Real Estate - Selling your House, make sure the price is right




Sell That House

Before you put your property on the market, make sure the price is right.

The Price is Right is not just a television show. That phrase has to be your mantra as you put your house up for sale in the current real estate market, two top realtors say. That means before you plant even one flower, repaint a single wall or declutter—all important actions—you first have to make sure your house is priced properly.

When you interview a real estate agent, the most important goal is to make sure the agent will use all the research tools available—the multiple listing service (MLS), property tax records and sophisticated real estate tracking software—to ensure an accurate price, says Perry Pilgrim, principal broker at Abbitt Realty. "Nothing is more important than price. Period," Pilgrim says.

"When prices are going up, buyers are not worried about price because they just want to get a home they like the best, and know that market appreciation will make up for it if they pay too much," says Greg Garrett of Greg Garrett Realty. "When prices are not going up, buyers are much more cautious to protect themselves on the front end and much more likely to buy a house they don't like as much that's a better deal. When there's an oversupply of houses as in the current market, sellers have to be more aggressive on pricing. The oversupply of houses is not going to go away for three to four years."

For example, when the real estate market was booming, 700 or more homes sold per month in the Peninsula market, Pilgrim says. Lately, sales have been heading toward 400 a month or fewer in that market. "But the point is, on the Peninsula, out of more than 3,000 properties for sale, there were 400 that sold last month," he says. "The ones that sold were priced properly."

Don't necessarily pick the realtor that comes back with the highest listing price for your home. "It's a classic in real estate," Pilgrim says. "Many agents buy listings. What good is it to have a listing that will never sell?"

You can't base your price on what you need to get for your home to make a down payment on your next home, Pilgrim says. "In real estate, the value of your house is determined by the price your neighbor's identical house sold for yesterday. We try to find several comparable homes near yours, similar to yours that sold recently."

Unfortunately, you do have to compete with short sales and foreclosures. If a short sale or foreclosure is priced at $499,000 and your house is comparable but priced at $600,000, the buyer will choose the less expensive home, Garrett says. Fair? Not necessarily. Reality? Yes.

Remember, you can't increase your asking price just because you had to replace a damaged roof or broken water heater. "Certain things are just maintenance," Pilgrim says. "To get full price, a house should have a roof. That's not an extra—that's just maintaining your property."

Even if your money is tight, you have to eliminate turnoffs, Garrett says. "If you have rotten wood, stains on your ceiling, chipped paint, smelly or stained carpet, gouged hardwood floors, chipped tile or chipped countertops—you have to remove the negatives."

Now that your home is priced correctly and you've repaired the major problems, you still need to spruce up. That first impression is key. Landscaping helps. Simple jobs such as edging the sidewalk and driveway and trimming the shrubbery make a difference, Pilgrim says. "The return on landscaping is at least 100 percent," Pilgrim says.

Next on your list: a freshly painted front door, Pilgrim says. Now it's time to declutter. "If you went into somebody's house and it was cluttered, your gut just clenches," Pilgrim says. You can't see past it." So rent a storage unit, clean out your cabinets and clean off your counters, and get your house in great showing condition. Painting, as always, is a cost effective way to get full value for your home. "You will get 100 percent return on paint," Garrett says.

Which is better for showing— a lived in home or one that's vacant? Agents differ and offer several caveats for each opinion.

As a buyers' agent, Pilgrim preferred to show vacant properties first because he didn't have to make an appointment, his buyers wouldn't be fooled either by beautiful furniture or cluttered rooms, and he could manage his time better. But other agents, such as his wife, who has an interior design background, believe well-staged homes show better.

If the home is uncluttered, decorated in a modern, up-to date-fashion and has some similarities to a model home, then a furnished house is best. If the house is old, outdated or cluttered, vacant is best, Garrett says.

Finally, should you wait until the traditional spring sales season to list your home? Not necessarily. "Thousands of houses will come on the market in the spring," Garrett says. "List now and beat them to the punch. If your house is pried well, if it's priced right—anytime of the year it's going to get showings."

 

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Planning on making that big move within Hampton Roads or are looking for some help from the experts for your mortgage and insurance questions?

 


September 2010
Real Estate Roller Coaster: The dips, turns and flips of the housing market don't necessarily make for a smooth ride, but it's still a good idea to hop on. By Kristen De Deyn Kirk

 

Real Estate Sales/Rentals

Abbitt Realty Company, LLC
www.abbittrealty.com
Gloucester
804-642-2300

Hampton-York
757-827-6995

New Homes
757-534-7922

Oyster Point-NN
757-223-7478

Williamsburg
757-253-7600

Abbitt Realty Company
2114 Executive Dr., Hampton
757-827-1144

Abbitt Management, LLC
www.abbitt.com
Denbigh
757-874-4900

Thimble Shoals
757-599-3335

Brindley Beach Vacations
www.brindleybeach.com
1023 Ocean Trail
Corolla
252-453-3335

Cannon & Gruber Realtors
P.O. Box 2866, Atlantic Beach, NC
252-726-6600

Cape Charles Realty
www.capecharlesrealty.com
219 Mason Ave.Cape Charles
757-331-4661

Carolina Designs
www.carolinadesigns.com
1197 Duck Road, Duck
800-368-3825

Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty
4900 N. Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk, NC
252-255-4964

Colonial Heritage Club
6500 Arthur Hills Dr., Williamsburg
757-645-2023

Eastern Shore Retreats
6759 A Maddox Blvd, Chincoteague Island
757-336-1088

Emerald Isle Realty
7501 Emerald Dr., Emerald Isle, NC
252-354-3315

Greg Garrett Realty
www.greggarrettrealty.com
11864 Canon blvd. Ste 103
Newport News
757-873-1002

5226 Indian River Rd. Ste 101
Virginia Beach
757-460-3002

3705 Strawberry Plains Rd. Ste. B
Williamsburg
757-220-3400

Ocracoke Island Realty
www.ocracokeislandrealty.com
1055 Irvin Garrish Hwy.
Ocracoke
252-928-6261

PNC Mortgage
www.pncmortgage.com
272 Bendix Rd. Ste. 150
Virginia Beach
757-672-1053

Prudential Towne Realty
www.prudentialtownerealty.com
600 22nd St. Ste 500
Virginia Beach
757-490-6500

Resort Realty
P.O. Box 129, Nags Head, NC
252-441-5000

Rose and Womble
www.eastbeachliving.com
4487 Pleasant Ave. Norfolk
757-333-6650

Sandbridge Realty
581 Sandbridge Rd., Virginia Beach
757-426-6262

Seaside Vacations
www.outerbanksvacations.com
4820 N. Croatan Hwy.
Croatan
866-884-0267

Siebert Realty
601 Sandbridge Rd., Virginia Beach
757- 426-6200

Southern Shores Realty
www.southernshores.com
Southern Shores
252-261-2000

Sun Realty
www.sunrealtync.com
1135 Ocean Trail
Corolla
800-334-4745

1500 S. Croatan
Kill Devil Hills
800-334-4745

1184 Duck Rd
Duck
800-334-4745

6385 N. Croatan Hwy Ste. 101
Kitty Hawk
800-334-4745

Sun Surf Realty
7701 Emerald Dr., Emerald Isle, NC
252-354-2958

Village Realty
www.villagerealtyobx.com
Corolla
877-505-7481

Nags Head
877-505-7477

 

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