Getting ready to sell your house...

Last week I met with a guy who is getting ready to sell his house. He contacted me from my website and told me a little bit about his situation. The house is on the east side of Madison in an area with which I am familiar because I have dealt with a number of first-time home buyers looking for homes in that area. Usually when I meet with someone that is getting ready to sell their house I send them a packet of information ahead of time so they know a little bit about about me, my company, and what services I provide. Since he's just getting ready to sell, he's gathering some information, and trying to figure out the best way to go about selling his home. He is a lot like another guy that I helped in the Vilas neighborhood, in that he is looking to liquidate some assets so that he can head for a warmer climate. It's no secret that Wisconsin winters can be brutal.

As I gathered information for this upcoming home seller, I started thinking about everything that's involved with getting ready to sell a house. Some real estate agents out there do a lot to help sell a house and some don't. In the Dane County area there were 9371 residential listings for sale and only 4930 of those properties actually sold in 2007. Thus the odds of selling your home is only about 52.6%. I began to wonder why? Can that be right? Out of all the properties currently for sale, only about half are actually going to sell. That seems interesting.

What does it take to be one of the 4930 homes that actually sell? Think about what it takes to sell anything. For any of you marketing majors, perhaps the 4 P's come to mind: product, price, promote, and place (distribution). Product - what exactly are we selling here? What does the "packaging" of the house look like? Will it be priced with new carpet or old carpet? Hot pink walls or paint them a neutral tan? New countertops or old? As for pricing, that's one of the most difficult aspects of selling a home. Pricing is actually one of the most difficult things when selling almost anything. How can Macy's charge $40 for a pair of blue jeans that a parent can only re-sell at a garage sale for maybe $2? Have you bought a new car lately? Drive off the lot and suddenly you've just lost thousands of dollars if you were to try and re-sell it the next week. If you search items for sale on ebay you can see a number of good for sale that receive numerous bids while others have no bidders.

Pricing a home involves several factors: comparable home sales, other homes currently on the market, absorption rates, interest rates, location, square footage, age of the house, updates, garage, size of lot, and more. After packaging the house for sale (product) and determining the price, then it's time to promote and expose it to the market. Consider where your ideal buyer would come from? Some people only move around a certain area, while others relocate from far away. Promotion is all about reaching the right buyer. There are some Realtors out there that spend a ton of money on marketing and advertising, while others that don't spend hardly anything. Many people do all of these things when preparing to sell a home, but it's most important to do them in the right order.

Selling a home can involve a number of factors but if you've done all the right things then hopefully you have found a ready, willing, and able buyer. At that time, get ready to negotiate an offer to purchase and follow through on the details. If you're getting ready to sell your home, I encourage to you work with an agent that you feel comfortable with and trust will do a good job. Contact me if you would like to interview me for the job of helping to sell your home.

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