The market has been moving at a pretty good clip over the last several years and it appears that things are going to stay that way for a while.

According to the Case Shiller Home Price Index across the United States have increased 33% over the last 5 years.

Despite all of the amazing things happening in virtually every market across the country, including ours, one thing still rings true no matter what’s happening in the market/

In order for any home seller to get their home sold fast and for top dollar, there are a few things they absolutely must do to ensure that happens…

...no matter what the market conditions are.

Here’s what you need to know (and do) to get top dollar for your Windsong Ranch home:

Price it right

Even in crazy markets like the one we’re experiencing right now, improperly priced homes sell for less than full price, or worse, not at all.

In 2017, only 34% of homes that were priced incorrectly sold for full price or at net full price to sellers (after concessions to buyers). That means roughly ⅔ of these home sellers got less than they were hoping for or didn’t sell their home at all.

And it makes complete sense.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a properly priced home attracts at least 60% of potential buyers who are right for the home.

 

As you increase the price over market value, a smaller number of the right buyers will see the home. Even a 10% increase over market value will cut the number of people who see the home in half.

Again, even in a market where homes are selling above market value, you need to start your pricing at market value to ensure that the largest number of the right buyers see it.

Doing this, and only this, puts you in position to not only get your home sold for list price, but also to create a bidding war that can get you more than you’re asking.

You absolutely, positively must price your home well if you want to get top dollar.

Click here to find out what your home is worth in today’s market.

Market your home the right way

According to NAR, in 2018, roughly 89% of home buyers have used the Internet as part of their home search process.

There’s been a steady increase over the last two decades and there’s no sign that the number will decrease at any time in the future.

Knowing this, it’s important that the marketing strategy for your home includes a solid strategy to get your home exposed as much as possible on the Internet.

There is one caveat, here, however.

Although there are roughly 920 million websites on the web and even though there are several hundred websites where your home could be placed online for prospective buyers to see it, the lion’s share of buyers look on five main websites.

And they are, in no specific order:

More than 330 million - yes that says million - people search for homes and get their information from these five sites alone.

For the purposes of comparison, the next five sites combined, get only about 20 million per month.

Knowing this, it’s important to make sure that any budget that’s spent on getting your home marketed properly in Marion County needs to include a proper strategy that leverages exposure on these five sites.

Call Rhonda, 352-266-2637 to get access to a free marketing and home preparation strategy for your Ocala/Marion County home.

Make it shine

With the advent of technology and the ease with which people can get access to information about your home, it’s crucial to make sure that your home is in pristine condition long before a prospective buyer walks through your front door.

You see, the first showing for your home isn’t going to be when a buyer accompanies an agent, it’s going to be online.

Digital marketing gives buyers the ability to see everything they need to see before they set one foot in your home.

As a result of that, you need to make sure your home is staged and looking amazing so it can be appreciated by buyers who start their search by looking at the professional pictures you put online.

Perception is reality as you know and perceived value can go a long way in helping increase the actual value of your home in the eyes of real estate consumers.

In fact, a properly staged home can fetch up to 6% more, and can sell as many as two weeks faster, than an home that hasn’t been staged at all.

Think about how much 6% more of the value of your home actually is. It’s likely a five-digit number.

The great news is that staging doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.

In fact, in many cases, spending a small amount of money on just decluttering and rearranging some of your personal effects is all you have to to do to get your Windsong Ranch home to shine so it stands out among the competition.

Have your home professionally inspected

The single biggest deal killer in any real estate transaction is the home inspection. Hands down.

And, when you consider that there is a limited number of buyers who are open to buying a property before a thorough home inspection and repairs by the homeowner, it makes sense that you would want to get ahead of any challenges that might blow up your home sale.

To do this, you’ll want to get your home inspected before you even put your home on the market.

The majority of offers on homes are contingent upon a professional home inspection.

And honestly, no matter how well you maintain your home, there are almost always going to be some hidden problems in your home.

If you’d like to find out more about how to get top dollar for your home and even guarantee that it sells for the most amount of money, call Rhonda, 352-266-2637, for more information on how to do that.

Having a professional home inspector who can look into the dark, unseen crevices of your home that contain the biggest potential pitfalls can often mean the difference between your home selling or not selling at all.

More specifically, in taking control of the inspection and repair process before the buyer even sees your home, you eliminate the least exciting part of selling your home.

What’s even better is that if you save a significant amount of money by identifying and then repairing any issues that come up during your inspection. Once the buyer finds them, you could pay as much as seven times what you would pay if you took care of the issues yourself.

The best news is that your home will often sell for as much as 2.2% more when you can show the buyer that there are no issues with your home because a complete inspection has been conducted and all inspection issues have been resolved.

Also, conducting a home inspection removes a lot of the leverage buyers and their agents have in seeing a price reduction at the time of offer or later on in the process.

Conducting a home inspection before you put your home on the market is easily one of the best decisions you can make.

Top dollar is always available to you

Ocala/Marion County has seen some amazing increases in sales prices and will continue to experience a great market for the foreseeable future. It’s certainly an exciting time.

