Selling your NH home?

1) Set the Price Right

Setting the asking price for their Southern New Hampshire homes for sale is one of the most important decisions homeowners have to make in the selling process.  Why is it so important?

You only get one chance to make a good first impression.  With so many competing Southern NH homes for sale yours has to pop out immediately as a good value or buyers will move on, unlikely to return. You get one stab at your home’s debut, and it’s easy to blow it.

Set the price too high and you could hurt your chances of selling your home.  The amount of traffic a home gets in the first week on the market is about 5 times what it gets the following weeks.  The traffic continues to decrease every week. You might say, “Well, I’ll just lower my price.” This can result in merely chasing the market down.  It conveys to buyers (the few who are still considering your home) that your home was overpriced and may still be.  Unless you drop the price to significantly below market value, you can be sure that you’ve missed your chance for getting an offer at your ask price, and the longer your home remains on the market, the more buyers will ask themselves “What’s wrong with it?”.

Setting the price too low is also risky. Buyers who are looking in a specific price range may not consider your home because of the low price tag.  They assume it will not fulfill their needs or worry that there’s something wrong with it.  If not enough buyers are aware of the deal you are offering, you won’t get the benefit of competition to bring the price back up to it’s highest market value and you’ll likely end up selling for less than if you had priced it appropriately and competitively to start with.

How do you know what that magic number should be for your home?  Here are 3 factors to take into consideration when setting your asking price:

1.    Neighborhood sales prices:  Recent closed sales in your immediate neighborhood offer the most pertinent data for predicting the sale price of your home.  List prices of homes still on the market should be taken into consideration also, because they show the current pricing trend and they are the properties that buyers will be seeing and comparing yours too.  A professional real estate agent will do all this research for you as part of their services.

2.    Condition of your home:  If your home has been better maintained, is more up to date and shows better than the other Southern NH homes for sale, it will sell faster and for more money. Updates, even those as minor as having current paint colors, impact pricing. Updated kitchens and baths are especially important to buyers.

3.    Appraisal Values: As the seller, you can get an appraisal on your home before putting it on the market.  You’ll have to pay for it, but it may be worth it to get access to this pricing tool.

2) People Don't Want to See Your Stuff

Whether your “stuff” is an old, favorite easy chair with rips and springs poking out or a closet full to bursting, it’s a turn off to buyers. They don’t want to see what the home looks like with your footprint on it; they want to see what it would look like with their footprint on it.

Cut down on your furniture, keeping the best (though not necessarily more comfortable) pieces for show. Pack up your knick-knacks, bric-a-brac and family photos. Take half your clothes out of the closets and pack them away in moving boxes. Less is more!

If you’re having problems with getting your home for sale in Southern New Hampshire off the market, don’t panic. Clear your head and see what you’ve missed!



3) Spring Might Not be the Best Time to Sell

Spring is when most homes sell, so it’s the best time to sell, right?

Selling your home is about a single transaction. It's putting one perfect buyer into your home. So, if the easiest time for you to sell, logistically, is in the winter or fall, is that really bad for your ability to sell? Statistics, increasingly, say no. Technology has taken away some of the barriers that kept buyers and sellers apart seasonally. Buyers spend more time online searching every year, which removes some of the winter weather deterrents that used to slow sales. Studies show homes listed in the winter sold faster than those at other times of the year and netted sellers higher percentages above the asking price.


4) Understand the Emotional Aspects of Selling Your Home

Selling your Southern New Hampshire home is more than just setting a sale price and placing a sign in your front yard. It is an emotional process that can be stressful and frustrating. Here’s what you can expect to face:

Putting your Southern New Hampshire home on the market. You may have a difficult time deciding to put your house on the market even if you are being forced to move because of work or family situations. Your home holds memories that can be difficult to leave behind. You may even second guess your decision. This is a normal reaction.

 Showing your home to potential buyers. As buyers walk through your home, you may begin experiencing a new set of emotions. Your home will usually be cleared of excessive family mementos and seem lifeless to you. Keeping your home clean for a showing can also take away precious time and increase your stress load.

 Negotiating an offer. You obviously want to make as much profit as possible. As you review buyers’ offers, you may wonder if you are asking too much or too little. You may feel insulted by a too low offer. Even after signing a contract, there is still fear that the deal may fall through.

Closing your home. Walking away from the closing table, even with a check in hand, can be stressful. At this point, you have probably already moved out of your home and now must face the process of settling in a new place and learning a new area. Once again, this is a normal part of selling a home.

