Think you’re ready to put your home on the market for sale? 

Before you give Hughes Realty a call to schedule a listing appointing, where we’ll walk through and evaluate your home and discuss listing price and marketing plans, use these guidelines to educate and prepare you for the home selling process: 

Six Components That Sell Homes

There are six components to selling a home, three of which you can control and three you cannot.  The three you can control are price, condition and exposure.  The three you can't control are location, market conditions and value.

Three Components You Can Control

Price / Terms

Home prices, like prices of other goods and services in a free market, are determined by supply and demand as well as what the competition is doing.  We've all heard the terms 'sellers market' and 'buyers market'.  Supply and demand are largely responsible for a marketplace getting to either of these states.  A sellers market exists when inventory is low and demand is high.  Generally, this drives prices up.  A buyers market exists when inventory is high and demand is low.  This generally drives prices down.

Home prices are definitely influenced by supply and demand, however, when attempting to determine the appropriate price for a home, what the competition is doing is generally more relevant.  Most of us are familiar with the term 'comparable sales'.  Comparable sales are where we look to see what the recent competition has done and see how your home compares to other homes that have sold.  There are numerous elements to scrutinize in these comparisons.  Some of them are square footage, condition, aging, improvements, amenities, home-style and proximity to your home.

You'll also want to look at what others are asking for homes currently on the market that are similar to yours.  These are your direct competition and influence perceived value by prospective buyers.

A huge consideration is that 92% of buyers use the internet in some way in their search for a home, according to the National Association of Realtors.  If you price your home too high, the buyers that may have an interest in it might never see it because it's outside of the price range they used in their search criteria.  If you price it too low, the buyers that have an interest and perceive the value also don't see it for the same reason.  Of course, the worst part of pricing too low is you leaving money on the table.  You may be saying to yourself that you can price your home higher than what the market analysis indicates and always come down.  One of the first questions asked by buyers is how long the home has been on the market.  Repeated price reductions will not only cost you time, but it will reduce buyer confidence in your home. 

One common mistake sellers make in pricing homes is their perceived value of home improvements.  Generally, homeowners do not recover the full cost of home improvements.  Entry and garage doors, roof and siding replacements and deck additions are sure fire winners that provide big returns on investment. 

Lastly, there are financial considerations.  Problems, needs, wants and desires sometimes influence what we are able and/or willing to accept.

Hughes Realty will walk you through the process of arriving at an appropriate price for your home.  We will ensure your understanding of all of the elements involved to allow you to exercise your control and feel confident that your home is priced right.

Condition / Saleability

Condition is the most obvious of the components of selling a home that you control.   It is said that you only get one chance to make a first impression.  In selling a home, you actually get two.  The first is when buyers view the exterior of your home and the second comes when they enter your home.

The exterior of your home makes a statement to every prospective buyer.  They will evaluate the style, the entrance, the lawn, the landscaping and hardscaping, the walks and drives, the roof and the overall state of the exterior maintenance.  Fail this first impression and the second may never come.

If the exterior invites the prospective buyer to look inside your home, you get a second chance at a first impression and this is where the human senses will be on full alert.  Their eyes will tell them most of what they want to know when it comes to the condition of your home.  They will look at the overall decor and scrutinize the walls, the flooring, the ceilings and millwork.  As they move through each room they will focus on the condition of the windows, fixtures and hardware as well.  They will also look for signs of aging and updates.

Buyers will evaluate the overall look, textures and colors of the interior of your home as well as the structural integrity and the state of the plumbing, electrical and climate mechanicals.  

In the end, they will evaluate the overall floor plan, the room sizes and storage space to determine with their eyes and ears how these fit their lifestyle.  This is where you need to think about clutter.  Ridding rooms, closets and storage areas of clutter make them appear larger.  We've all heard this and know it to be true.  Clutter sometimes includes superfluous furniture.  These days, the kitchen is often the most important room in the house to a buyer and it is also where the most clutter is to be found.  The bottom line here is that if you don't absolutely need it where it is, remove it.

Lastly, if the buyers' noses become a factor in their evaluation of your home's condition, they will most likely move on to the next house.  Suspicious odors are not your friend when selling a home.

All real estate professionals in Kentucky are obligated by law to present sellers with a 'Sellers Disclosure of Property Condition' form.  Sellers are not obligated to complete it, but in not doing so you send up a huge red flag that shouldn't need explanation.  However, when you do enter data on the form, you must disclose all known issues with your home, past and present.  Not disclosing known problems could lead to legal issues after the sale of your home.

Your home's condition is a major factor in the pricing of your home and your ability to sell it.  Hughes Realty will guide you through the process of evaluating the condition of your home and ensure your understanding of all of the elements involved to allow you to exercise your control and maximize perceived value.

Exposure / Marketing

One would think that exposure of your home to potential buyers is under the control of your real estate professional.  While there is truth in that, since you choose your real estate professional, you are in control of the exposure component as well.

As mentioned above, 92% of prospective buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process.  If you look at where buyers find the homes they actually bought, you find that 47% found them on the internet and 33% found them through real estate professionals (who also used the internet to find them).  Obviously, an large internet presence is essential to marketing your home to potential buyers.

