Thinking of selling your Prince Edward County home? We’d be happy to connect you to some of the top local REALTORS in the County. We’ve prepared this guide to help you get ready to sell your PEC house or cottage.
How to Sell Your Prince Edward County Home
Step 1: House Preparation
De-cluttering and De-personalizing
We all have too much stuff, and too much stuff can be distracting to potential Buyers. When preparing your home for sale, you want to eliminate as much clutter as possible—books, knick knacks, storage boxes, off-season clothes, your giant shoe collection, etc. It’s also important to neutralize your space as much as possible so that potential Buyers can see themselves living in your home—and that means putting away personal photos, mementos and collections.
Think of the cleaning you need to do to prepare your home for sale as what you’d expect in a hotel room. Wash the baseboards, remove the cobwebs from the ceiling, clean inside your fridge and oven, clean inside your closets and kitchen cupboards, dust under your stuff and have the carpets professionally cleaned. Sadly, the cleaning won’t stop when your house goes on the market–every day, you’ll need to make your bed, do the dishes, wash the floors and clean up after the kids.
Staging involves optimizing the use, look and feel of every room in your home. It might mean converting your home office to a third bedroom, adding, removing or re-arranging furniture, painting the walls, replacing light fixtures or investing in some fluffy towels for the guest bathroom. Whether you bring in a professional stager or just work with your REALTOR, making your home appeal to the greatest number of Buyers doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will take time. But remember: the effort you put into transforming your home will impact how long it takes your home to sell and of course, the price you get.
Repairs and Renovations
Let’s face it, we all have a tendency to procrastinate fixing the little stuff – the leaky faucet, the peeling wallpaper, the dent in the kitchen cabinets, the loose gutters. Bringing in a handyman to complete all those little fixes will go a long way to communicating to potential Buyers that your home has been well-maintained (and you’ll wonder why you put it off so long). And make sure there are no burnt out light bulbs!
Step 2: Pricing
Your home is only worth what a Buyer is willing to pay, but the right pricing strategy can make the difference between how much money is left in your pocket and how much is left on the negotiating table.
Should you price your home for a bidding war? Price high and plan to negotiate? How do you factor in the time of year you decide to sell into your asking price? Should your listing price be a whole number (500,000) or end in 9’s (499,900) and does that even matter? What should you include in the price? When is it time to lower the price?
Your asking price is equivalent to naming the first number in a negotiation, so it’s important to select the right asking price. Price too high and you risk being on the market for a long time and getting less than you might have (had you priced at market value); price too low and you’re leaving money on the table.
When it comes to determining how much your home is worth, it’s important to look at:
- Recent sales in your area
- Properties currently on the market
- Current market conditions
- The pluses and minuses of your home
It’s also important to remember that the price of your home is a moving target, and will depend on the time of year you sell and who you’re competing with.
Step 3: Marketing
Contrary to what some agents will have you believe, there’s a lot more to marketing your home than just putting it on the MLS – at least there is if you want to get top dollar. When it comes to reaching Buyers, an ideal marketing plan should involve:
1. Identifying Your Ideal Buyer
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the big retail brands, it’s that effective marketing needs to target a specific audience, and the more you know about your Ideal Buyer, the better. Who is the most likely person to buy your home? Are they single or do they have kids? How old are they? How will they live in the home? Where are they living now? What features and benefits are important to them?
2. Marketing Materials that Resonate with your Ideal Buyer
Different Buyers will respond to different types of marketing, and it’s important that the marketing for your home is written and designed to appeal to your Ideal Buyer. Does your target Buyer read the postcards he gets in the mail or is the most likely to respond to a video or social media post? Is your Buyer already working with an agent or going-it-alone on Craigslist? What words and language will your Buyer be most likely to respond to?
3. Looking Good and Being Found Online.
92% of Buyers look for a home online, so if they aren’t finding yours, you’re in trouble. Outstanding photos are crucial to capturing the interest of today’s Buyer, and no matter how many pixels the iPhone camera has these days, it’s just not enough. In our opinion, professional photography is non-negotiable. A comprehensive digital and social marketing plan allows Buyers to find you online, in the places where they’re already spending their online time.
Step 4: Showing Your Home To Buyers
Your home is ready, the price is right, the marketing has worked, and the Buyers want to see it. Here’s our best advice for showing your home to potential buyers:
- Be flexible with showing times – Selling your home is an inconvenience, there’s no denying that. But if you want top dollar for your home, you’ll want to be flexible with when you allow people to see it. Remember that most people work from 9-5 Monday-Friday, so they’ll most likely want to see your home in the evenings or on weekends.
- Leave your house during showings – While I’m sure you could tell potential Buyers all about your renovations and the leaky basement, Buyers aren’t comfortable looking at a house when the Sellers are home, so it’s best to let them explore at their own leisure. Go for a walk, visit a friend—do whatever you need to do to allow potential Buyers free reign.
- Make sure your home is always in top condition – Make your bed, do the dishes, wash the floors, clean the litter box—and always remember to crate the dog (or better yet, take him with you).
- Feedback – Remember: what really matters in selling your home is what Buyers are seeing and feeling. Responding to their concerns and objections in a timely matter will go a long way to reducing how long your home is on the market
Step 5: Offers
Your hard has paid off and a Buyer wants to submit an offer on your home! Here’s what to expect:
The Buyer’s offer may be presented to you and your agent in person, your agent might receive it by e-mail or, in a throw-back to the 90’s, the offer may arrive by fax. The offer will contain some important points of negotiation:
- The deposit
- The price
- The closing date
- The irrevocable time/date
- The conditions
Once you receive an offer, you can respond in one of 3 ways:
- Accept the offer as is – congratulations, you’ve just sold your house!
- Make a counter-offer (with better conditions and/or price for yourself) – the Buyer at this point can accept your counter-offer, make another counter-offer or walk away altogether.
- Decline the offer and walk away.
Negotiating is a fine art, and if you’ve chosen your agent wisely, they’ll provide solid advice and guidance to get you the price you want. The final price decisions when selling your home are always yours to make, but it helps to have a strategic negotiator on your side.
Get in touch if you’d like us to connect you with the top listing agents in Prince Edward County!