acre prop.” Silverson’s listing went on with more detail.
Finding [another house] to move in to is a challenge,” says Silverson. “There is a lot of junk out there.”The couple has done this before – selling by owner. They believe in trying to keep the price reasonable.
For sellers looking to hire an agent, here are some basic steps to take in an effort to successfully sell a home.
“Hire a realtor who is active in your community and who knows the local market,” says Dennis Garmon, Sales Associate of Charles Rutenberg Realty. “Review the marketing program with a realtor, which will give your home maximum exposure on the internet where most buyers begin their search.”
“Several factors, including market conditions and interest rates, will determine how much you can get for your home,” says Garmon. “In other words, home selling is part art, part science, part marketing and part negotiation.” Garmon suggests reviewing comparable sales in the area and not over pricing your listing. Over pricing a home limits the number of views by potential buyers. The longer your home is on the market, the less attractive it becomes.
“Your house may already be attractive, well-located and in pretty good shape … or then again, maybe it could use a little help,” says Alexandra Hammond of Keller Williams Advantage II Realty “In either case, if you want to increase the chance of your home becoming the center of a bidding war, or sell faster than you may have expected, here are three quick tips for perking up your home -and potential home buyers!”
First, staging your home is very important. “Listen to your realtor,” says Garmon. Refresh your home to reflect the model homes listed in the new construction market. A sale begins at the curb with fresh mulch, trimmed hedges, freshly mowed grass and flowers which create appeal and invite the buyers into your home.
De-cluttering is also very important. too Start by removing personal family pictures, diplomas and other items which distract the buyer attention. Counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms should be clutter free. Closets and cabinets should be organized to show maximum storage space. Clean homes sell much faster and can deliver a higher price. Upon contract your home will be professionally inspected. Prior to marketing your home, take care of the known repairs needed.”
“Paint and finish kitchen cabinets. Spiff up your floor. Dress up your yard,” says Hammond. “After those things are completed it is in the real estate agent’s hands to market the heck out of your property until you have back to back showing appointments for days on end and finally receive an offer.”
“Make your home readily available for all realtors to show. Discuss with your realtor the showing options and multi-lock access, says Dennis. “If you insist on being home when it is being shown or Open House Events, stay in the background. Many deals have been dissolved when buyers and sellers begin to discuss the price and product. Let the realtors negotiate the pricing and offer situations. For buyers, pre-qualification is essential, know how much money you qualify to borrow and be comfortable with your monthly payment range. Always take into consideration you may be approved for a certain amount of money, but is it realistic for your lifestyle. Consider repairs which should be in your budget plan. A home today could be thousands of dollars in replacement costs in the future, be prepared. Home inspections are very important. No one wants to buy a home to find out in the quick future they need serious repairs A good inspector can find flaws in brand new construction which were overlooked by the contractor, so why would you not invest the monies on a previous owned properties? Many times the seller will offer a Home Warranty which delivers peace of mind and budget.”
“Your house may already be attractive, well-located and in pretty good shape … or then again, maybe it could use a little help,” says Alexandra Hammond of Keller Williams Advantage II Realty. “In either case, if you want to increase the chance of your home becoming the center of a bidding war, or selling faster than you may have expected, here are three quick tips for perking up your home — and potential home buyers!”
“When I moved, I moved where I thought was the best school district for my kids and safest neighborhood,” says Nancy Hamilton. “Also, close to work. You always gain when you plan for safety.”
“Find a realtor who has a successful tract record and knows the community which you want to purchase,” says Dennis. “Your realtor will keep you up to date on a daily basis with new listings on the market and the properties which are under contract. All of which will help you determine a fair price of the home.”
“My role as a realtor comes in because most of the time, the owner gets frustrated in trying to sell on their own,” says Perrone. ”I act as an ‘consultant’ in the process. My first job is to price the property effectively to sell. My mission is to get the homeowner the highest price in the shortest amount of time. I do this by doing extensive research to see what other homes in their neighborhood have sold for. Also once we place the home on the market, all buyer’s are ‘pre-qualified’ before showing the property. This way we know that the buyer can afford to purchase the home they are looking at and we are not wasting the owner’s time. As a realtor, a lot of the buyers we work with are from out of town. I help them with where to go for doctors, dentists, the best places to shop and even where to get their hair done. Realtors do more than show homes. We build friendships, life long relationships and help make people part of our awesome community that we live in.”
“A day in the life of a real estate agent is not as glamorous as one may think, says Hammond. “When putting together a transaction you have to put all your efforts into making all sides happy. You become the referee between buyers and sellers. You have to play Reality Goddess because buyers and sellers may have unrealistic exceptions. Surprisingly that was the easy part, then comes the appraisal and inspection reports which can stop the sale of the home in its tracks. At the end of the day, the satisfaction comes from helping families solve a problem and putting them on a forward track in their life.”
“I’ve been in the real estate business for twenty-five years here in Ocala so I know the market and have been through the ups and downs,” says Perrone. “For that special touch, paint the front door a color that pops. Be sure to pick a color that is not the same as your garage door or trim. Then spruce up your front yard with large flowered potted plants and mulch. Good curb appeal and first impressions is sure to bring you top dollar. Now you’re ready. Lights, camera, sold!”