Why do some homes sell quickly while others languish on the market? The answer is simple. When homeowners are well-prepared for the selling process, they make decisions that more effectively position their properties to sell. Here are the 5 steps for quickly selling your home in Naples, Florida.
This comprehensive guide will explain how to sell your house fast by recognizing real estate market trends, preparing your home for showings, choosing appropriate pricing strategies, and finding the right real estate agent.
If you are thinking about selling and wondering what your home might be worth in today’s Naples area real estate market, Call 239-307-8500 or use our Instant Home Value Estimator that will email you an automated valuation in 15 seconds. We will follow up with you once you receive your estimate.
1. Understanding Local Real Estate Market Trends
Before putting your home on the market, you need to know if you are in a sellers market or a buyers market because this will drive all aspects of your home sale process. The real estate market is all about supply and demand because that ratio directly affects the fair market value of homes. Simply stated, if you are in a sellers market there are few houses available for the number of buyers looking to purchase a home which typically drives price points higher. Conversely, if there are plenty of houses for sale and few buyers wanting to purchase them, it is a buyers market and price points are usually lower.
Sometimes there are several types of real estate markets happening at the same time in a specific area. For example, a locality might have a sellers market for homes under $500,000 because there are few homes available for the number of buyers wanting to purchase, but during the same time period that locality could also have a buyers market for homes that are $500,000 and higher because there are lots of homes on the market and few buyers looking to purchase in that price range.
It appears that currently, Naples is experiencing a buyers market with inventory outpacing sales consistently for the last 6 months as shown in the chart to the right. In fact, the January 2017 data shows that there were 7,870 active listings and 627 closed sales (these numbers are inclusive of all property types in Naples.)
Another aspect of the real estate market to consider is months of supply which is how many months it would take for all of the homes currently for sale to sell. An average supply is four to five months of inventory. If the number of months of supply is less than four, it means that it is a sellers market. If the number is greater than five, it means that it is a buyers market. In January 2017, Naples had nearly 11 months of supply which again points to us being in a buyers market.
Although this local data is helpful when selling your home, hyper-local data might suggest that a different scenario is taking place within a very specific community. For example, although the numbers for Naples show that we are experiencing a buyers market, it is very possible that a certain kind of home being sold in a defined community is in high demand; thereby creating a sellers market in that particular situation. Likewise, there could be a home in a locality where it is a strong sellers market, but there are so many homes for sale in one neighborhood that it creates a buyers that neighborhood.
In order to sell your house fast, your real estate agent needs to determine the fair market value at which your house will most likely sell and suggest an effective pricing strategy after analyzing all aspects of your local real estate market.
2. Pricing Strategies to Sell Your Home Quickly
Now that you understand your local real estate market trends, it’s time to determine your list price. This is where the rubber meets the road. Price your house appropriately and it will sell quickly for the most amount of money the market will bear. Overprice it and be ready to show your house for a very long time while facing price reductions along the way. Undoubtedly, you’ve heard this before and it is not realtor speak for “price it low so that I can earn a quick commission.”
The reality is that selling a home is no different than selling any other commodity. Buyers seek the best product for the best price. They compare homes just like they do items in a store and will choose the one that offers the greatest value for their dollar.
So what factors should you bear in mind when deciding on an asking price?
- Are you in a buyers market or a sellers market?
- What are the prices at which comparable homes have sold, how long were they on the market and were there any price reductions between when the property was listed and when it sold?
- How do the locations of similar sold properties compare to your property?
- Does the condition of your house rival the comparable sold homes?
- What is your pricing strategy?
There are several approaches to pricing a home and some work better than others depending upon the market you are in and level of demand for your particular home. The most practical method is to price the house at fair market value. As the graph to the right shows, if the house is priced at fair market value, it will attract in the greatest number of potential buyers. However, it also shows that if the house is overpriced it will entice the fewest number of people looking to purchase a home. The reason for this is that the majority of home buyers look at a lot of homes on the internet and in-person and they quickly learn the price points that homes sell for in a given condition in a defined location. Pricing a home too high also attracts the wrong buyers during the time when it is initially listed and this is a big problem because you get the greatest number of showings during the initial 3 weeks of the home hitting the market. All of the people who have been looking at homes in that price range are waiting for one to come on the market that they want to buy, so they are among the first to make an appointment to see it. They are then disenchanted with the overpriced house and wait for something else to come on the market. Meanwhile, buyers who would have purchased the home had it been priced correctly have moved onto other properties and end up purchasing one of those. Essentially overpricing a home helps other houses sell.
