Selling your Chandler home, it needs to be done three times

The secret why some houses that are selling in Phoenix area and others sit

The housing market is depressed in Phoenix and the East Valley. You cannot sell a house if you have to so don’t bother trying.

Secret to selling your homeIf you read newspapers or listen to the news you would believe that statement is true, but I have a buyer I am working with that would never believe that statement right now. We have sat down to write offers on three homes in the last two weeks and to date we have not landed him in a house. 
All three offers were for houses that were priced right. One we were probably a little low in our offer. We came in a little under asking and the home sold for full price to a cash buyer who was able to close quickly. That home was on the market for less than two weeks. The second home also on the market for less than two weeks and we came in over the asking price and still did not land the home. The third home got a full price offer the first day it was on the market. A fourth home he wanted to make an offer on had an accepted offer on the home well above the asking price and it was accepted before it had been on the market for a week. So what was the secret for these homes?
They were priced right to sell quick. Most agents have talked to home buyers who want to sell their home right away, yet they refuse to price the house right when it goes on the market. A home that is priced right will sell quickly, a home that takes months to get priced correctly will sit on the market for months. Sellers are learning their homes are not worth what they they are worth, but instead are worth what the market says they are worth. 
I have been talking with one couple recently about listing their home. It is a beautiful showcase quality home in an adult community. They want to list the home for over $300K while the current market is bringing about $250K for the same house in the same community. Right now they have the home for sale by owner at $309K, but why will anyone look at their home when there is another home in the community that is only 50 sq feet small on the market for $229K and eight homes total in the community under $250K. 
sell-home-pricing-chartMost of the foot traffic a house will get is when the home is first listed (see graph to left). A house that is priced right will get foot traffic immediately, while a home that is priced over the market value will sit until either it is priced correctly or taken off the market. As this one buyer has seen recently there is not a huge danger in pricing the home a little below market. The likely results we have seen recently is a home priced a little below market will end up in a bidding war and go for the correct market price. 
So if you need to see your house quickly you now know the secret weapon, price it correctly from the start. If you want to sell your home, for your price not the market price save yourself the hassle of going through the listing process and wait a few years for the market to recover.

Selling tip: minor repairs

With nearly 50,000 homes on the market for sale in the Phoenix metro area, if you want to sell your house it needs to stand out. There are two ways to make it stand out, either price it under the market value, or make it a home that when others walk in they say to themselves, I have to have this house.

There are some small changes you can make to your home to make it stand out. Every house has little quirks that can easily and cheaply be fixed to make it look better. You may not even notice these things because you are so used to living with them, but trust me, buyers will notice them.

Patch holes in the walls. If you have any small holes or cracks in your walls either patch them yourself or hire a handy man to do it for you.

Cracked floors and counter tiles. You may have lived with that cracked tile on your back splash or floor for the last two years and not think it is a big deal, but a buyer is going to see that and think the house was not taken care of properly.

Many homes have a leaky faucet. Take a few minutes to try and fix these yourself or hire a plumber to help you. It may only be a few bucks to fix the faucet where a buyer may be thinking I can ask for another few hundred off the price to replace all the faucets.

Fix any doors or kitchen drawers that don’t work properly . If the buyer is really interested in your home, they will be opening all the doors and drawers so make sure they are all operating properly

That favorite sedona red room you have, consider painting it a neutral color. Neutral colors not only can help make the room look bigger, but chances are the buyer is not going to like your bright colors and again will be thinking about a discount on the selling price to have the house painted.

Make sure all your lights are working properly. If you have any bulbs that are burnt out take a minute to replace them.

These little fixes can make a big difference in a competitive market. Make your house stand out. Don’t be the house that has the orange bedroom and the broken utensil drawer, be the house that was loved and taken care of.

Get your family out of the house

Last week I talked about not being at the house when an agent is showing your home to a buyer. This week I am again going to be talking about getting yourself out of the house, but in a different way.

When a buyer is looking at your home, you want them to feel like it could be their home. To do that, you need to remove as much of yourself and your family from the house as possible. I have walked into houses before that have a beautiful entry way with a gorgeous maple wood stair case leading to the second floor and a chandelier hanging that would make a princess happy.

Problem – that is not what most people saw when they walked into the home. There were about 40 pictures of the home owner, their kids and grand-children on the wall going up the stair case. The pictures, the frames and the layout was absolutely stunning. The family was a great all-American family anyone would be proud to show off and display. But the the buyers were focusing on the pictures when they walked in and not the wonderful features of the home.

