Thursday, January 8, 2009

NORTHWEST AUSTIN HOMES: Six Easy steps to selling your Home in 2009

SELL YOUR NORTHWEST AUSTIN HOME IN SIX EASY STEPS: With all of the national news about Real Estate and the economy, home owners in Austin are not feeling comfortable with the thought of puting their home on the market for sale. Well, in case you haven't heard: Northwest Austin Homes are selling! Not all of them, but the ones that have done a little preparation have a much better chance and they are selling. What kind of preparation needs to be done? Put a sign in the yard? Clean the kitchen? Yes, but I am talking about things that must be done before a potential home seller even gets to that point. The name of the game in today's market is competition. Sellers are competing with other homes in the area to attract the serious buyers that are out there looking at homes (even as you read this sentence). How can a seller make their home stand out in a buyers market? Here are six easy steps for the home owner thinking of selling their home.

1. Work with an experienced professional
2. The Price is Right
3. Stage it!
4. Be Pro-active
5. Be Patient
6. Be a leader amongst the competition


-Work with a REALTOR that is experienced in your area: I put this first because working with a professional makes the following five steps so much easier. These days all it takes to be a "Neighborhood Expert" is to go to ABOR and buy a sign rider for a few dollars. Does that count? No. I am refering to someone that has a vested interest in helping you to sell your home for all that it is worth in the least amount of time. Ok great.... How does a home owner pick the right person? Interview them... When I go to meet a home seller for the first time, I have already done my homework. I constantly go in as many of the homes in my market that I possibly can. When I am looking at comparable properties, I go inside the homes to see what they really look like. The internet is full of lies and the pictures in the MLS are hardly accurate. By seeing as many homes as I can while they are on the market, if they later sell and become a comp for a potential listing a few months later, I have experienced that home as well and can share my knowledge with the home owner.


-Price it right: On average, homes in NW Austin are selling for 97-98% of their list price. This, however, is the list price that the home was at when it SOLD. In today's market a seller can not price a home to have "room for negotiation." Price it where you would like to end up selling and be a shrewd negotiator. You don't have to accept any offer that is not good enough. It is easier to turn down offers than it is to wonder where the buyers are. I work with home sellers to keep them updated on market and area trends throughout the process so we dont spend any time being overpriced.


-Stage it: There are many different versions of staging. If you watch shows on HGTV or other cable networks, staging means bringing in leased furniture, wall art, and sculptures. That is not what I am talking about. Most issues having to do with staging are minor and can be addressed with the items that are already found in the home. Moving or removing furniture pieces allows a potential buyer better access to the real size of rooms. Taking down personal items and photos helps to give the home a more neutral feel, allowing the buyer to picture themselves living there.


-Be pro-active with repairs: This one goes along with staging. Buyers are now pickier than ever. They would like to see all of the homes in an area befor deciding which to put an offer on. Make your home stand out by not giving the buyer anything negative to say about it. The competition has plenty of negatives. If there is something that needs to be repaired, do it before puting your home on the market. I work with homeowners as much as six months to a year before listing their home. When I walk through the home, I make a list or suggested repairs and treatments that can be done to better appeal to a buyer. The sellers that have made those repairs before going on the market have reaped the benefits of a quicker sale for more money!


-Be patient: This one is important! The mindset of all parties involved is what can make or break a deal these days. A home seller must be patient. Homes are taking longer to sell because there are less qualified buyers out there. Showings are not as abundant as previous years which makes it that much more essential that the home be at its peak showing condition. This is much harder if you are living in the home while it is on the market. Selling your home is more like a marathon than a foot race. It takes preparation, determination, and the right mindset to get through it. I try to help my clients through the process by getting feedback from every agent that shows one of my listings and updating the sellers on any items that may need to be addressed.


-Stay ahead of the market: This is critical in a shifting market. If you are selling your home, you can stay ahead of the market by having your home looking right, priced right, available for showings and have a competent professional working to market the home on your behalf. Price and marketing work to get the buyer interested. Then pictures, virtual tours, pre-marketing such as a "coming soon" sign in the yard or postcards to area homes, and single property websites such as http://www.flashpancove.com/ help to peak their interest. Finally, the home being staged and available when the buyer would like to see it seals the deal.


If you or someone you know is thinking about selling a home, contact me and I will gladly meet with you to work out a strategy to sell your home for all that it is worth in the least amount of time.


Posted by Brian W Martin REALTOR for The Pinnacle Group of Keller Williams who likes to think of creative ways to sell your house in Northwest Austin, TX

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