The thing to remember is that no matter what the market conditions are, there are some non-negotiable steps you must take to ensure that you get top dollar for your home.

If you’d like to find out more about how to sell your home for the most amount of money or if you simply want to find out what it will sell for in today’s market, call Rhonda, 352-266-2637 for a free home market value.

Autumn can get a little weird in the real estate market in general. In the early part of autumn, people are trying to squeeze last minute vacations in before school starts. After that, well, school starts and people are trying to get into their back-to-school rhythm.

Then, as fall ends and we hit winter, the holiday season approaches and lots of folks put their home selling and home buying plans on hold until the new year. As a rule, the final quarter of the year is not ideal if you want to sell your home for top dollar and close quickly.

Interestingly enough, as we turn the corner into January, the numbers indicate that time on market starts to shorten and prices starts to increase. Even in areas where it’s cold, snowy and often bleak, home shoppers get out and look for homes in January and February.

As with all things in life, it’s rarely a good idea to make a decision for yourself based simply upon conventional wisdom. Always do your research and get the real numbers that apply to your specific situation.

If you’d like access to a local market report that details what’s happening here in our area, click here for a free copy.

Also, you can click here if you’d like to find out what your home will sell for in today’s market.

From there, you need to attack the hidden or unseen things like ensuring the downspouts are clean and functional and taking time to make sure drain pipes are properly buried and draining so you don’t get standing water in your yard.

 

After that, pay attention to what industry experts call hardscapes. Areas like patios, walkways and fences need to be level and can’t have roots pushing up around the base. Also, make sure your deck doesn’t’ have wobbly railings or loose steps. Fix all of it.

Lastly, review the health of your plants and shrubs. Dead, dying and/or yellow plants not only look bad, but they can lead to additional maintenance problems that will need attention and correction in the future. In addition, trim back overgrown shrubs, especially those that encroach on your sidewalk and impede people access to your home.

Because your front yard plays such a pivotal role in getting people in the front door to sell your home, it needs to look as pristine as possible.

2.    Landscaping features

While the front yard is the curb appeal that gets people in the door, the backyard is the “eye candy” that keeps people there. People look at the backyard as a comfortable spot to hang out, socialize and spend time with friends and family. 

When you think backyard, think decks and patios. Also consider other personalized options, such as fire pits, outdoor kitchens, fountains and lighting. These are things that make a backyard seem like paradise to people. You don’t want folks to walk out and just see a fence. It’s not very appealing. 

It’s important to note that many hardscapes - fountains, fire pits, patios, etc. - don’t usually add a ton of value. Rather, they increase perceived value and make something more saleable to a buyer. If you do choose to add these elements to your home, make sure you like them and would want them for yourself as they don’t recoup a lot based upon your investment.

When it comes to furniture, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be in good condition and look presentable. Scrub it clean, get new cushions and make them shine for prospective buyers.

3.     Don’t waste your money

Expenses can add up quickly when you’re making upgrades and renovations so your yard looks good for buyers.

Much like you wouldn’t put highly customized and expensive upgrades inside your home, you wouldn’t put extremely unique plants, decorations and hardscapes in your yard prior to sale:

 

  • Don’t spend a lot of money on mature plants that someone might rip out the day they move in
  • Pick cobblestones, decorations and other customizations that a would be appreciated by the widest number of buyers
  • Don’t put in a complete children’s playset and make sure you take yours down unless the buyer wants to purchase it.
  • Don’t buy a large number of plants to put into the ground, either. Get a couple of larger plants or put in something like a 3-gallon flowering shrub.

 

If you’re planning to sell down the road and you’re going to put in a fence, choose and alternate board fence. It costs a little more, but it’s more appealing than a traditional picket or chain link fence.

Invest wisely as you choose to upgrade your yard in an effort to make it appealing to prospective buyers.

4.     Simplicity speaks volumes

Sometimes, the most elegant things are also the simplest. Doing something like carving out a small part of your backyard with a little patio, a couple of chairs and a chiminea would cost you a small amount of money, but could increase the perceived value of your home greatly.

Same things goes with plants.

If you’re going to put in flowers, plants, shrubs, etc., make sure that they are the type that do well in our climate and look like they belong in the area. We don’t live in the Galapagos Islands and get heavy rains every morning before the sun shines.

Use plants that grow well in our area during the season(s) in which they flourish.

Lastly, make sure that your lawn is lush and full. It doesn’t have to be huge and it doesn’t have to be deep and dark. Just take care of it and make sure it looks beautiful.

In the end, taking care of the outside is like taking care of the inside. Remove clutter and keep everything well organized. In some cases, it may make more sense to plant fewer items (and even remove plants) to give your home a fresher, cleaner look

Landscaping should be simple, elegant and beautiful. Strive for that for your home and you should be in great shape when it comes time to sell.

Click here if you’d like to get a free analysis of your current landscaping and what improvements you might need to make to make it even more appealing and valuable.

When your ready Call Rhonda, 352-266-2637, to help you see if you have the home ready to sell to get  the best price.