The buyer and seller were both missing out on opportunities that should have been had. The buyers were not getting a true sense of the home because they were distracted by the pictures. The buyers also could never easily picture themselves in the home because every room they walked into had family pictures of the current homeowners. If the homeowners had taken a few hours to pack all those pictures before the house was shown it would have been much easier for buyers to not only see the features of the home, but also to place their own pictures on the walls in their mind and make the home theirs.

The seller also lost out. This little work would have added value to the home and it would probably have sold for more money and sold faster.

So when you are getting ready to open your house for buyers to come through do yourself a favor, remove personal items like family pictures as it will allow the buyer to more easily place themselves in the home.

Make yourself scarce

This week’s selling tip is one sellers do not like to hear. When you are selling your home the more people coming through to look at it the better. When they are there, you should not be. Sometimes people will be coming through because your agent is holding an open house that day and sometimes it is just your agent or another agent showing it to a prospective buyer. Either case is the same, the house should be empty of people while others are looking at it.

You may ask why? I can show them the best features. Sure you could,, if you knew 100% what they were looking for. But you don’t. It is your agents job and the job of the buyer’s agent to know what they are looking for and point out those features. While you may think you are helping, often the owner of the house has the opposite effect they are after.

It is a fact that buyers spend less than half the time in the house when the owner is there than when the owner is not there. The buyer feels much more comfortable when the owner is not home. When the house is empty they will open the closets and cabinets and spend more time picturing how their things would look in the home. If you want the buyer to feel at home and get a better flavor for the house, help him feel more comfortable and not like they intruding or snooping.

Finally buyers will talk a lot more to their agent if the owner is not around. You want the buyers talking as much as possible, the more they talk ti the agent, the more the agent can help them see the benefits of the home. In addition to that, if there are concerns the buyer faces about the home, the layout, the condition or any other concerns they can relay them to the agent who can discuss them with you and this will allow you the opportunity to improve the home for future showings.

Weekly selling tip

There is a quick and easy fix to the interior of your home you may be missing when you go to sell. Buyers love to snoop and two places they will look that you should be prepared for are your bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets. Think of the imaged they will be left with if when they open your cabinet the spices fall out or when they open your closet door shoes come pouring out at them. It is not very likely that image will be the abundant storage space your home has.

If your closets are nice and organized it will send the message that you have taken care of the house and it has plenty of storage space. So some things to consider, de-clutter your closets, put extra shoes, clothes and such into storage, straighten up the jars in your kitchen, stack dishes neatly and leave as much open space as you can.

If you are not sure how to best stage your house for sale let me know and I can make some recommendations on organizers you can talk to.

Weekly selling tip

Disassociate yourself with your home. When you decided to sell your house you need to cut the emotional ties that you may hold. Your mind needs to make the transition from “This is my home” to “This is just a product I need to sell.”

Looking forward and not looking backwards will allow you to make rational decisions with your head instead of being controlled by emotions. You are more likely to make a mistake or a bad decision when you allow your emotions to be to involved.

Weekly selling tip


Everyone knows the market is slow right now.  A few years ago in the local market there were roughly 19,000 homes on the market.  Today there are more than 54,000. A good supply of homes in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and surrounding areas is not hard to find.  But that does not mean you cannot sell your house and sell is quick if you understand how the selling process works.

The first thing you will need of course is a real estate professional who will work hard to market your home.  But to allow your REALTOR to move your home quickly you will need to have them list it at the right price.

Why is price so important?  Look at the graph below.  I am not sure who developed it so I cannot give them the proper credit, but the chart is priceless and shows how important getting your house listed correctly the first time is.

Buyer’s interest is highest when your home is first listed on the market. If your home is priced at the proper current market value it has a great chance of moving quickly.  Every week your home is on the market the interest in your home declines.  After time, most of those who would be interested in your home have seen it and ruled it out.  Now you need to rely on the few who have not looked at your home or the few new buyers that are coming to the market. 

Now you lower the price of your home to where it should have been originally.  And with the way the market is declining that current market value could be lower than where it was when you originally listed your home for sale. Now that your home is properly priced it still may be on the market for longer than it should be because the buyer interest in your home is so low. 

The biggest and most important tip for selling your home in a slow market is to price it right the first time.  This will greatly increase the probability of your home selling faster than the average days on market would otherwise indicate.