Therefore, your real estate professional should have their own internet presence.  It should be a professional looking website that showcases your home.  Additionally, they should have the ability to syndicate your home to thousands of other websites to realize maximum exposure both locally and worldwide.  Further, your home should be promoted on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and easily found on search engines like Google and Yahoo, all of which are among the top ten most used sites on the internet.

Hughes Realty has one of the largest marketing reaches in Louisville Metro. You simply won’t find many (if any at all) local agents with our presence on social media. With nearly 8,000 followers on Twitter, plus visibility on Facebook, MikeHughesRealty.com, and unitedrealestatelouisville.com, your home will get unrivaled market exposure.

Prospective buyers expect to see pictures of your home on the internet - a lot of pictures.  To do your home justice and present it in its best light requires professional photography.  The difference between professional and amateur photography is easily discernible and Hughes Realty employs one of the most respected real estate photographers in the market.  

Your real estate professional should also have a database of contacts through which they can promote your home either through direct email or a newsletter.  Another important element of exposure is letting the neighbors know your home is for sale through flyers or postcards.  Your neighbors may have friends, colleagues or family members wanting a home in your neighborhood.

A yard sign lets everyone driving by your home know it's available, but it needs to do more.  It should have a telephone number to connect live with your real estate professional to ask questions and/or get an appointment to see it.  It should also show the website on which to find it on a phone or tablet.

Remember that 33% of homes that buyers actually bought that were found through real estate professionals?  Your real estate professional needs to have a way to expose your home to other professionals that have potential buyers looking for a home like yours. United Real Estate Louisville has over 120 realtors and they’ll all be able to bring their buyers the moment your home hits the MLS. 

Once again, Hughes Realty will have  a solid, proven marketing plan that includes everything mentioned above and more.

Three Components You Cannot Control

Location, Location, Location!

This is another phrase with which we've all become familiar.  Your home's location does have an effect on price.  For instance, you'll pay more for a home on a golf course or waterfront lot than you would for the same home whose lot does not abut those amenities.  Likewise, you'll pay less for a home in a declining neighborhood than you would for the same home in an up-and-coming neighborhood.  Since you probably don't want to bear the expense of moving your home, your location is what it is.  There is no control over this situation and really no viable options.

Hughes Realty with work with you to maximize the benefits and perceived value of your location.

Market Conditions

We’re sure that we all wish that we were so powerful as to be able to have an effect on market conditions, but alas, we are not.  However, the Louisville metropolitan area has been very stable when compared to what you read and hear from national sources.  We do not suffer the peaks and valleys of larger metropolises and coastal areas across the country.

Over the last forty-four years there have been only two periods when our market showed overall depreciation.  Some of us remember when mortgage rates were in the high teens in 1982 and, of course, we felt some of the effects locally of the last national economic down-turn (the so-called 'Great Recession) which effected 2008 and nominally effected 2009 and 2011.  We've been back on a steady appreciation path since and expect  that will continue.  Recent trends show significant appreciation in units sold, median price and total dollars spent.

Again, this is beyond the control of most of us.  However, Hughes Realty always has a watchful eye on market trends and economic conditions that effect the housing market.

Value

Value is controlled by the buyer.  How so?   To demonstrate this, we like to tell the story of out-of-town buyers that we showed nine homes that had a $200,000 range of prices.  At one point they asked, “Why is this home, which is so much like the last one we were in, $90,000 higher?”  Obviously, potential buyers  are not going to spend their hard-earned money on a home where they don’t perceive the value.

We'll mention again here that some sellers err in pricing their homes because of their own perceived value of home improvements.  Generally, homeowners do not recover the full cost of home improvements.  Click here to get an idea of the cost versus value of your home improvement.

Once more, this is a component over which you have no direct control.  However, working as a team, you and Hughes Realty can do a lot to enhance the perceived value of your home to your prospective buyers.

Your Role As A Seller

Emotions / Mentality

Selling a home is an exhilarating time in the lives of most who do it.  The cause of your move is generally a trigger to weeks of intriguing anticipation about moving on to the next chapter in your life.  A career, lifestyle or location change can be exciting.

We also realize that emotions can run high when deciding to sell your home.  After all, this may be the place where you raised your family or, at the very least, made lasting memories.  The good thing is there will be many new memories ahead in a new home.  

There is, undoubtedly, some work ahead in preparing your home to sell, but your preparation will be rewarded with maximized returns at the closing table.  Your daily routine will change when selling your home.  Your life will be disrupted so that your home may be shown to potential buyers.  Keep an open mind.  It won't last long and remember these disruptions are a vital part of getting your home sold.  Try your hardest to always make it available for showings and remember, each showing gets you closer to the goal of selling your home.

Lastly, be prepared for a few disappointments.  In spite the best efforts of you and your real estate professional, things happen.  There may be short notice calls for showings.  There may be prospective buyers that arrive late or don't show at all.  You will get feedback on your home and you may find some of it disappointing.  We're not saying that these things will happen.  We just want you to be prepared for those things that could happen.  After all, buyers are human and human nature has its idiosyncrasies no matter the endeavor.  The home selling process is not immune to this.

It can and should be a fun process.  Enjoy the journey!  We'll be with you every step of the way.

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