While we have yet to achieve a balanced market in Boulder, we’re trending in that direction with more inventory than in recent years. Now that buyers (finally!) have more choices, it’s imperative for sellers to up their listing game to make sure their home doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. When putting a home on the market, it’s the three Ps that will make most difference: presentation, promotion and price.
Getting your home in tip-top shape is a crucial step toward a successful sale. You may even have to spend a decent amount of money to make your place show-ready, but the upfront cash will pay off exponentially on the backend. If certain details about your home have nagged you for years – scuffed trim, missing tiles, a hanging gutter – they’ll most certainly nag prospective buyers. Your deferred maintenance is only magnified during showings, and it’s a signal to potential buyers that you knew about it and you chose not to do anything about it. (Insert a disappointed womp-wooomp here.) Sure, it can be frustrating to correct issues that you won’t get to enjoy, but it’ll also result in a faster and higher-priced sale.
This is where your agent gets to shine. The basics – professional photos and yard signs – are a given, but it’s the intangibles that make the biggest difference. Sure, that epic drone shot and fancy digital tour make you feel like your home is being showcased on Million Dollar Listing, but it’s your agent’s reputation and clout that will give your listing the most traction. Your agent’s responsiveness to inquires, networking abilities and good standing in the real estate community matter most for your bottom dollar.
Last, but certainly not least: no matter how well-presented or promoted, an overpriced listing just won’t sell. On rare occasion, a seller can hold steady on a price and a buyer will eventually surface. However, it’s more often that stubborn sellers end up chasing the market. Pricing high is not always a bad strategy, but pricing high and not adjusting as time goes on is a mistake that’s hard to recover from. “If no one has bought it by now, something must be wrong with it,” is a thought that mulls through buyers’ heads, and eventually, the market will deem your listing as stigmatized. Once this happens, a significant price drop is all you have left – and odds are, you would’ve fared better with minor price reductions earlier on.
There’s already a lot to think about when listing your home, from “How will I ever get all this stuff into that moving truck?” to “…Did I remember to forward my mail?” But keeping the three Ps in mind throughout the selling-and-moving process will help minimize the stress of one of life’s most significant events.
By Sean McIllwain, Mod Boulder Real Estate. Sean is the founding broker of Mod Boulder Real Estate and the principal pedaler at Club Mod Cycling. Call 720.252.6051, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit modboulder.com.