Selling your property in the shortest amount of time for the maximum market price in Northern Virginia requires expertise and understanding of the Northern Virginia market, guidance in how to prepare your property for sale, fact-based, realistic pricing strategy, and a sound promotion plan to reach the maximum number of potential buyers for your property.
THE WORLD HAS CHANGED! – How Buyers Choose Homes Today
Buyers today are more demanding than ever. We now all live in an “HGTV” world where home buyers want and expect the best. Over 90% of buyers today begin their home search on line and then work with a buyer agent to facilitate the sale. This requires a very different marketing plan to get your house sold – just putting a sign in the yard and placing the property in the MLS system is not sufficient. You need a proven successful marketing sales strategy that includes appropriate preparation and staging, professional photography, internet marketing and on site promotion to insure your home gets the maximum positive exposure to the marketplace.
Pricing to Sell
Pricing your home appropriately to sell for the maximum amount in a minimum of time requires a fact-based strategy that includes:
• Current market conditions – supply/demand. (What are they and why)
• The home’s specific advantages and challenges. Knowing what features potential buyers may find attractive as well as unattractive gives direction to the appropriate plan to effectively market and sell your home
• Current, accurate, fact-based, data on comparable home sales
• Appropriately priced homes sell quickly and usually for the highest dollar value when they are priced properly in the beginning
Pricing Strategies That Don’t Work
Over-pricing to “See What Happens”: If you start out with a sales price that is too high and then drop it later your house becomes “old news.” You will never be able to recapture the initial activity of a “new” listing. You will also increase your stress level because it will take longer to sell than if it was realistically priced from the start.
Under-pricing to create a “bidding war”: An agent may tell you the best strategy is to “under-price” your home to encourage a buyer “bidding war.” This strategy rarely works to your advantage. It may in fact bring several offers, but they will typically be “low-ball” offers, and you will end up with a net sale price of much less than you would have if the house had been properly priced for the market to begin with.
Be Aware of Common Market Tactics Not In Your Best Interest
You may think you have a fairly good idea of what your home is worth. You probably also have a figure in mind for a listing price. In doing your “due diligence” you should interview several realtors, and they will all have their own opinions of market value and their own methodologies for encouraging you to work with them.
Know the right questions to ask! As a consumer, be aware of some common tactics used to obtain your business that in our professional opinion and experience, are never in your best interest as a seller. They are utilized only to “get you to sign the listing agreement,” or so that the listing agent can “sell the listing” to a buyer themselves and get a bigger portion of the total commission.
• Buying Your Listing: “Buying a Listing” means that the agent will tell you your house is worth more than it really is. In fact, they may ask you what you think your house is worth and agree with you, or their price may even meet or exceed the price you had in mind. They may also tell you that you do not need to do anything to prepare your home for sale, all designed to get you to sign a listing agreement. What usually happens after the listing agreement is signed is that your house will not sell quickly, and you will be told that price and other adjustments are needed to get it sold. The longer your house sits on the market the less likely you are to get full market price.
Pocket Listings: A “Pocket Listing” is when, with your written permission, a listing agent advises you they will keep your listing “in-house” in their own client portfolio or office because they “think they have a buyer,” or someone in their office might have a buyer. They may list it as “Not Active but Coming Soon” on Internet search engines other than the industry’s MLS Real Estate System.
They may even reduce their commission upfront, making you think you are getting a “deal” on the commission price. While this practice is legal in the State of Virginia with your written permission, it is never in your best interest. It is an attempt by the listing agent to get paid more. This practice creates a “closed buyer market” with very limited exposure to potential buyers. When your home is on the market the only way to get the best possible market price and the quickest possible sale is to expose it to the widest possible number of potential buyers available.
Single Agent Dual Agency: While this practice is legal in the State of Virginia, one of the few states left to allow it, it is currently under legal review. Agents can, with written disclosure, represent both the seller and buyer in the same transaction. Virginia State Law requires that all licensed real estate agents disclose in writing specifically who they represent in real estate transactions. Many agents do this, with an end goal of getting a higher commission, or “both ends of the deal.” As our standard business practice, Integrity agents believe that one agent, representing both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction presents unavoidable conflicts of interest. Our Agents, therefore represent only one party in each transaction. When we work for you, we work only for you and your interests – never both parties in the transaction.
Integrity agents will never “tell you what you want to hear,” they will advise you on “what you need to know” to get your house sold.