Let’s face it, unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last four years, you know that the real estate market in Charlotte, NC has declined since it’s peak in late 2007. Home values have dropped almost 20 percent since 2007, and fewer homes on the market are actually selling.
So, if you want to sell your Charlotte NC home - if you are REALLY serious and want to actually SELL instead of just “testing the market,” then you have some BIG DECISIONS to make BEFORE your home goes on the market:
1. Choose an experienced Realtor - All sellers should interview several realtors and choose an agent who is trustworthy, knowledgeable about your neighborhood market, staging, and most importantly, is savvy with Internet marketing. Almost 90% of all home buyers begin their search for a home on the Internet – make sure your Realtor knows how to reach these buyers on the Internet.
2. Listen to your Realtor’s assessment of the market value of your home - There are tons of houses for sale, and if your home is NOT priced competitively, IT WILL NOT SELL. Period. Buyers are more savvy than ever, and if your home is overpriced, they will move on because they CAN. I know it’s difficult to swallow when your home value has fallen – but you are not alone – it has fallen for everyone. Don’t let yourself fall into these traps on pricing:
- “But I NEED to get XXX out of this house in order to be able to afford my next home.” - Guess what, buyers don’t care what you need to net out of the house. They are scared to death to overpay for a home, and often will not even make lowball offers on overpriced homes.
- “But my house appraised for XXX last year when I re-financed.” That was last year, and the market is different now.
- “My neighbor sold for XXX last year, and I think my house is a lot nicer than his.” – Again, that was last year, and only a buyer can determine which house is the better value.
- “I want to just TRY to sell it at XXX…we can always drop the price later.” When you chip away at price, buyers may decide to wait it out to see how far you will drop your price, OR may wonder “What’s wrong with this home?”
- “I need to pad my list price to leave room for negotiation.” On the contrary, if you price your home competitively, you will most likely generate more offers and most likely get a higher price. Remember, you hold the keys – if you are priced right, and still get a low ball offer, you can say NO!
3. Listen to your Realtor’s recommendations about getting your home in selling condition - Have your home pre-inspected and make any necessary repairs – BEFORE you are under contract and under the gun. Clean and de-clutter the interior, and spruce up the exterior. Address any odors (cigarette smoke, pet odors, cooking odors, etc.)
4. Listen to your Realtor’s recommendations about staging your home - Staging is not a gimmick! Professional stagers know how to arrange your furniture and other belongings to maximize your home’s top selling featuresWhen your home is on the market – it is a commodity, and it needs to appeal to the BROADEST pool of possible buyers. You’ll be amazed at what a professional stager can do!
5. Make your home available for buyers to see - This sounds like a no-brainer…if you make it difficult for buyers to see your home, they will MOVE ON to homes that they CAN see. Remove ALL pets, no matter how friendly they are. Turn on the lights, and LEAVE! Nothing makes a buyer more uncomfortable than a seller hanging around during a showing.
6. Listen to the feedback your Realtor receives from buyers and their agents - If you consistently receive negative feedback about things you can easily change, then CHANGE them! Neutralize that purple kid’s room! Open your blinds and draperies if buyers say the home is dark! If buyers complain about your home’s odor, then clean and deodorize it! Listen and learn!
7. Re-examine your listing price if you get few showings and no offers - If you’ve been on the market for over a month, and have only had 1 showing, then it’s all about your price. It’s time to re-examine your price and lower it (assuming you want to SELL and not SIT on the market). If you get tons of showings and no offers, it may still be about the price, but could be condition. REASSESS!
These are all very BIG decisions you need to make with your Realtor if you want to sell your Charlotte NC home. In today’s market, if you want to be one of the lucky few sellers who actually sell their home, then your home needs to be priced competitively and be the shiniest penny among the competition.
You hired a professional Realtor to help you with one of the biggest financial transactions in your life – listen to his/her advice! If your doctor just diagnosed diabetes and recommended some lifestyle changes, you’d listen, wouldn’t you? Please allow your Realtor to help you sell your Charlotte NC home so you can move on with your life!
For more tips on selling your Charlotte NC home, visit my website at www.MelissaBrownHomes.com!
South Charlotte, NC Real Estate Expert
For more information on homes for sale in South Charlotte or in the surrounding Charlotte, NC area, please give me a call or fill out the online contact form.