When I started in the real estate business almost 20 years ago, we stuck a sign in the yard, took a picture of the front of the house, entered the information in Multi-List and waited for a phone call. We all kept keys in our offices back then so Realtors would run around all over town picking up keys to show houses (and yes, at the end of the day we would have to return all keys). Thank goodness for lock boxes!
Just a few years ago, sellers were so desperately wanting the buyer to choose their home that they would offer incentives to the buyer. I have to tell you...a 50 inch TV or a 4-day trip to some warm tropical island made a potential buyer at least try to like the house! As great as this "incentive idea" sounded, it didn't work. TV sets and vacations did not sell houses.
Today's buyer is educated and doesn't buy into incentives; it's strictly about the house. They shop the Internet constantly and compare your house to all the others on the market. If they don't like what they see, they don't make an appointment. So Mr. and Mrs. Seller, you have to step up to the plate if you want your house sold before your neighbors. Yesterday's pricing is gone just like yesterday's decorating is gone. Here are a few things for you to do before you list your house.
1. Price it right.
2. Offer to pay some of the buyer's closing cost.
3. Warm up to social media, it's here to stay.
4. Make sure your house makes a good first impression.
5. Curb appeal matters. Spend a little money on fresh paint, mulch, plants and flowers.
6. Inside must look fresh, so make sure the paint and carpeting, light fixtures and appliances are updated and CLEAN.
7. De-clutter. Pack up 1/3 to 2/3 of your "stuff."
8. Be patient. Statistics say it takes 21 showings, not including open houses traffic to sell a house (RISMedia 7/2010).