The following is adapted from a blog post by Realtor Amy Harris. Read more of her blogs here.
Why do some homes fly off the market and others just seem to sit around? There are a myriad of reasons that can contribute to it either not getting any offers, or not getting offers the seller feels is appropriate. The answer is simple; buyers don’t feel the price / value relationship is right.
Nine times out of ten, if buyers perceive good value for the list price of a property, they will make an offer. However, if they feel it is over-priced, they will not make an offer. Home sellers are always mystified by this, but in such a strong seller’s market, making below list price offers is usually a waste of time. That’s why starting with a high list price is a bad idea. The property will sit on the market, and the seller will have to reduce the price in order to reposition the property properly. This strategy usually nets the seller less than if they started with a better pricing strategy.
So how have I been able to add more value to homes for sale so that buyers value it more? I have had success with three properties that were previously listed and didn’t sell. My magic is to re-stage the property to maximize its best features, take professional photos, create an on-line digital brochure, a virtual tour, floor plans and then combine these elements into a single property website, and advertising and marketing the property to very specific groups of potential buyers, which differs from town to town and house to house. Here are examples of the re-staging process.
Re-Listing in Millburn
This charming side hall colonial was completely updated, has a great family room and is within walking distance to town and schools. It didn’t sell during its previous listing, but I knew it had great potential. To begin, I added a bright colored potted plant to the front steps which made it pop. I also had the photographer take a more artistic front photo to give the home more character.
The living room is the first space you enter in this house, so it needed to be open, warm and welcoming. The previous arrangement of furniture closed off the room. I removed the two big chairs to create a more open layout and added pops of color with accessories.
Another Re-Listing in Millburn
This home is in a very desirable section of Millburn, but lacked any punch. To open the floor plan, I removed one of the couches and replace it with a chair from another room. The upholstered chair also added some much needed color. I replaced the dark, traditional oil painting over mantle and replaced it with a mirror (also from another room) to make the space feel more expansive. Lastly, I accessorized with turquoise colored accessories including a tray and pillows for the couch to brighten the space.
Knowing the importance of a family room, I decided to make what was an under utilized first floor space and re-work it to show its potential as a place for a family to gather. I took the couch that I removed from the living room and placed it against a long wall. I accessorize with bright color pillows and added a tray to the ottoman that was already there. The net result was great.
The second half of adding value to homes for sale is how the property is marketed. If the photos are not professionally shot or there isn’t a floor plan – buyers are likely to skip the listing when it comes up in their home search. Additionally, leveraging social media, my own website and targeting advertising gets my listings more traffic. you can view some of them here, but for the most part, these are secret weapons I am happy to share one-on-one.
Amy Harris is a leading real estate agent at one of the top producing offices of Keller Williams nationwide. Specializing in markets along the Midtown Direct train line with a special emphasis on South Orange and Maplewood, she offers her clients true concierge service – from the start through completion of every real estate transaction she takes on. Harris donates a significant portion of the revenue she earns from each transaction to “Give Back Homes” a foundation that helps to build homes for families in need and is a Board of Trustee of The South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race.