Another tactic is to under price a home to tempt the maximum number of buyers in hopes of getting multiple offers and driving the price higher. This can be very effective is there is high demand for your home, but can backfire if the level of demand is miscalculated.
Whatever pricing strategy you choose, don’t get caught in these common seller traps:
- Building in wiggle room for fear of getting a low offer. (Price the house too high and you won’t get any offers.)
- Choosing the realtor who gave you the highest price opinion. (This agent knows that he will get you to reduce the price of your house over time as you get worn down and in the meantime he will pick up a few buyers by advertising your home. The trick is that he will use your home to attract the buyers, but he will sell them other properties.)
- Consciously overpricing the house and refusing to lower the price hoping that there is some uneducated buyer out there who will pay you what you want. (Thanks to all of the real estate websites, there are no such foolish buyers.)
You might also like Building “Wiggle Room” Into Your List Price.
3. Choosing the Right Paint Colors for Your Home
Pick colors for your home’s exterior to make it look fresh and up-to-date.
If the exterior of your home is painted in dated or taste-specific colors, you should consider repainting it before the house is listed for sale. Of course, if you live in a community governed by an association you may be limited to a chosen color palette, but if that’s not the case there are a few things that you should consider when selecting paint.
- Your color scheme should complement neighboring homes and not clash with other houses in the community.
- Consider colors of exterior elements that won’t change such as the roof.
- Take into account plant colors and flowering trees.
- Study how sunlight and shade affect colors on your house.
- Bear in mind that climate and change of seasons may change the way certain hues appear.
- Take into consideration your home’s architecture.
Select interior hues that complement each room.
Painting rooms in your home is the least expensive way to make the biggest change in the way your home looks. Newly painted rooms add to making the house look well-cared-for and current. The trick is to choose colors that work in harmony if picking different colors for each room. Take into consideration room size and function, architectural details, and how sunlight and shadows transform shades of color during different times of the day. To sell your house fast, perhaps use the REALTOR® rule of thumb by selecting neutral tones because most people do not find them off-putting and view them as easy to change. Which rooms should you paint? Any rooms with scuffed paint, old paint, or paint colors that are not neutral. Additionally, all wallpaper should be removed and those areas painted as well.
Don’t hinder your sale by thinking that paint is cheap and the buyer will paint the colors he wants anyway. Certainly most buyers understand that painting a room is not usually a major cost, but they see it as another chore that will have to be done either before they move in or shortly thereafter. And if wallpaper needs to be stripped or a loud color needs to be toned down, it is seen as an even bigger job that many buyers don’t want to do. They will pass on your house and look for another home that is move-in ready.
What about children’s rooms? If they are not painted in a neutral palette, they should be re-painted. Stickers, stars, and other wall decals should be removed. The objective is to sell your home quickly and if you accomplish it, your children will have another room to personalize very soon.
What sheen will work best? Most walls inside the home should be painted in a flat latex paint. Some people choose to paint kitchens and bathroom walls in a satin or semi-gloss. Just remember that the shinier the paint, the more you will see flaws in the wall. Usually a semi-gloss is used on trim.
Realize that there is a psychology of color and you should select paint colors to encourage good and positive feelings in the buyers that visit your home.
4. Enticing Offers by Creating a Pleasant Showing Experience
When a house looks great on the outside, buyers can’t wait to get inside. They think that since the owners have taken such good care of the home’s exterior the interior must look fantastic. On the other hand, a shabby looking exterior can turn away buyers and they may never see the terrific features inside the home.
When showing properties to our clients, we realtors have all had the experience of driving up to a house that looks unkempt and the buyers say that they have no interest of going inside the home, so we just move onto the next house. There could have been some really terrific features inside the house, but the buyers were so put off by the home’s exterior that they didn’t care what its interior looked like.
To ensure that every buyer will be eager to see your entire house, you have to look at your home’s exterior with an extremely critical eye. Some things to look for include:
- Does the stucco need repair or painting?
- How does the roof appear to be in good condition?
- Have the gutters been cleaned?
- Is the lawn lush and is it mowed regularly.
- Are the trees and plants manicured?
- Does the walkway or driveway have cracks or missing pavers?
- Has the front door been freshly painted and is the lock set clean and shiny?
A buyer sees all of these things during the first 30 seconds as he walks to the front door and he has already made a judgement about how he expects the home’s interior to appear. Is he excited to go inside or wondering what other repairs or maintenance items are in store?
Just remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and the home’s exterior sets up the entire showing experience.
