Selling a home is easy, right? Just slap up a "For Sale" sign in your front yard, put an ad in the paper, pick a price and the buyers will come running. Forget hiring a real estate agent and save that commission. You love your home and so will everyone else.
Maybe you don't really want to move and want to keep your home forever. If that's the case, here's six steps to make sure that your home never sells and you can live there until the day you die.
1. Overprice Your Home
Ignore the market and statistics about home sales. Those are other people's homes. Yours is nicer. After all, you've got stainless steel appliances. It doesn't really matter that the last home that sold in the neighborhood was 2 years ago. The market hasn't really changed. Look at the tax assessment. Get a Zestimate. Ignore that stuff and just pick a number. The sky's the limit. Don't worry about foreclosures and short sales in the area -- they don't affect the value of YOUR home. Add on $20K for that new beige carpet you installed. Does your refrigerator have an icemaker? That's a $5K feature right there, isn't it?
2. Don't Repair a Thing
You're selling the house. It's not going to be yours any more. So, forget about the chipped bathtub, the leak under the sink, and the hole you accidently punched in the wall when your temper got the best of you. Those will be the new owner's problems. Why spend money now when you won't be living there in the future? Inspections? No way -- sell the thing as-is. Most buyers like a project. Maybe you can throw in a hammer and screwdriver with the sale.
3. Make it Your Castle
If you want to do it, paint it black. Or pink polka dots. Better yet, wallpaper the whole house. Buyers dig that and removing wallpaper isn't really that tough. It also helps if you put up tons of pictures of you, your family and friends and scatter them throughout your house. Whatever your religion, make sure you have evidence of it everywhere in the home. Pets? Let them roam wild throughout your house. No buyer minds a little bit of cat fur here or there. It's your home and your castle -- if you feel like smoking, go right ahead.
4. Forget First Impressions
You may have heard about curb appeal. You may know the expression "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." That's all a bunch of hogwash! When it comes to real estate and your home, the only maxim that applies is "Don't Judge a Book by its Cover!" Who cares what your house looks like on the outside? It's the inside that really matters. The buyers aren't really concerned about the trees, shrubs, your lawn or garden. They want to know what the meat of the house looks like.
5. Advertise Off-line Only
The internet. Social Media. Websites. It's all a fad and we all know it. People who surf the internet are playing Farmville, downloading music, and reading about Lindsay Lohan's latest antics. Web users are not interested in finding their house online. There's no reason to have a virtual tour, photos, or description and advertisements of your house on the internet when there's plenty of local newspapers and you can put up fliers in all the local coffee-shops. Those glossy home magazines work pretty well too. A small classified ad will cost a bit, but can you really trust the internet when so much of it is free?
6. Do It Yourself
You know your house better than anyone else, so why shouldn't you sell it yourself? All you have to do is a little advertising, fill out some paperwork, shake hands with the buyer, and you'll get it sold. Agents will tell you that they can get you more money for your home. Yeah, but then they take a piece of it. Negotiations? You know the best features of your home and you've heard of the negotiating tactic of "splitting the difference." Put on your game face. Contracts and paperwork? No biggie. It's just fill-in-the-blanks.
Follow the advice above and be guaranteed that your home will never sell.
If you're serious about selling, do the opposite.
Call me today at 703-626-0715 and together we'll get your Northern Virginia home sold.
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