People sell their homes for a number of reasons. Upgrading, downsizing, relocating for a job, or moving closer to family are all motivations for selling your home in Meridian. Whatever reason is behind any decision to sell, the goals are always the same: sell the house quickly, do it with minimal inconvenience and expense and get top dollar for it. Want to know the secret for accomplishing all three? There is actually more than one factor. Understanding and implementing all of the elements that work together for a successful home sale creates an effective plan for selling your Meridian home for top dollar.
The Key to Selling Your Home in Meridian for Top Dollar
Although several factors affect how quickly your home sells and the price you get, professional Realtors agree that the most important one is pricing your house correctly. Many people mistakenly overprice their home in preparation for negotiation. They figure that no matter what price they list it at, buyers will submit lowball offers. The back and forth of negotiating will ensue and, when everyone ends up agreeing to a lower price than their original listed price, they think it to be close to the amount they really wanted.
This is a myth! The fact is that interest in a home is highest within the first couple of weeks of listing. If too many people pass on even looking at your home because it’s overpriced, you’ll lose out on potential buyers. They’ll move on to look at other properties that seem to be a better value. Plus, when overpricing causes a house to remain unsold, buyers get the idea that there may be something wrong with it and the home is perceived to have been rejected by the market. And even if your house draws some interest after a month on the market, potential buyers and real estate agents too, will wonder if you’re hiding something, if the house needs significant repairs, or if there’s something wrong with the location.
Alternatively, starting out with the right price stirs interest and even creates demand. With more buyers interested, you’ll get multiple offers, and the bids will be strong. Buyers who don’t want to miss out on a home they really love have been known to overbid, offering more than the listed price in an attempt to beat out competing bids. Of course, that’s an extreme example. The more likely but still beneficial scenario is that you’ll get your asking price, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The point is that not overpricing your home is more apt to get it sold quickly and for at least the asking price.
Setting That Price
OK, you shouldn’t overprice your home, but it’s not a good strategy to set the price at what you feel you need, either. So, how do you arrive at that magic number for selling your home in Meridian? The answer is to do some homework. Regardless of what you think your house is worth, what you want to be paid for it, or even what you need to get out of the sale, the only price that matters is what others will pay for it—and that’s the best price to put on your home. You need to find out what houses like yours in the area are selling for. Find prices on recently sold homes, too. Attend a few open houses to get a feel for the competition and to get some ideas for your own open house. It’s all time well-spent that will help with swiftly selling your home in Meridian. Most importantly make sure that the agent you choose has a lot of experience so you can trust the opinion of value that they arrive at. Make sure they give you a fully documented Market Analysis with recent comparable sales, pictures and adjustments to prove to you why they think the market value they are suggesting is substantiated. Each market analysis should include one comparable that is clearly inferior and one that clearly superior to define the low and high in the value range and one that is most similar to your property.
Work Your Way In
Once you’ve decided on the price you’ll be selling your Meridian home for the next step is to get your house ready to be seen. Depending on the current time of the year the best advice here is to start on the outside and work your way in. Many homeowners spend all their time upgrading, repairing, and decorating the inside of their house, but NerdWallet reminds sellers that the yard and outside of the house are what give potential buyers their first impression. If it’s not a good one, they’re not likely to waste their time seeing what’s on the inside. How a home is cared for outside is a reflection of its condition inside and is generally correct. Mow the lawn, plant some nice bushes or have the existing ones professionally trimmed. Power-wash the siding or brick and paint the front door and trim, install a new mailbox, and get a sparkly new light fixture for the porch and maybe a new front door. Don’t stress over the nickels and dimes these small improvements cost. Investing in curb appeal typically receives a 100+ percent return.
As for the inside of the house, cleaning it up goes without saying, and the time to hire a professional cleaning service, if there ever was one, is when you’re selling your home in Meridian. Professional cleaners won’t forget the items that tend to be out-of-sight-out-of-mind for a harried homeowner who has a million things to do, such as dusting the tops of ceiling fan blades. You can definitely do your part, though, by decluttering. Begin with starting the moving process and packing up all your non-essentials. Doing so will de-personalize the house, allowing potential buyers to be able to see it as their own, an important element when selling a home. Plus, it will open up the rooms, so they look lived in and comfortable without being crammed full of knick-knacks, family photos, and the trophy moose head you got on a hunting trip a few years back. Other low-cost tasks that will help you sell your home for top dollar include:
- a fresh coat of paint—not necessarily in every room, but at least in the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms and usually the baseboards and door jambs, if painted will need a new coat.
