Know your competition

Maximize every opportunity to sell your home!

The Birmingham real estate market is highly competitive. If you want to be successful selling your home, you need to present it in it’s best possible condition. Your home may be, or have the potential to be, the most beautiful home in town. However, an extended stay on the market awaits those sellers that do not properly relay to buyers what a great opportunity it is to purchase their home.

Where to start

For me, this starts with knowing your competition. Knowing your competition is crucial to your success. As a home seller, you need to understand where your house fits into the market for your area. If there is another house for sale in your neighborhood, investigate. Find out the asking price, condition, days on the market, and so forth to determine how your house matches up. Somethings you just can’t compete against. However, knowing your competition will give you the information needed to formulate a plan for the presentation of your home.

If am the seller, I am going to get ready. I am going to clean, inspect, then repair-or-replace anything and everything I may have neglected or put-off. Give the house a good ol’ top-to-bottom, front-to-back, inside-out and everywhere in between cleaning. Birmingham foreclosures, more often than not, are going to be in some stage of disrepair. I am going to take advantage of that by showing my home is move-in-ready. I want potential buyers to realize that my home is of greater value because it is already in great condition.

First, I’m heading to the yard. You never get a second chance for a first impression and it all starts at the curb. An over-grown, unkempt, disorganized yard is an additional hurdle that can be easily avoided. I have found that most buyers will almost always consider the amount of yardwork needed to make a home move-in ready when determining an offer. Therefore I am going to give the yard a good mowing and remove any debris.

Then I am going to go over the exterior of house. I want to reduce the chance of any negative impressions formulating while a buyer approches the front door. I am going to look for anything that needs to be repaired or replaced on the outside of the home. Then pressure wash. Remember, I am focused on that first impression. I want the buyer “feeling good” by the time they open the front door.

Staging and renovations of the interior of the house are beyond the scope of this article. (That being said, I am going to consider any repairs, changes, or upgrades that will generate a positive return on the investment.) What I am going to do though, is address the ambiance of the home. Most foreclosures in Birmingham I’ve shown are hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I am simply going to make buyers more comfortable when they enter the home. I’m also going to arrange the furniture in a way that allows for easy movement through rooms.

Once I am comfortable with the interior, I will be show-ready. I may have some repairs or needed upgrades, but I am presentable, inviting, competitive, and most importantly, ready for a serious offer.

Selling your home in the competitive Birmingham real estate market is more complicated than just leaving on the HVAC and cleaning, but I tell you what… A little heat, just enough to take the edge off, on a cold day’s showing a presentable house can go a long way to getting a deal on the table.