I am in the process of selling two houses that I have just finished rehabbing and I am always looking for something new that can help me complete this complex step faster and easier. The real estate world is a peculiar one since it demands some novelty of approach, so that you can stand out a bit from the crowd, but also requires lots of reassurance for the prospective buyer and that means doing things the “old usual way” which is familiar.
Bringing the two elements together is kind of challenging, but I have come to the conclusion so far that the best way to give “reassurance” is by listing the property through a Realtor. The vast majority of people buy through agents and the fact that there are third parties involved (my agent, the listing broker and the buyer’s agent) gives more certainty to the buyer of the fact that he cannot be hidden major material facts that could influence the value of the house.
This has been confirmed also by another very experienced US investors who have been selling directly for most of the time in the past and that now resort to Realtors for almost every single sale.
But still you can’t count on your Realtor’s efforts only to sell the house and actually you must be prepared to do all the actions needed to facilitate the sale as if you were selling it directly. This includes providing all the paperwork required to document the work done, but also to stage the house in a way that it is more appealing and invites offers.
While doing my research on what works and what doesn’t, I have run into several opinions, often contrary to one another, voiced by both Realtors and investors. There are some Realtors and investors, for example, that believe you should show as little as possible of the house in your Internet promotion so to invite actual visits. Other believe that the more you show the better.
Considering that the Internet is all about open communication, I have chosen to be as open as possible, and to publish as many pictures and video as it is feasible so that the prospective buyer knows exactly what the house looks like before coming to do an inspection.
The more you share about the house and the work done, including past problems and how they were solved, the more people will feel reassured. In today’s world, were information is readily available and buyers are much more careful in their “due diligence”, it is better to disclose all the relevant matters upfront so that they will feel comfortable when they dig deeper and find exactly what you have already told them.
Embellishing things too much during staging can also hurt your sale. For example I have read in several places of people placing perfumed soap, baking bread or cinnamon cakes in order to create a pleasant smell for the newcomers. Now the advice I am getting is to keep the place as clean and odorless as possible, as the use of other scents or odors can trigger in the buyer the suspect that you are trying to cover up something.
So it is not just location, location, location, but disclosure, disclosure, disclosure.