- upgrading light fixtures—throughout the house or just the oldest, more dated ones
- cleaning out closets and storage spaces—not entirely, though. Well organized, half-filled closets and cupboards give the impression of scads of storage space
- replacing cracked, broken, or missing switch plates and outlet covers
They’re simple steps, but every one of them contributes to making your house look attractive to homebuyers. Collectively, they’ll produce that “wow” factor that sets your house apart from the rest.
Upgrades and Improvements That Sell
It’s not often that a homeowner can sell a house without making some improvements, but you don’t necessarily have to undertake a major remodeling project. Actually, unless you’re increasing the square footage by adding another bathroom, bedroom, or enlarging the kitchen, you’re not likely to recoup the money you put into most major home improvements anyway. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t replace the roof or the furnace if they need to be, or update severely outdated wiring and plumbing. Those are issues that the home inspector will call out anyway, so it’s a good idea to address them before you even put your house on the market. The point is, only invest in big-ticket improvements if necessary. Sometimes addressing these items beforehand will keep your buyer contract intact after the home inspection as sometimes buyers will be scared off if too much deferred maintenance in uncovered.
Other than the low-cost, smaller tasks listed in the previous section, improvements to the kitchen are typically well worth the money and the effort. It’s the one room that’s most likely to help you get top dollar when selling your home in Meridian, so you won’t be sorry if you give it some extra attention. Before you knock out walls and replace the flooring and countertops, however, take a step back and try to see the kitchen through the buyers’ eyes. If it’s a pleasant, comfortable and functional space, fresh paint and new hardware and fixtures might be all that’s needed. Do replace older appliances, though, as well as work surfaces and floors if they’re dated or damaged. But before you do this, get the opinion of a trusted real estate agent.
Go High-Tech With Your Listing
Technology is a game-changer when it comes to selling your home in Meridian. It is estimated that around 90 percent of home buyers start looking for a house online, so it’s logical to make the most of high-tech tools. Start with getting quality digital pictures of your home, inside and out. Many people enlist a professional photographer to capture shots of their house. If you compare a series of pictures taken by an amateur to a portfolio put together by a pro, you’ll immediately see the difference. Those images can go into brochures as well as getting posted online on Realtors’ websites, the MLS, and various real estate sites such as Trulia and Zillow. Pro tip: home listings don’t automatically show up on those homes-for-sale sites, according to investment guru Jack Groot. You’ll need to post it yourself in those locations or have your real estate agent do it.
In addition to top-quality pictures, video a walk-through of your house including the yard and even part of the neighborhood. You can post the video on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and all the other social media platforms you belong to. Start by sharing it with your friends and followers. Even if they aren’t looking for a house, they can share it, and the word will start spreading. With as many eyes as possible seeing your house, traffic and interest in your home increases and you’re more likely to get top dollar when it sells.
Don’t Try To Go It Alone
All of this information is advice that any good Realtor will give you, but just because you have the inside scoop on the secret to selling your home in Meridian for top dollar, that doesn’t mean you should try to do it on your own. Statistics show that houses listed with a real estate agent sell more quickly and for more money than homes that are for-sale-by-owner. A professional real estate agent’s job day in and day out is to sell houses, and he provides numerous invaluable services and has the experience to help you avoid many pitfalls and potential liability issues.
If you are considering selling your home in Meridian, Idaho, give Jeff Stewart, Broker at Stewart Realty a call. He knows the housing market in Meridian and understands all the requirements and legalities you will need to navigate. With Jeff on your side, your home’s exposure will be immensely increased, and you’ll have the benefit of his expert negotiation skills. He knows the optimal way to market your house and because of his real estate appraisal experience he can help you price your home just right so that it sells quickly—and for top dollar.
Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner, Stewart Realty, LLC,
Direct: 208-602-1993, Office: 208-887-5445