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When selling your home, you have to make a huge shift in your mindset. This home you have lived in now becomes a house. The difference is huge, mentally, and must be understood. A home has so many emotional connotations that keep us in an emotional state. The memories, the events that happened while living there all come to the surface and the thought of moving on can make the memories that much more vivid.

But in selling a house, we absolutely must dispense of the emotions. We must let go. It now becomes a business transaction, and it must be looked at from every angle as such. Pretend you are a business person selling an object. How would you approach it?

As as salesperson, you would want to see what the market would bear, what Mr. or Mrs. Consumer would pay for such an item. After all, we know that any object, large or small, has a limit as to what a consumer will pay.

We must present your house in the best light possible. Surely we would not present an item for sale that was broken, dirty and ugly, hoping that the consumer would just love to buy it, clean it and fix it. Well, maybe. If it were free, or dirt cheap. Your house is no different. Is your house in need of repairs?  Do you have a nice clean house? Do you want to sell it dirt cheap?

Consumers today have a choice of hundreds of available homes. And with prices at an all time low, they can get about anything they want in the price range they are seeking to stay within. Doing an evaluation of the houses selling here in Henderson County, I can tell you that the ones that are selling are the ones that are clean and well maintained. Those that are ‘broken’ sit on the market. This is a fact.

What you see

How badly do you want to sell your home? Take a look around. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your home in good working order. Replacing a cracked switch plate can be done for a mere .35 cents. Replacing light bulbs to make the home look bright? Under $10. That faded vinyl floor? A scrubbing and a coat of wax, under $10. Older carpet? Rent a shampoo machine and with a days work, under $50 can make the carpet look new again. Cleaning out the gutters and trimming bushes, keeping the yard mowed and tidy, just the gas expense to mow. For under $100 there are multiple things that can be done to a house to ‘spruce it up’. After working with many buyers, I have heard it all in commentary. When a buyer sees a lot of little things that need repair, they start to have huge concerns about the bigger things. Like was the heater filter changed out regularly? Are the kitchen cabinets dirty? Is the yard full of pet remains? If they pull  out the heater filter and see filth, that means that the heater has been overworked and will need replacing sooner. If the windows are smudged and the cabinets dirty, what will they think? Think about all of those little things.

What your buyer sees

Price it to sell it. No matter what you paid for the house, and no matter what you have done to improve it, the only thing that matters in today’s market is what it is actually worth. Yes, I will say it, today you will loose money selling your home. Values have dropped so much that homes are at 2004 values. This is something that has to be accepted and dealt with. You must be absolutely dead on in pricing your home at it’s real value, not the value you paid. And discard any notion that you can get back any money at all in repairs and upkeep let alone upgrades. Not understanding and accepting this notion will cost you even more in a sales price when it does sell. The longer a house sits in the market the more likely it is that it will develop a stigma, or you will be perceived as a non-negotiator, or worse, unrealistic.

Looking at this from a business standpoint, you must give your home up as accessible to any buyer that may want to see it. Can a buyer buy a product if they can’t see it, and spend time making this huge decision so that they may move forward in a reasonable manner? If you limit your showing times, stand over a potential buyer, leave your home a mess for the buyer to walk through, what are the chances you will sell it? Make it easy for Realtors to show the house, make it easy for buyers to see the house and walk through making oohing and awing sounds, make them want to drag their buyers agent right back to the office to write up a contract. If you don’t make this happen, then you will fail as a seller. No Realtor can over come these objections (buyer or seller agents).

If you have a family, then every single person living in this home must be on board. Spouses must be aware of all of these mindsets, and just as importantly the children of the house must be on board. Rooms must be kept, and polite behaviors must be maintain if a Realtor and/or buyer comes through.

One of the best things you can do as a seller, is to ask your Realtor for a tour of houses that you will be competing against in this market. You absolutely must know what the market looks like from your standpoint and how it effects you, first hand. It will give you a clear understanding of the market and what you are up against. It is a reality check that will glean you so much information, and the whole family, every one involved in the selling of the house, should participate in and understand.

Remember, selling a home is a mind set that must be understood and followed though with. If you can understand that selling your house is a business transaction, you will be much more successful in getting it sold.

If you need more information on this article, feel free to give me a call.

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