Linton Hall Realtors Sell Dreams

25 06 2010

Most buyers are looking for the vision of their dream home when they begin searching for a home.   They are looking for peace, security, clean surroundings, safety, and a place to entertain their friends.  In other words, they are seeking their dream home.

Buyers are not looking to purchase nails, boards, shingles, or paint.   Nor do they want grass, garage doors, or shutters.   What they really want is a home, that very special place where all the elements come together.  

If you are planning to sell soon, ask yourself, “Is my home a dream come true?”   If the answer is questionable, you may have work to do before marketing your home.   The key to selling a dream home is creating the dream before the first buyer ever sees it.

Not only in our local market, but also occurring throughout the Nation, sellers are facing a dual challenge.  Simultaneously, sellers are engaged in a beauty contest and a price war.  That is, sellers must price their homes very competitively and their homes must look better than the competition.

Consider this graphic, which illustrates the importance of being in the “sweet-spot” of our market.  Let’s call it “being in the market”.  As shown in the graph, the sales price must beat the competition to attract buyers.  And the home’s condition must retain the buyers’ attention.

Begin your evaluation by asking me for an assessment of your home’s condition.  I call it a “walk-through” and I provide this service free of charge.   In a way, I play the part of a buyer, giving you suggestions ranging from needed major repairs to a minor cosmetic touch-up.

Please heed this advice.   Be certain all repairs and improvements have been completed before the first prospect sees your home.   Remember, you’re selling a dream, not possibilities.   Prospective buyers must be able to see, hear, touch, and smell their dream when they walk through the front door.  

However, I want to caution you about over improving your home.  It is a fine, delicate balance requiring a practiced and seasoned expert.

Have you ever overdressed for an event?  Perhaps you understood the expected dress to be formal, but when you arrived in your best sequin dress or black tie and tails, everyone else was wearing jeans.  If you have had that experience, you probably remember how everyone stared as you entered the room.   You didn’t seem to fit the occasion.

That happens to homeowners too, but it is not called overdressing. Rather, it is called over improving.   It happens when property owners remodel a home to the point where its new value far exceeds all other homes in the neighborhood.

As long as you continue to live in the home, that is not a problem.   When it is time to sell, however, you will face an unexpected challenge.   Even though you have spent a large amount on the improvements, buyers are not likely to be impressed.   Prospective buyers will compare the prices of other homes in the area, and then expect yours to be in line with those prices.

Before beginning a major improvement project, determine the impact on your home’s value.   Consider buying a larger home versus remodeling, and get advice from my lender and me.   When it is time to sell, you will be glad you did.

While we are on the subject of improvements, it reminds me of the joke about changing a light bulb.  So, how many people does it take to change a light bulb?   There are a multitude of comical answers, of course.

Have you ever asked yourself how many people are involved in a home sale?  

The obvious answer may be three . . . the sellers, the buyers, and the real estate agent.   In fact, there are many more. There may possibly be ten to fifteen individuals in various lines of work.

Involved in the average real estate transaction, you may find a mortgage loan officer, an appraiser, a surveyor, a home inspector, and a pest control company.   Additionally, there may be repair companies, the tax assessor, a title insurance company, utility companies, insurance agents, and attorneys.  

Mortgage approval alone may involve dozens of creditors, employers, and banks, who may be required to verify information provided to the mortgage company.

I coordinate all those elements with phone calls and personal meetings, keeping all those business relationships moving along smoothly toward a surprise-free transaction closing.

Imagine too that the sellers may be purchasing another home to which they plan to move at closing.   That home may be owned by a couple planning to move when their new home is completed.   Can you picture the total number of people it will take to complete the entire series of real estate transactions?

This is where I do my best work.   In many cases I already have professional relationships established with the lenders, attorneys, inspectors, and appraisers involved.   I understand and work within the complex circumstances of real estate transactions on a daily basis.   Trouble-free sales are my mark of excellence.

Call me today to discuss any of your real estate questions or needs! – Ashley Leigh

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