Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Selling your home...the Dave Ramsey way.

How to sell your home fast and for top dollar

1. Know why you’re selling and keep it to yourself.
The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything, from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What’s more important to you: the money you walk away with or the length of time your home is on the market? Different goals require different strategies.
Don’t reveal your reason to sell to anyone else or they may use it against you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed.

2. Do your research before setting a price.

Setting an offer price shouldn’t be done lightly. Once you’ve set your price, you’ve told buyers the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. Pricing too high is as dangerous as pricing too low. Remember that the average buyer is looking at 15 – 20 homes at the same time they’re considering yours. This means that if your home doesn’t compare favorably with others in the price range you’ve set, you won’t be taken seriously. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time.

3. Do your homework.

With the help of your agent, find out what homes in your neighborhood and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past 6 – 12 months. Also research the listing prices of current homes. You can be certain that prospective buyers will judge the price of your home based on homes similar to yours.

4. Find a great real estate agent.

A great agent not only helps you to get more money for your home but they also communicate with you and guide you through every step of the selling process – including negotiation. You want an agent that provides great customer service and has sold a lot of homes. Sold homes equal happy clients.

Click here to find an agent in your city that Dave recommends!

5. Maximize your home’s sales potential.

Appearance is critical, that’s why businesses spend billions on product and packaging design each year. It would be foolish to ignore this when selling your home.

You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, scrub, scour, and dust. Fix everything no matter how unimportant it may appear. Present your home to get a “Wow!” response from buyers.

Buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new pair of jeans. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or if your d├ęcor is so different that it’s difficult for a buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, you make it difficult for them to imagine themselves as the owner.

The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Fixing and cleaning generates a greater emotional response than anything else by allowing buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.

6. Make it easy for buyers to get information about your home.

Some marketing tools that most agents use to sell homes (e.g. traditional open houses) are not very effective. In fact, only 1% of homes are sold at an open house.

Also, buyers calling for information on your home value their time. The last thing they want is to play a game of telephone tag with an agent or an unwanted sales pitch. To avoid this, make sure the ads your agent places for your home are attached to a 24 hour prerecorded hotline with a specific ID number for your home. This gives buyers access to detailed information about your home day or night, 7 days a week without having to talk to anyone. Such a system can triple information request calls. Remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home the better – because it sets up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver’s seat.

7. Know your buyer.

What is your buyer’s motivation? Does he need to move quickly? Does he have enough money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation process because you know how far you can push to get what you want.

8. Make sure the contract is complete.

As a seller, make sure you disclose everything. Smart sellers go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, he can’t come back with a lawsuit.

Make sure all terms, costs, and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract and resist the temptation to stray from the contract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Now is not the time to risk the deal falling through.

9. Don’t move out before you sell.

It can cost you thousands. Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it looks forlorn, forgotten, and simply not appealing. If you move, you’re also telling buyers that you have a new home and are probably highly motivated to sell fast. This, of course, will give them the advantage at the negotiating table.

Nick Woodard
Nashville, Tennessee

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fannie and Freddy news

I can’t imagine there are too many that have not heard the news about the US Government take over of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I wanted to shed a little light on it and open the doors to any questions or concerns. There are immediate concerns and there are immediate benefits. My overall advice would be to take the negatives with a grain of salt and see the positives for what it can do for you in the short and long runs. Shareholders in Fannie and Freddie will be hurt the most. It’s inevitable that they will loose a lot if not everything. Our tax dollars will rise to help support the bailout. Lending may tighten but Fannie and Freddie lending guidelines could also start to take on the makeup of FHA today. That’s just an interesting Matt Askland possible prediction. That in it self will change a lot of the lending practices for the positive, increasing and making Fan and Fred more competitive to the FHA mortgage market share. I can tell you for one thing…… My rate sheet this morning has already seen a ½ point reduction in the borrower offered rate. For my lending partners, this means a potential overall full point swing in our bottom line. For you and your clients this means getting you mortgage rate under 6.0% very affordable. Will the rates continue to drop? No one can say for sure but this is an opportunity to look at your current mortgage terms again or another reason to push potential buyers off the fence. Homebuyers have been waiting for that big sign that says, ‘we are at the bottom of the market.’ This bailout will keep and should almost create the bottom of the market. Low rates and buying low is the best recipe for success.

If you are in the market or have clients that are on the fence,…..Get off the fence!!

Nick Woodard
Middle Tennessee Realtor