311 – Getting Max Value All The Time

When positioning property for sale there are several factors to consider in regard to getting top dollar.  Many homeowners feel that they need to spend money to complete improvements for the next owner of the home whom they have yet to meet.

First, how could you possibly be able to accurately pick what the future buyer would want?  How do you know they want terra cotta accent walls?  What if they don’t like that shade of blue?  These are questions you should be asking yourself before you do any improvements to a property in preparation for sale.

Keep colors neutral so you can appeal to the largest number of buyers.

Cleaning and decluttering often bring more ROI than repairs do.  In over 20 years of selling real estate, I’ve come to the realization that 90% of buyers will complain about the improvements you choose to make.

If you are selling your current home, or perhaps one you inherited, consider first cleaning and decluttering.  Have an estate sale or garage sale and get rid of all the extra stuff.  

If you are a home flipper, find a new construction model home in your market and go walk the models.

Notice the colors they choose and the amenities they provide, those choices come from market research.  Homebuilders put lots of effort into maximizing efficiency on new builds, and frankly, doing what they do can save you a fortune.

I know home flippers that follow the other flippers they see in the market in regard to finishings and such without ever visiting a new construction model.  What happens is a classic case of the blind leading the blind.  One flipper makes a bad design choice and is quickly copied by the next ten flippers behind him.  The end result is a bunch of crappy renovations that nobody wants.

I recently had a home seller ask me if they should do any improvements to their home before selling.  It was a really cool historic home located in a great neighborhood that was in full swing in regard to gentrification.  Several homes in the neighborhood have been renovated making the neighborhood a crown jewel of the area.

The seller’s home did show some deferred maintenance but had curb appeal and was in an ideal location.  This home would be a great renovation project for an incoming homeowner in a neighborhood that boasted pride of ownership.  Because of the type of home, it was and the location, it would bring top dollar in its current condition with no money invested in improvements.

I explained to the seller that I could bring them a buyer willing to pay between $550K to $575k for their home as is, no repairs or upgrades, just move out and clean..  Instead, they chose to list it with “the neighborhood agent” for $515,000 in August.  They said the other agent had sold 50+ homes in the neighborhood which is what made them choose the local lady.  They went on to say that the agent said they will need to replace the roof, A/C, refinish floors, paint, on and on which wound up costing them around $30k give or take to complete.

The price dropped $16,000 twenty days after listing, then another $20,000 a week later, then $10,000 two weeks after that, two more weeks dropped the price another $10,000 and it finally went under contract on 10/15 with a list price of $459,000.  It’s still not closed so only time will tell what it sold for (assuming the agent can get the deal closed).

In this case, the seller lost out on $146,000 or more ($30,000 of which was in improvements).  All due to bad advice and an ineffective marketing strategy.

To get top dollar for any property, the whole world needs to know it’s for sale.  You don’t have to try to trick anyone by putting lipstick on a pig, instead, invest that money in your marketing.

Run paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Wall Street Journal (for higher-end houses), and so on.  Make the house viral on social media.  Doing so can often bring you more money than ever thought possible in your wildest dreams.

I have so many true stories of how I have used purely marketing strategy to give my sellers heart palpitations when the offers start to roll in.  This happens because everyone with eyes and ears knows the property is for sale.

I truly believe there is a buyer for every house.  In almost every instance, the reason a property isn’t selling isn’t a price problem, its a marketing problem.  The buying public does not perceive the true value of the home because you simply have not found the right buyer.  Without guerilla marketing finding the highest paying buyer will never happen.

Folks, it’s no rocket science to sell your next property at a price so high it sets the market, you just need to hire the right team to help you get it there.  That team can be a Realtor or Wholesaler who is a marketing expert or a marketing expert that will bring cash-wielding buyers to your front door.  Either way, unless you can get people to the front door in droves (without using price as a motivator) you’ll never see top dollar and have to live with leaving money on the table.