2 Things You Must Have to Successfully Sell Your Home

By: Art Penz


There are a lot of people in this country trying to sell their homes. The inventory of homes and condos for sale across the country is very high due to the collapse of the real estate market. Home owners are desperately trying to sell their home to capture any equity they may have or just get rid of their property because it feels like an albatross hanging around their necks.

I see and hear frustration from sellers quite frequently. Their home may be listed with a real estate broker and they cannot understand why it has not sold. There could be several reasons why a home does not sell – overpriced, ugly, bad location, bad Realtor, no marketing, the market is no good, buyers can't get a mortgage, too much deferred maintenance, bad colors, bad floor plan, no buyers, too many sellers etc.

If you interview a few Realtors you will probably hear about all of the things that they will do to market your home. They may tell you that need color brochures, a real estate sign, Just Listed cards, a Realtor caravan, listed on several real estate websites, the MLS, virtual tours, high quality photographs, movies, pitched to other Realtors at the sales meeting, cocktail party, email blasts, magazine and newspaper advertising, open houses etc. All of those things are great and can help sell your home. However, all of those things are not needed to sell your home. Most experienced Realtors know this little secret. However, for various reasons, few are willing to talk about it. There are two essential ingredients to selling your home. Can you sell your home without these two things? Sure you can but it is much harder and much more luck is needed.

1) The Right Asking Price

I know you have heard this before. It is like a broken record. You hear and read about the need for the right asking price all of the time. Yet, so many sellers still are unrealistic in their asking price.

Buyers are driving this real estate market right now. They have control of the car. If you want them to pull over at your house you need to be the most attractive house on the street. The best way to do that is providing better value than your competitors.

You cannot open the newspaper or listen to the nightly news without hearing about the real estate collapse. Many homeowners are hurting, especially those who purchased a home at the peak of the market in 2005. Everyone knows someone that has lost money in real estate over the last 4 years. This in conjunction with a bad recession makes today's home buyer very cautious and slow moving. They absolutely do not want to overpay and will not purchase unless they feel very good about their purchase.

Occasionally, I do see people who overpay for a property but you cannot rely on those buyers coming around. They are few and far between. If you do not have a realistic asking price you have absolutely shot yourself in the foot. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes and go look at the homes that you are competing with. Be objective. I know that is hard and impossible for some people. Is your house the best deal out there? If you don't think so what makes you think some else will?

2) The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

This is another must have when selling your home. There are a few markets where MILS's are not that used or relied on but for most of the country the MLS is crucial. The MLS is essentially just a central database that Realtors use to find properties. It is the nucleus that makes our real estate system work. I can list a property in our MLS system and immediately have thousands of other agents out there trying to sell my listing in order to earn a commission. If the MLS system did not exist my listing would only be exposed to my buyers and the buyers of agents in my office. My listing stands a much better chance of selling with thousands of agents promoting it to their buyers then just me and my office.

The MLS system is the Realtor's single best tool for selling homes. It is the most useful marketing tool that I have to sell Sarasota real estate. Print adverting, highly searched real estate websites, just listed cards, yard signs, open houses nor email blasts come close to being as effective as the MLS. That is why Realtor Associations are so protective of it. Can you sell a home without being listed on the MLS? Sure you can but your chances are much slimmer.

Essentially, if you have the right asking price on your home and have it listed in the MLS (assuming the commission you offer Realtors to sell your is the same or better than other listings) you stand an excellent chance of selling your home. There is nothing wrong with the marketing tools previously mentioned but they are not essential. Can I easily sell a home that is not in advertised in a newspaper or magazine? Sure. What about if it is not on a real estate website? Absolutely. Do Just Listed cards really need to be sent out? No. Do open houses sell houses? Yes, but the percentages are very, very small.

You can do everything else wrong but two things you must do right is have a good and realistic asking price and have it on the MLS system.

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The Author Realtor in Sarasota, Florida Sarasota Real Estate

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