If your listing has expired and you still want (or need) to sell your home, it may be time to shift focus from “commission” to “co-mission” thinking.
“Commission” thinking is the view that it is exclusively the listing agent’s job to sell your home in exchange for a commission payment based on a percentage of the closing price. But a listing estate agent’s job is to help homeowners sell their homes. In other words, it’s a team effort.
I have found that the most efficient and effective real estate sales occur when property owners and listing agents work collaboratively on a CO (joint; mutual; common) MISSION (an important goal or purpose).
In other words, expired listings can be overcome when real estate professionals and homeowners work together toward the important mutual goal of selling a home.
When a listing has expired, one way to sell the house is to lower the price. But what if that isn’t necessary? What if you instead took some steps to improve the perceived value of the home? Here are some things you can do as the homeowner to help your home sell in the shortest period of time, for the greatest value:
Create a great first impression--Your property is the product that either attracts or repels buyers. Accordingly, the importance of curb appeal cannot be overstated. If prospective buyers like what they see on the outside of your home, they’ll be enticed to see the inside. If they don’t, they won’t. Keep in mind that first impressions don’t just occur during scheduled showings; curious buyers drive by homes all the time. Here are some things you can do to create the best first impression possible:
Make it sparkle on the outside--If you were selling a used car you’d take it to the car wash, right? Why not do the same thing for your house? You can, with pressure washing. Pressure washing does a number on the staining, moss and mildew that can do a number on the curb appeal of a property’s decks, patios, siding, roof and gutters. There are many things you can “do it yourself,” but when it comes to exterior cleaning, it really pays to hire a professional. Even if you have access to pressure washing equipment, there’s a risk of damaging the exterior of your home (your biggest investment) by forcing water into or behind the siding, which can cause or exacerbate mold issues. You can also peel paint, splinter or damage wood, rip up or damage the surface of shingles if you don’t know what you’re doing.
I recently spoke with James Poole of Poole’s Pressure Washing. He showed me dramatic before and after pictures of properties he’s serviced. I was blown away by the difference (you can see some examples at facebook.com/poolespressurewashing). I learned that James doesn’t actually pressure wash houses. He does what’s called a “soft wash.” With this method they use a low pressure system, water and detergents to agitate the organic staining, dirt or other buildups that are on a home.
The benefit to using this “soft wash” method is that it minimizes the risk of damage to the exterior of your home. This is much more practical and effective than traditional pressure washing, which has been found to damage various types of siding and surfaces. Now that the outside is sparkling, let’s move to the inside of the home…
Clean and cut clutter to close--A clean, clutter free interior makes an amazing difference when showing a property to buyers. It sounds obvious, but it is crucial that your home looks livable. Prospective buyers can be easily distracted by clutter. Clean and declutter as though you are expecting very important visitors… in this case visitors who may want to give you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) for your property!
Pay special attention to cleaning windows so your property looks great from the outside looking in and inside looking out. Open or remove drapes, curtains and valances so every possible ray of natural light penetrates the interior of your home. Just like lighting is important when filming actors, models or products, proper lighting will help your Realtor® take the best pictures and give the best showings possible.
Paint for profit--Everyone knows you can cover up wear and tear, crayon marks and other sales distractions by painting walls. But did you know that paint color is an important factor that can affect a home’s selling pace and price?
Experts often advise choosing neutral colors when painting rooms, but some recent information suggests that fresh paint in the right color may actually help you sell your home more effectively. Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis studied over 32,000 photos from homes sold nationwide in order to determine how certain paint colors impacted average sale price versus comparable homes with white walls. Their findings suggest that homes with:
- blue or soft gray-blue kitchens sold for a $1,809 premium
- powder blue or soft periwinkle colored bathrooms sold for $5,440 more than expected (white bathrooms sold for an average of $4,035 below similar homes)
- light cerulean to cadet blue bedrooms can earn a $1,856 premium
- slate blue to pale gray blue dining rooms sold for $1,926 more on average than homes with white dining room wall colors
- front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for $1,514 more
- light beige, pale taupe or oatmeal-colored living room walls sell for $1,926 more
If your listing has expired and you are still motivated to sell your home, it may be time to shift focus from “commission” to “co-mission” thinking. As a homeowner, you are a critical member of the home sales team. By taking a few actions to improve curb appeal, cut clutter and leverage color, you can help your listing agent help you. It might be the difference between a successful sale and another expired listing.