Once you’ve got the outside of the house looking wonderful, it’s time to focus on the interior. Your goal is to make your house show like it is a builder’s model home. Spotless, easy to navigate through, well-maintained, and free of clutter and personal objects.
Begin by taking a discriminating look at your surroundings. Start by fixing items in need of repair and replacing things that are not in working condition or are worn. Don’t thwart your sale by not replacing something because you worry that the buyer might want something else, choose a different color, or prefer another finish. I’ve seen this time and again. For instance, the carpet in the master bedroom is showing its age and has some stains on it. To save money the seller tries to clean the carpet, but it still doesn’t look fresh. When suggested that he replace the carpet, the seller says that he’d rather not because he doesn’t know what color a buyer might choose so he will give an allowance to the buyer for carpet replacement. Herein lies the problem. The buyer walks through the house, sees the old carpet, understands that if he purchases this property he already has a task ahead of him before he even moves into the place. It’s better to replace the carpet with one of a neutral color. Then when the buyer walks into the room he is pleasantly surprised that the carpet is new. Making the repair or replacement before the property goes on the market creates a better showing experience.
After the repairs have been made, analyze how people should be able to walk through your house and arrange furniture so that folks can easily get from one area to another. All rooms should be neat and tidy. Remove excess furniture, knickknacks, superfluous decorations, family photos, and any other personal items. Discard or get a storage unit for any belongings that don’t work in staging your home. Paint scuffed walls and moldings, clean or replace carpeting, and make sure that every surface is spic-and-span. Make the beds every morning, hang fresh towels in the bathrooms, put dishes in the dishwasher immediately after using them and keep all counters as clear and clean as possible.
The hardest part of having your house on the market is keeping it looking pristine all the time since you never know when a buyer will want to see the home and you never want to turn down a showing appointment.
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5. Finding the Best Real Estate Agent
A top-notch realtor wants to know you – your reason for selling, your goals, and your concerns. He will support his price opinion with facts. The commission he is charging will be reflected in his marketing plan, time investment in your property, level of experience and education, and availability for you.
Since I have witnessed this time and again since I began my career in real estate 14 years ago, I will reiterate… the best real estate agent is not the one who told you the highest price nor is he the one that agrees to sell your home for the least amount of commission. The best real estate agent is the one who has your best interest at heart and is honest with you.
So how do you choose an agent? Ask friends and family if they have a REALTOR® that they thought was outstanding and would recommend. Check out real estate websites such as Zillow for agents serving your area, then take a look at individual realtor websites and read their online reviews. Select two or three agents to interview and determine if any of them is a good fit. Hire the one that you believe will do an excellent job analyzing your real estate market, advising you on preparing your home for sale, marketing your home, negotiating contracts, and getting you to closing on time with the lease amount of stress.
Why choose an agent that works on a team? First of all, not all teams work alike. On some teams each agent works individually; although he is a member of a team he works on his own without assistance from any other members on the team. Other teams have a designated individual for each part of the real estate transaction and the client is handed off from team member to team member as the deal progresses. When you choose Jesse and Jeri Hannon of the Hannon Group with Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., you get two full-time REALTORS® that work exclusively with you. A two-person team, either Jesse or Jeri is always available for you and both of them know exactly what is happening during each stage of your transaction. You are not handed off to another party that you’ve never met who may be less skilled than the agent you hired because Jesse and Jeri personally handle all aspects of your sale.
Our family thanks Jesse and Jeri Hannon for the very successful handling of the sale of our home in, we’re sure, the shortest time frame possible. You accomplished our initial meeting, assessment, photography, listing and sale in the unbelievable span of 10 days… You far exceeded our expectations. You were the most knowledgeable, competent and efficient team we could have dreamed of. You showed patience and organization in laying out our options, helping us understand the paperwork, and complete the staging and presentation to best display our home. The first day it was listed (only one week after our initial meeting), we had 3 showings, and 6 showings the following day—resulting in 4 viable offers. You helped us sift through the best offer for our situation and kept in close contact with us until the final closing (less than 30 days overall). Quite an accomplishment on your part and we are so thankful to have had you on our side. You made what can be a painful experience effortless. ∼ Darlene Miller
If you are considering selling your home, let us prepare you for the selling process by helping you understand the real estate market trends, what needs to be done to prepare your home for showings, how to effectively price your house, and what we will do to market your home. Then you can make decisions that will position your home for a quick sale. Call us today at 239-307-8500 or contact us by email.
Wondering what your home might be worth in today’s Naples area real estate market, call 239-307-8500 or request a Custom Home Valuation that we will email to you.