The presale phase covers the market analysis, fix-up, marketing and showing of your home. It begins with identifying all comparable homes that are on the market and their list prices and terms. You should then identify all comparable homes that have sold in the past six to nine months. Note their list prices, their sale prices, the days they remained on the market, their number of bedrooms and baths, any special features and any seller concessions given to buyers.
Armed with that data, you will be in a position to attempt to properly price your home. According to the National Association of Realtors 2011 profile of home buyers and sellers, 10 percent of all homes are sold by owners. Twelve percent of those FSBO sellers cited getting the right price as the hardest task in selling it themselves. This pricing difficulty is evidenced by the fact that the typical FSBO sale price, according to the NAR, was only 69.76 percent of those real estate agent-assisted home sales.
Most real estate agents will gladly provide you with a comparative market analysis in the hope that when you get tired of the process of selling it yourself, you will call them to pick up the listing.
“If your home has few showings and no offers after a few weeks on the market, most likely it is overpriced,” said Lisa Abrams, an agent with Re/Max Realty Services in Bethesda. “To sell FSBO, you will have to continually monitor the new listings, prices and sales of all homes in your neighborhood. If you need a quick sale, be prepared to drop your price.”
Your next step is to critically examine your home to identify any cosmetic or substantive repairs needed to make it competitive. Virtually all real estate professionals will advise you to clean, de-clutter and make inexpensive improvements such as new landscaping, painting, carpeting and perhaps even some new appliances.
For the “hoarder” or just those who find it difficult to part with years of possessions, there are professional services such as www.clutterbusters.com that, for about $85 an hour, will help you make your home more salable.
To really make an impact, professional designers or stagers can be engaged to turn your home into a showplace. These design experts essentially redecorate your home using a mix of your possessions and rented decorative items. These professionals are not cheap but are often well worth their fees in higher selling prices or quicker sales.