What sells a house


By Carla Hill

Elaine Quigley, CRS, GRI

In today's market, many sellers want to know the secret to selling their homes quickly. They want to know ways to hold on to the equity they’ve build over the past decade. Unfortunately, there is no golden equation that equals the perfect sale. Yet, while there is no “sure thing” in the housing market these days, there are certain factors that affect how quickly and for how much your home sells.

Here are the top 10. Consider how these apply to your own home and how that affects marketing, as well as what aspects of your home you should “play up” to elicit a better response from buyers.

1. Price: It's a common misconception that location is the leading factor of whether or not a home sells. It is, instead, price. Think about this scenario. You have a home located in a prestigious and sought-after neighborhood, yet the list price is tens of thousand of dollars over the comps for the area. No one will be interested. This same property priced just below the competition will fly off the market.

2. Location: Okay, location is still important. A home that sits next to a refinery, crime-ridden neighborhood, or busy street is less desirable than one that backs up to green space. If your home has an excellent location, then by all means boast about it in your marketing.

3. Liveability: This is fast becoming a hot button word in real estate. Buyers today are looking for neighborhoods that deliver amenities such as golf parks, restaurants, theaters. They want good schools, walkable neighborhoods, and plenty of things to keep them entertained.

4. Condition: There is a certain segment of the market that is made up of renovators, flippers, and investors. You won’t find as many people these days eager to buy your run-down property that is in a good location. They simply can’t sell the property fast enough before monthly mortgage payments begin eating up their profit. Homes that are well-maintained or in move-in ready condition appeal to a broader range of buyers. Even simple fixes, such as new paint, cleaned carpets, or power-washed decks, can have an effect.

5. Competitive Advantage: Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’re in this race alone. Past area sales, as well as current listings and foreclosures, are your direct competition. You must take these into consideration when settling on a list price for your home. What amenities and upgrades do these homes have? Do the homes in your neighborhood all have updated baths, kitchens, or landscaped yards? In order to price in line with them you must be able to boast these same things.

6. Curb Appeal: Curb appeal is the first impression of the home world. You must keep the yard orderly and maintained when your home is on the market.

7. Staging: Once inside your home, a buyer must be wowed. Intoxicate their senses. They want to see up-to-date furnishings, smell a clean home, touch cabinets that are in good repair, hear peace and quiet, and of course “taste the good life.”

8. Kitchens: A kitchen sells a house. It is where families gather and connect. Minor kitchen remodels rank high among the list of top remodeling projects, with owners updating cabinets, counters, and floors. Nobody wants an outdated kitchen. What fixes are in your budget? If your kitchen is already spectacular, be sure you play this up in any marketing.

9. Agents: An accomplished, knowledgeable agent can be your biggest ally during the selling process. They know the latest market trends and have built a network of agents and contacts to market your home to. With an arsenal of marketing tools available to agents today, from video tours and webcasts to brochures, websites, and MLS listings, they are part of your selling team.

10. Marketing: Marketing has gone global. With the power of the Internet, you can showcase your home to millions of potential buyers. Sit down with your agent and develop a solid marketing plan. This is why you are paying them a commission. Make them earn it!

The market is not what it once was. You must be realistic about what selling in today's market means. You value your home, but it may not be “worth” as much today as it was yesterday, last month, or last year. Consider these top 10 ways a home sells and help your home put its best face forward.

Need expert advise in today's market? Let my extensive knowledge, excellent communication and top negotiating skills work for you. I have a long list of satisfied clients spanning 27 years and many types of market conditions. Call me at 1-508-366-3766 or visit me at my office downtown at the Rotary.