You are trying to sell your house in Las Vegas. Good luck! Currently there are more houses listed in the MLS without contracts than with them today. The telling numbers: 5,284 homes under contract; 5,430 still waiting for offers.
Yes, my friends. The days of selling your home in six hours (my record) after the listing hits the MLS are long gone. Bidding wars: now unlikely. With the flood of homes on the market, the inexorable law of supply and demand says there are just too many homes available. Buyers these days have the upper hand.
But they don’t rule the day if you know what to do. Here are my EIGHT suggestions to get your home sold at what we all want: in the shortest period of time at the highest price.
The basic premise: Don’t give anyone a reason NOT to buy your house!
1. Price the house right!
No amount of marketing will sell a home that is overpriced. Consumers have tons of data. They know!
According to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, 80 percent of all homes–in any type of market–sell in 60 days. So the clock is running. Buyers assume something is wrong with the house, or the seller is unrealistic, if that DOM (days on market) number gets to say 75.
So how do you know what price to start at?
If any Realtor tells you the “know” what your house is worth, they are not telling you the truth. The only person who knows what your house is worth is the person who puts their money where their heart is and actually buys it.
Here is my strategy. I do all the research, so my sellers have reams of data to study. I let them select any price they want to start out. I don’t care if it’s $29 million. However, they have to agree that price stays for only 10 days. If we don’t have a contract by day 10, we get real.
You have to lower the price each Friday until you get to the number the market likes. Then you will get offers, maybe even multiple offers.
If you reach your price floor and the house still has no offers, you have some soul searching to do. Do you really want to sell? If you are buying another house, the answer is yes, because then you become a buyer and you can beat up those sellers!
So price is THE most important element in selling your home in record time in a buyers’ market.
2. Make sure the house is surgically clean.
Nothing turns off prospective buyers more than your mess. Replacing all the toilet seats is a given. But did you clean off all the door hinges, especially the ones at the top? I thought so.
Animals are a challenge. I would not live without my blue and gold macaw and two dogs (a Labradoodle and an Iris setter). But parrots are only happy when they are messy and my dogs shed. So I have to move out before I sell any of my houses. Then, when the house is empty, I hire a cleaning service that specializes in cleaning up crime scenes. Remember Mr. Kaplan on The Blacklist? That kind of cleaner. You could have rotator cuff surgery on my bathroom floors. That clean!
Not everyone has that luxury. Just make sure your home doesn’t smell like dog or cat. And your buyers can’t tell a canine or feline lives there.
3. Speaking of animals
Take the dogs on a long walk when someone comes to look at your house. You’d be amazed how many people are afraid of dogs, even if they weigh 5 pounds. Cats will probably hide. But be sure to let your prospective buyers know there is a cat there. I had one buyer whose face started to swell up just five minutes into a showing because he is deathly allergic to cats. Sorry, but get the birds, rats and snakes out of there. (Yes, I’ve had sellers with ’em.)
4. Pay for your own home inspection.
This will pay for itself on many levels.
Trust: Buyers automatically assume sellers are hiding all the houses flaws. A professional inspection takes you out of the picture and presents the facts.
Code violations: The inspector will tell you if anything doesn’t meet code; you will have to fix it anyway, so why not before it goes on the market? I installed a gorgeous chandelier over my bathtub. The ceiling was 15 feet tall. The inspector made me take it down because Clark County code says only a recessed light can sit above a bath tub to eliminate electrocution risks. If a seven foot basketball player was standing in the tub, he couldn’t reach the light….. I had to take it down anyway.
Bargaining: This happens a lot. I sold one of my homes. The buyer offered full price. Then she had an inspection and the inspector found $15,000 worth of repairs. She wanted me to make none of the repairs. Instead, she wanted a $15,000 price reduction.
The thing is, many of these items were NOT on my inspection report. I told her I would meet her at the house with my inspector. Bring your inspector and we will figure this out together. She withdrew the repair request. The $350 inspection saved me $15,000. I did say this happens a lot?
This is a bargaining tactic. Be prepared!
Here’s how to use the inspection report. Attach the report to the listing in the MLS. Then print out a copy IN FULL and leave it in the kitchen. And when you fill out the Sellers Real Property Disclosure form, attach the inspection report and write in the appropriate places, “See Report.” Note: there are plenty of questions you still need to answer.
5. Be prepared to pay some of their closing costs.
This really chaps me. Why should I pay their costs too? Mine are high enough already. Well, in this market, the savvy buyers are going to ask. So figure out how much you are willing to surrender up front and get over it. (Yep, it’s hard. I feel your pain.)
6. Pay a tempting commission to the buyer’s agent.
Human nature is what it is. Buyers agents look at what you are paying them. Every month the house sits on the market you have to make another mortgage payment if you don’t own the house free and clear. Get those agents to show your house!
7. Work your social media.
Your agent will do the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing your home. It’s our job. But s/he will share some copy and then it’s your job to post on your social media. These are all people who know you and love you. They have friends. Help get the word out!
For example, I pay to a professional photographer to take the photos and videos of your home. I send the link to these gorgeous 3-D shots to you. Post. Post. Post.
8. Clean up your landscaping.
Nothing turns off a buyer more than a dead tree in your front yard. Increase your drive-up appeal with some healthy new plants or trees. Lantannas add lots of color and cost $5 a plant people! And don’t forget to trim those unruly African Sumacs. P.S. The backyard is important too.
I am in the same boat as you. I am moving into one of my rent houses on August 13 and putting my home on the market August 18. I am going to be a seller just like you in this buyers’ market. Together we will make it happen! Call/text if you want me to sell your home in this buyers’ market… because I will have tested the waters in real time!
((hugs)) BETH Ellyn
YOUR Las Vegas Real Estate Concierge
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MBA: L’ecole du Hard Knocks
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