Smash Through The Ceiling: Selling Your Home For More Than They Want To Pay
When you buy a new house, you are always on the lookout for the best deal. You’ll negotiate to get the price as low as you can, and with a skilled agent in place you’ll be able to get a deal you’re happy with. But from the other side – when you’re the one selling – you want to get that price as high as possible. You need to balance so many things – price it too high and it may not sell. But be too flexible on the price, and you may be robbing yourself.
One thing that complicates a lot of people’s dreams of realizing the profit they want is history. And no, that doesn’t mean your house is built on an ancient burial ground. Although if it is, commiserations. That will make it a harder sell. The history that really matters here is the price history of other houses that have sold in your street. Sometimes, they can make your sale problematic.
Given that information is lodged every time a house is sold, every area and every street has what is known as a “ceiling price”. Although not official, this price guides what people are willing to pay for a home in a neighborhood. If they see a house for sale that they really like, buyers (and realtors) will research what other houses nearby have sold for. And so when it comes to selling your house, you may find it tricky to go above that price.
Ceiling prices are not legally binding – you can put any price you like on your home, as it belongs to you. But they do offer guidance, and if you want to smash through that ceiling you may have to do something special to render the price irrelevant.
Something Special? Like What?
Given that the area ceiling price is available to buyers and realtors, it is also open to you. When you know what the highest price paid in your area has been, it behoves you to do some scouting. What made that house worth that price? Does your house have those features? And if you want to sell for more, how can you add value quickly?
How you go about scouting this depends on a few factors. Are you friendly with the resident at the current record holder? If so, have you been to their home? And if you haven’t, will they mind you having a look around and asking them a few questions? If you’re not on good terms with them, what can you tell from a quick drive past?
These are all questions that a potential buyer is going to have. Although you’re under no obligation to sell for the same price, you’ll need to have a reason why you won’t.
It’s Bad News: Their House Is Just Like Mine, What Do I Do?
To a large extent, real estate is a buyer’s market in that you want to sell, so it’s in your interests to accept the highest offer you get. If you want to overcome a buyer’s insistence that your house is only worth $X,000, you need to make it irresistible. That means you may need to make an addition that has the “WOW” factor. They don’t want to up their offer, but they want that “WOW”.
In terms of really wowing a potential buyer, you may be looking at making a structural addition. One feature that not a lot of houses have is a balustrade. An elevated, balcony-style feature, it provides an excellent place to relax and sunbathe. If you’re considering making an addition it’s a powerful attraction. You can find out more about adding one by checking this infographic.
You may also want to look at adding something indoors that marks your house out as unique. Remodelling the master bedroom or the kitchen in a way that makes it more than just a desirable room is worth considering. Particularly in the kitchen, adding innovative, ultra-modern appliances can add value. The overall feel of a home sells it, as much as bare facts. Making it feel like a house they have to have can add value beyond what you spend on making those additions.
Restoring Former Glories
Anyone looking to buy a new house will be interested in the character of the home. A house where the outside and the inside do not match up will feel jarring. Realtors treat the phrase “original features” much like a magical incantation. The more original character your home has, the more it feels like a home. Although added gadgets in the kitchen give a “WOW” factor, the rest of the house shouldn’t feel soulless.
If your house has an original fireplace, for example, the chances are that it has been sealed or even covered over. A real working fireplace is, however, a hugely attractive selling point. The same is true of bare wood beams and exposed brickwork inside the home. If a potential buyer can feel like the house is a home, they’ll be able to see themselves in there. And for that, they’ll pay a little more.
Pick The Best Realtor Going
A realtor has one of the most lucrative but also finely balanced jobs in the world. It is in their interests to realize a high sale price, because they work on commission. It is also in their interests not to turn the buyer off by quoting too high. So the moment you speak to a realtor, ask them what you need to do to smash that ceiling price. Take their advice, as no-one knows the area and the market better than they do.
Through all of this, bear in mind one thing. Your mind may be telling you things that you think would improve the house and increase the selling price. But you are one person, and you are definitively the one person who will NOT be buying the house. So what seems like a “can’t miss” touch to you may not be so charming to others. Take advice from people who have set a high price and won before, and have confidence in making a lucrative sale.