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Sellers: Want to Incite a Bidding War on Your Home? Here’s How…

Getting multiple offers is a sure-fire way to sell your home at the highest price possible, but multiple offers don’t happen by accident. Here’s a four-step action plan to create a buyer feeding frenzy:

  1. Price it right. Overpricing is the worst mistake a seller can make because it leads to extended days-on-market (DOM). The longer a home sits, the lower the ultimate sale price will be. Buyers often (erroneously) jump to the conclusion that if a home has been languishing for a while there must be something wrong with it. That’s when they’ll begin to make low ball offers — oftentimes with little sincerity — just to see how desperate you’re getting. As the days rack up, they’ll steer clear out of an abundance of caution and simply move on. Remember, too, that buyers have received a gut-wrenching education over the past couple of years. They’ve been in multiple bidding wars only to come out as the bridesmaid, time and time again. They’ve gotten savvy at understanding market values and they can immediately spot a home that’s overpriced. They don’t have time to pursue a property or become emotionally invested with a seller they view as ‘greedy.’
  1. Present it with pride. When potential buyers walk into your home, they’re trying to determine if they can see themselves living there. They’ll gauge whether it feels welcoming, comfortable, and whether they can envision gathering with family and friends there. If the carpet is stained, the walls are scuffed, and heaven forbid if it smells like a litter box, they’ll quickly exit! Even if they do pursue your home, they’ll estimate the cost to remedy these things and it will be reflected in their offer. Remember, most buyers are trolling new listings online daily. They’ll decide whether or not to even visit your home, simply by the listing photos. Put your best foot forward on photo day AND for each and every showing. If circumstances necessitate selling it “as-is,” refer to #1, above, and price it accordingly!
  1. Be practical. Let’s say you’re preparing your home for sale and, for example, you know that the carpet downstairs needs to be replaced. Don’t assume that the buyer would rather receive an allowance to install the carpet of their choice. This is flawed thinking! The more “move-in-ready” and the fewer costs associated with moving in, the better. An allowance or seller credit doesn’t put cash in the buyer’s pocket. So, go ahead and pop for new, builder-grade, neutral-color carpet. You’ll ultimately get your money back out of it. Also, there’s a phenomenon in real estate known as “functional obsolescence” that you need to be practical about. Just because you spent $4,500 on a temperature-controlled henhouse, it doesn’t mean a buyer will assign the same — or any — value to it. Be a realist when pricing your home and, again, refer to #1, above!
  1. Promote it properly. Although this is the final step, it is by no means the least important. Just because your home is on the MLS and there’s a sign in your yard, it doesn’t mean you’ll attract multiple buyers. Utilizing a “coming soon” strategy, engaging staging services, using professional photography, launching a single-property website, having a social media plan, and many other strategies should all be considered. Each home requires a unique strategy and there’s truly no “one-size-fits-all” marketing plan that works best. A good Realtor understands this and will work hand-in-hand with you to develop a winning strategy.

At the end of the day, there’s a price at which every property will sell. The buyer determines a home’s value, not the seller. It’s ultimately worth what the winning bidder is willing to pay. Your goal, as the seller, is to attract the highest number of potential buyers by absolutely nailing these four steps. Do that and the buyers’ “gotta-have-it” adrenaline rush will drive the sale price skyward.

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