 Disassociate yourself – once you have decided to place your home on the market, its time for you to remove your personal attachment to the property and think of the sale as a business transaction. Your mindset must change from selling your  ‘home’ to selling a house you happen to own and doing what it takes to stand out amongst the competition.


5) Interior Details Matter

Here’s a checklist to make your home’s interior buyer ready:

  1.  Make sure the front door doesn’t stick

  2. Wash windows inside and out

  3. Test windows to ensure they open and close easily 

  4. Move pets and pet supplies to a temporary home (if possible)

  5. Fix leaky faucets

  6. Update your cabinet hardware and doorknobs

  7. De-clutter closets and cabinets (yes, people open them!)

  8. Replace or repair cabinet doors

  9. Clean grout

  10. Wash the walls if not repainting

  11. Repair cracks or holes in the wall

  12. Paint walls a neutral color

  13. Remove personal items, such as knick-knacks and personal mementos

  14. Clean the fireplace

  15. Have the chimney professionally cleaned

  16. Remove clutter from countertops, tables, and shelves

  17. Steam or dry clean the carpets

  18. Scrub all appliances

  19. Clean cobwebs and dead bugs from light fixtures and ceiling fans

  20. Make sure every light has a working bulb

  21. Degrease the stove and oven

  22. De-clutter and clean the attic, basement and garage

  23. Make sure crawl spaces have crawl space waterproofing

  24. Remove excess furniture

  25. Rearrange remaining furniture in good proportion (Or hire a home stager)

  26. Clean the drapes

  27. Replace broken panels for electrical switches and outlets

  28. Wipe down baseboards 



6) Exterior Details Matter

To prepare your home for that first up-close viewing, here are 17 outside tasks:

1. Power washing sides and windows
2. Fix broken siding
3. Give the exterior a fresh coat of paint if it needs it
4. Paint the door and trim
5. Mow the lawn
6. Trim bushes
7. Remove oil spots from the driveway (for those of you w/ concrete)
8. Pick up all tools, toys or trash in the yard
9. Remove lawn ornaments
10. Clear weeds from the walkway and driveway
11. Plant seasonal flowers
12. Rake leaves
13. Clean roof and gutters
14. Sweep the porch, walkway, and driveway
15. Clean fences
16. Take photos of a garden if it comes up each spring and the yard when it’s fresh and green
17. Add tasteful landscape lighting if possible

Of course, not knowing what your specific home looks like, I can’t give a complete list, but these 17 items should get you off to a good start. Don’t forget that a few fall decorations can be the added touch that gets your home for sale in Southern NH sold to a new owner!



7) Choose a REALTOR

Your co-worker’s spouse is an agent. Your cousin has a real estate license. It's just easier to use them right?

That is no way to choose the advisor that guides you through the sale of your most valuable asset. Mistakes made by inexperienced agents could cost you a sale and valuable time. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS and no all abide by the organization’s code of ethics. There are two things you must consider when choosing an agent.

1)   Your agent needs to be experienced, full-time professional who knows how to sell homes in the current real estate market

2)   You need to be able to get along with this person during a high-pressure transaction.

 Disclosures are good for your pocketbook (You know that crack in your basement floor? Remember the time your bathtub leaked through the 1st-floor ceiling?) DON'T HIDE IT. Fix it if your can, but if not, disclose it. 

By disclosing everything you know about your home you can achieve two valuable things:

1)   Avoid legal liability

2)   Create trust and confidence in your buyers

If there is a material issue with your home and you are aware of it but don’t disclose it to the buyers, you could be in hot water when they find out. Many lawsuits in real estate related transactions have stemmed from sellers hiding problems that they knew existed. It is not worth the risk.



8) Your House is Clean Every Day, or You Lose Money

Marketing time for most of our listings are only a week or two right now. That shortens the amount of time you need to keep your home de-cluttered, fresh and clean. It also makes that much more important that you do it every single day.

Buyers are making snap decisions because they know they have to move quickly. If their visits happen on a Thursday night, they don’t know about your work meeting, your cat’s schedule, or your children’s eating habits. 

They just know what they experienced:

  • The smell

  • The feel

  • The light

  • The space

·           The first appointment usually defines whether they write an offer or move on. First impressions are usually the only important impressions in real estate sales.

  •  Box up random items
  • Put wall hangings in closets
  • Take EVERYTHING you can off of the kitchen counter
  • Stack your storage space, or your garage with things you won't be needing that month
  • Pick up everything, every day, before you leave your home
  • Use disposable wipes to clean up baths/kitchens daily
  • Make sure the home smells fresh (don’t slow cook a vat of curry right before an open house)



We hope these tips help make the process and transition less stressful!