Tips to sell your home

People sell their homes for a variety of reasons but they all have one thing in common: They want to get the most they can.

After almost two years in the doldrums, the real estate market is showing signs of life and definitely more buyers out there seriously committed to buying.

If you are planning to sell, here are some things you need to know:

What’s my house worth?

It doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion at the doctor’s office.

Real estate is no different.

If you’re interviewing realtors, ask what they think your home will fetch.

Agents will look at properties that have sold in the neighbourhood similar to yours and make a comparison.

But trying to figure out value in a changing market can be like pinning a tail on a galloping donkey.

What sold last might not be where the market is today.

But at least it will give you some baseline numbers to work with.

That ballpark figure is essential to helping you to figure out how much equity you have in the home.

That’s the amount of money left after you sell, minus your mortgage and other expenses such as moving and sales commission.

It gives you an idea of what you can afford for your next property and whether it’s worthwhile selling in the first place.

Curb appeal

First impressions count. The front of your home is the first thing buyers see.

That means making sure your lawn is freshly mowed, perhaps adding a few flowers and shrubs in the front garden.

A coat of paint on the outside can’t hurt either.

De-clutter and Minor Repairs

Get rid clutter. Make sure your house is clean and tidy and do repairs.

The improvements you make do not need to be expensive, and can be a quick and easy way to make your house shine to a prospective buyer.

De-personalize your home

Pictures of your kids and grand-kids are cute, but not to all buyers.

Buyers want to be able to imagine living in your house.

So take away anything that will remind them that they’re just visiting.

You want them to linger awhile,feel at home.

You can sell it yourself ..but

You might have thought about trying to sell your home on your own but do you really want to do the work involved in creating and placing ads, answering phone calls, conducting open houses, and making sure buyers are qualified for financing?

Do you know the market well enough to price and market your property appropriately ?

Are you familiar enough with the legal aspects of selling, including what should be included in an offer to purchase ?

You can end up spending a lot of time “learning the business”, and making mistakes instead of getting your home sold.

Hiring an Agent

If you have decided to list with an agent, shop around, just because your cousin just got his license it doesn’t make him the best choice.

Ask friends. Get referrals.

The realtor that suggests the highest price is not necessarily the best for you.

Is he/she just trying to get your business? Find out how he calculated the price and assessed the value.

Ask your agent whether they conduct open houses and if so how often.

Using an agent who is a member of the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (“CIREBA”) has advantages.

You will have a trained professional helping you according to the highest standards in the real estate profession in the Cayman Islands.

Your CIREBA agent will have up to the moment market knowledge, not only of the market in generally, but the market in your specific neighbourhood.

Your home will be shown on the Multiple Listing Service, and accessible to 180 other CIREBA agents and their buyers. Most agents also have their own web-sites to advertise your home as well.

Marketing your home

Talk to your agent about who the target buyers are for your home and how he/she intends to reach those buyers.

Discuss whether you want a sign on your property.

A sign on the front lawn is 24 hour advertising and a very simple but useful way to find buyers. Often buyers will drive through neighbourhoods and look for properties for sale.

Your agent can arrange public open houses and “agent only” open houses, along with using a variety of other marketing tools, to attract the most number of buyers to your home.

Scott Elliot is a sales associate with RE/MAX Cayman Islands

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