Professional Tips For Selling A Home In Maine
Selling a home in the Greater Portland Maine area? Here are some tips that will make your life a little easier when listing, presenting, and showing your home.
1) Hire A Professional – Most people selling a home don’t know where to begin. Working with a professional will lighten your load and ensure the property will be properly marketed and priced. Selling on your own can work, and does, but there are many important marketing tools you will miss out on. Websites such as Realtor.com and the local Greater Portland Maine MLS are extremely important because the local agents will most likely not know about your property if it’s not in the MLS. Another important factor is understanding how and where buyers search. If you don’t know this information how can you effectively market your home?
2) Detach Your Emotions – This is tough because most people selling a home are attached to it. If you have made the conscious decision to sell then you are halfway through the process of detaching. Don’t be offended if buyers have negative things to say, everybody has an opinion. Instead try to take the feedback and see if there is anyway to improve the home. The sales activity in your immediate marketplace plays a big part in what a buyer will most likely offer on your home. We can’t avoid the facts, so hopefully the state of the market will work for you rather than against you. Keep this in mind and hopefully the next buyer will love the home as much as you do.
3) Take Great Pictures – I can’t stress this enough! Too often I see lousy pictures taken by either an agent or the seller. I’ve even considered making a coffee table flip book for terrible home photos. We laugh but it’s really not funny. As the seller client you should demand to approve the photos before they are officially listed online. The main idea here is to capture as much of a room as possible, that means including ceiling and floor. This helps to show depth in a room. The toilet, shower curtain, bed, other large furniture usually don’t work close-up
Take a minute to look through the camera lens before tasking the photo. Make sure anything that doesn’t need to be in the photo is out, such as that bottle of glass cleaner on the coffee table or breakfast dishes in the sink. If you aren’t using a wide-angle lens then don’t include that photo. If you have captured the essence of the home in the other photos it’s ok to leave something to the imagination. I’m not a fan of wide-angle lenses because they make the room look like it’s being viewed through a peep-hole. Remember, buyers formulate their opinion by what they see online, it can cost you a showing.
4) Be Honest & Disclose Where Necessary – Some sellers make the mistake of trying to hide things. Work with your professional to understand what needs to be disclosed by law and what doesn’t. If you think something might be an issue before listing your home then correct it. The less you give buyers to gripe about in the beginning the better. Make sure any and all work permits are in order if you’ve done work to the home otherwise it will haunt you in the end and could stall your transaction. I’ve had a few past clients that didn’t do their due diligence prior to buying the home and got stuck fixing the previous owners work, or negligence.
5) Don’t Hover When The House Is Being Shown – Many sellers want to stick around to see what a buyer is saying about their home. Give the buyer space, if they get uncomfortable it can end the showing abruptly. You want to the buyer to spend as much time as possible getting a feel for your home, buying a home is an emotional experience. If they feel like they are home then that is what helps sell the property.
6) Stage Your Home – You get one chance for a first impression. When a buyer enters a home they go on how it makes them feel. If the home has a consistent flow then it will be more inviting. Keep the senses in mind, pleasant smells, appealing to the eye, and flow are most important. There are simple fixes that can make a world of difference and cost nothing! If you have an awkward layout then it will be hard for a buyer to envision how they will set the space up, if it’s vacant.
7) Proper Pricing – This is the most important aspect to selling a home. Most sellers don’t know where to begin when it comes to proper pricing. Many think they have an idea because they used a home valuation tool on a website. These tools are usually only somewhat accurate, the proper way is to have a comparative market analysis done. Better known as a CMA, this is a compilation of local market data and com parable sales within the past 6 months. You want to know what similar homes sold for as close to yours in style, location, and condition. This is the same data a buyer will use to formulate an offer and the bank appraiser for the loan.
Supply and demand is also another important factor. A seller may be able to ask a bit more than the comps for a home if supply is low and the buyer pool is large. In Westchester County we saw numerous bidding wars this past spring and the season before. When a buyer wants something bad enough they may be willing to pay more for the home.
8) Marketing The Home – This is the second most important aspect and goes hand in hand with proper pricing. Your Greater Portland Maine Listing Agent should be an expert in this area and it is your job to inquire about the marketing plan for your home. We have to think about prospective buyers and how they search, where they search, and what will attract them. If you don’t have a full understanding of all the marketing avenues available and how they work, then don’t try to do it alone.