What are the most important things to get right when selling my home?
We've sold hundreds of homes, so you are asking the right website! Selling a house is really very simple, it boils down to doing 3 things right:
- Price the home fairly.
- Offering a fair commission to buyer agents on the MLS.
- Get pro photos.
Most sellers do maybe 1 of the above things correctly, if you do all 3, your house will sell for what it is worth. The property flipper professionals we work with NEARLY ALWAYS sell at their asking price because they do these things right. Let's dig into each of the above:
1. Price the home fairly
This is hands down the biggest issue in why your home isn't selling. In fact, it is easily the most common complaint amongst real estate agents - sellers usually think their home is worth more than it is. It can be difficult being a fair judge of the home value when you've created so many great memories and know all the work that went into the home.
When in doubt, we offer free comparable sales and free valuation reports. You can also get an impartial professional appraisal for a few hundred dollars. Note this is much different than asking a couple local agents what the house is worth (see below). Pricing too high = no offers, maybe a couple lowball. Pricing too low = lots of offers and possibly a bidding war.
Also note that foot traffic and the number of views on Zillow are not always an indication of being priced fairly. It comes down to the written offers that you actually receive.
But an agent told me they can get more than what I'm asking!
Yes, this is called "buying a listing". The agent will take the listing and the house will sit on the market, and eventually you will agree to lower the price to what the home is actually worth. The agent will use statements like "the market has cooled" to justify lowering the price, but at the end of the day the home was overpriced to begin with.
But the market is super hot here!
We get it, but having a hot market doesn't mean the high price is right. You can let it sit on the market until the prices catch up to where you are, but don't rely on a hot market as a valid justification for the price.
In fact, many agents will often price the homes they are selling under the market to generate interest and offers. Pricing too high = no offers. Pricing too low = lots of offers and a bidding war.
Note that under most listing agreements, you are required to pay a commission to the listing agent if you get an offer that matches the terms of the listing. The homecoin listing agreement DOES NOT require that you pay any commission if you reject an offer that matches your terms. Many MLSs do require that it is noted in the MLS if you reject a full-price offer.
2. Offering a fair commission to buyer agents on the MLS
The typical commission offered is 2.5%. On lower value homes (e.g < $300k, 3% becomes more common). When you are selling a home, you are competing for buyers with other homes that are for sale in the area. Nearly 90% of buyers use an agent. Those agents are only going to bring their buyers to homes where they can make a fair commission.
There is a big difference for a buyer agent making a commission of 1% vs 2.5%, and you can bet they will do everything they can to steer their buyer away from the 1% commission home and to the 2.5% commission homes. Keep in mind the agents also have to split the commission with their broker, so the amount they take home can be much less than what was offered in the MLS.
But I want to sell without paying any commissions at all!
We hear you, and that is what we want for you as well. The problem is that most buyers are not comfortable working without an agent. Nearly 90% of buyers use an agent. If you are comfortable only focusing on the 10% of buyers that don't use an agent, that is fine. But also ask yourself: if by offering a fair commission can you get a higher price from a buyer who has an agent than what you can get from an unrepresented buyer?
The homecoin listing agreement DOES NOT require that you accept an offer that matches your terms. So why not offer a fair commission and look at the offers that come in. The offer that nets you the most money is the one you go with, regardless of whether it came from an agent or from an unrepresented buyer.
To learn more about what the typical commission offer is for your asking price, see our help article here.
3. Get pro photos
Studies have shown pro photos will make you more money and help your home sell faster. If you believe what these studies say, it means you are losing money by taking your own photos. We want you to make the most money possible, and sometimes that means you have to spend money to make money.
But I have a really nice camera! Look at my photos!
The studies show us that pro photos pay for themselves.
I want to see some really bad real estate agent photos!
Glad you asked :) TerribleRealEstateAgentPhotos.com
Can I see some photo tips?