We have a low inventory market here in Central Ohio. This should mean your home will sell fast–and at a lofty price. This thinking can lead to a major disappointment. Lenders are still in the hot seat from our last housing melt down, appraisals are conservative (and your home must appraise for the price a buyer agrees to), buyers are savvy with their own buyers' agents and they have lots of online tools to help them compare and decide on what your home is worth.....and the new Frank Dodd lending guidelines (see last post) have tightened up the buyer pool. 
Don’t worry! You can still have a very successful home sale with some smart tips. Here are four tips for before your home hits the market.

1. Staging matters, prepare well.

The old adage is true... “Homes that don’t show well don’t close well.”  Buyers want to see what is for sale. The house! One that is de-cluttered of personal items, and each space arranged to best show off the potential for them. They are not buying your belongings, but the dwelling to make their own memories. I often take my clients to see competing listings and to model homes. This gives us an idea of what we are competing against and we can great ideas on what the hot trends are in home design. Builders know the art and science of selling, so borrow their ideas. Jan and I also have a variety of home stagers that we use to really get your home in the best showing condition possible! Ask me more about this!

2. The market sets the price, so price it right. 

It’s understandable that sentimental value often translates into an inflated sense of the home’s worth,  but when it comes price, the winning opinion is always the market’s opinion. Carefully review comparables of active homes for sale, those in-contract and those sold in the last 6 months. Jan and I prepare a market analysis for you and we review with you, in your home, discussing key factors that affect your price (location, condition, amenities, etc.). With our detailed analysis we make it easy for you to see the market value of your home, and we'll share how we will get your the most exposure for your home to find your buyer, and have a winning sales strategy.  

3. Small renovations help you sell and help maintain the best possible price, so put your best foot forward.

In many cases, the cost of a home repair is less expensive than a potential buyer perceives the cost of the repair to be. Buyers often over estimate the cost of fixing problems, negatively impacting the offer amount, or causing them to choose one of your competitor's homes,  causing it to take longer to sell and costing you more in the long run. Jan and I will review you home and help point out blemishes that could cost you time and money.

4. Serious buyers never stop the hunt, so list if you want to sell.

Too many sellers see the winter months as the slow season. The reality is there are plenty of upsides to listing and marketing a home in any season. The primary two are less inventory and serious buyers. Most life events that trigger a move don't coincide with one spring selling season. So don't limit yourself to only selling in the spring. And the spring gives us more looky-loos (what I call people not serious about buying a home) too that have cabin fever!

Most homes are sold before you list by starting with the best pricing strategy and by putting your best foot forward (staged well and having a well-cared for home).

My promise to my clients: I try to always remember what it is like to walk into this incredibly complex world of buying and selling with little or no knowledge of how the process works. I know that behind the door of your home and in your life there is much more going on than just your real estate transaction. I work with each person, not the house, and with the whole person, not just the issues surrounding the transaction. When I attempt to put myself in your shoes and contemplate what you are dealing with I am most effective.
The Benadum & Bumpus Team

Amy Bumpus

Straight Talk—Always