Yes, I guess you could say I have plenty of competition out there but the point of this post is to get sellers to think about their competition. One thing I like to do is take my Beacon Hill condo sellers out for some downtown Boston condo for sale hunting so they can see what the competition looks like. For sellers, it really is about beating the competition. If the Boston condo for sale down the street is in better condition or has a lower price it will sell first, but not fast enough. It will stay on the market for a time and get traffic while the house down the street gets no showings. Buyers are comparison shopping, and looking for a bargain, and scared to death that they will spend too much.
Condition is important too. If the competition has an updated kitchen and new hardwood floors then you, in fact, need to update as well
Sellers should consider going to a few open houses before they put their home on the market, and grab some flyers and search the internet, and scope out the competition. Sellers can also find out how many homes actually sold for if they were listed on the MLS and sold in the past two years.
Need a change in your Charles River Park condo marketing strategy? Here are 15 pro tips for selling a Boston condo for sale that won’t sell.
If your Realtor didn’t have professional photos taken and provide buyers with a floor plan, you need to fire them. On the spot. When photos and floor plans can literally mean thousands of dollars to your bottom line, there is absolutely no excuse for amateur photos.
If your home hasn’t sold, check out the photos your Realtor published on their website and online. Do they make an accurate representation of your home? Are they visually appealing? If not, why would a buyer want to get in their car and come see it? If they are professional photos, maybe it’s time to re-take them from different angles to give buyers a fresh look.
Professional photographers know how to capture the best angles and show your home in the best light. They also have wide-angle lenses that will frame the entire room, not just half of it. Professional photos should make your home look so good that buyers want to stop what they’re doing, call their buyer’s agent and see your home immediately. As we always say, great photos sell Boston downtown condos.
When we sell a home in Boston, professional photography is mandatory. In fact, we hire the best real estate photographer in Boston to capture our listings. Why? Because we know how important photos are to the speed of sale and the seller’s bottom line. I can give you countless examples of homes we’ve sold for more money and faster than their competition. Our listings weren’t the best priced or the nicest, but they had one thing in common – amazing photos, floor plans, and a prominent display on websites – and all sold for more.
I can also show you countless examples of homes with poor quality photos that have sold for less even though they were much nicer. One thing is clear. Poor photos hurt a seller’s bottom line. If your home’s photos were taken with an iPhone or by your Realtor, it’s time to demand a professional photographer.
On average, buyers will compare your home to several other homes. If you’ve gotten showings, but no offers, buyers are telling you the competition is a better value. To get a realistic picture of how your home compares, tour the competition – just like a buyer would. Then ask yourself, how does my home compare? What can I do to make my home a better value?
We take our sellers on a comparison home tour before we list their homes for sale. When you have an intimate understanding of your competition and how your product (home) measures up, setting a competitive price is actually pretty easy. A buyer will comparison shop. Why wouldn’t you want to see what they’re comparing your home to?
Rewrite the description of your home to focus on lifestyle benefits. Reiterating the number of bedrooms and baths is a waste of space. Buyers can see all of that info in the listing. Tell them what they can’t learn from the data – why your neighborhood is great, how the HOA keeps neighbors close, how quickly they will be able to get to their favorite places, the highly rated schools, and friendly neighbors. Paint a picture of why living in your home and neighborhood will positively impact their lives. Think of it as an insider’s guide to living in your home.
Think back to the feedback you received from showings, especially if it was something you heard more than once. What were the buyer’s reasons for not choosing your home? Not enough privacy in the backyard? Might want to consider bringing in some trees. Didn’t like the old, dirty carpet? Consider providing a flooring allowance or, better yet, replacing it. Did dog bark and scared buyers? Make a plan for your dog to leave your home during showings.
Eliminate as many objections as possible. Then, invite some friends over and ask for their honest opinions on what would bother them. Ask them about smells, their first impression when they walk through the door, what they might change. Unless they are unreasonable, consider making the changes. When you live in a house, you won’t see it the same one someone who doesn’t live there sees it. Ask your friends to be brutally honest. The more objections you can cure, the better chance you have at selling your home.
I just tried to schedule a showing for one of our buyers and here were the showing restrictions. This is not even exaggerated. I copied it word for word from the showing service.
- No showings allowed before 3:00 PM Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
- No showings allowed after 7:00 PM Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
- No showings allowed before 10:00 AM Sunday, Saturday.
- No showings allowed after 5:00 PM Sunday, Saturday.
- The 1-hour notice required between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM Sunday, Saturday.
- A 1-hour notice required every day.
Decluttering open spaces, emptying cabinets and drawers and removing knick-knacks might seem like obvious – and free – ways to improve a home’s presentability. Unfortunately, however, not all sellers or agents are willing to do much more than decluttering and cleaning.
Think of the listing as a reflection on yourself. If you didn’t comb your hair, shine your shoes, dress neatly and drive a clean car, people would think you don’t care about yourself. They may wonder, “If he doesn’t care about how he presents himself, how is he going to present my house?” Likewise, not prepare a house for its most beautiful presentation might cast doubt on how the overall marketing will go. And, while not all changes will be immediately noticeable, chances are that what isn’t changed will be noticed.
Many agents recommend conducting a professional inspection prior to listing; some will even hire the inspector at their own expense. Of course, any necessary repairs found during inspection and not repaired before listing must be formally disclosed. But wouldn’t it be nice to have no surprises during the buyer’s formal inspection?
In general, some improvements are required, others are low-cost and others pay for themselves with lower time on the market, competing offers or higher sale price.
Next, it’s time for agent and seller to open up to one another about the interior. If it needs cleaning just do it
Those changes often include repainting at least the primarily living areas and replacing carpet, especially worn carpet or carpet that has faded or stained beyond what professional carpet cleaning could remedy. Sometimes, all that’s needed is professional carpet stretching to remove any buckling prior to cleaning.
Paint is extremely important if the home has faded or dirty walls, holes or chips on paint or plaster. If an entire paint job is not feasible, at least consider cleaning repairing the obvious and adding a fresh coat of semi-gloss to baseboards, moldings, windowsills, doors, banisters balustrades and built-ins. Don’t overlook the ceilings! A long-ago leak from a second-floor bathroom may have been completely repaired and moisture abated, but a patched-up ceiling is a red-flag.
Most agents agree that the easiest costs to recoup in home improvements prior to selling are those spent in bathroom and kitchen updates. Complete remodels are unwise; you can’t anticipate the style preferences of their buyer. But refinishing, touching-ug up or painting cabinets can create a great impact, while also forcing the seller to remove unwanted or overstocked items from cabinets and drawers. Don’t forget the cabinet pulls – shiny, new nobs look nice.