• If you know you want to move, go on the market today. The power of choice goes a long way in real estate.
  • Overpricing a home not only causes it to sit on the market but can also result in a much lower sale price.
  • Sellers today must take the time to prepare their home for the sale. Personal items and heavy decorating only confuse the buyer.

In the New York City market, buyers are savvier and more educated than ever before. This works to our advantage when representing the buyer, but has proven difficult the past few weeks on the listing side of a transaction. So, there’s no time like the present to brush up on keys to a successful sale.

1. Timing 

The biggest mistake I’ve seen this year is sellers waiting to list their home. If you know you want to move, go on the market today. The power of choice goes a long way in real estate.

Multiple offers allow the seller to give preference not only on numbers but also on timing. Post-closing possession, a contract contingency to find a new home or an extended closing date might all be options when the seller is in control.

Cutting the time line too short might ultimately put the seller in a bind and weaken their negotiating power.

2. Condition

Sellers have a personal connection to their home, as they should. After all, if your favorite color is green and you want your bedroom to have green walls, you should.

But buyers today have no vision. Green walls are a distraction, and the buyer walks away remembering the work the home needs — not the amazing light or the beautiful kitchen. A fresh, neutral coat of paint works wonders for a listing.

3. Pricing

With interest rates steady and low, buyers can afford to shop around. Buyers also have access to the complete listing history. Overpricing a home not only causes it to sit on the market but can also result in a much lower sale price.

A buyer will use time on the market as a negotiating tool. In today’s market, a seller must price their home extremely well to obtain the best possible sale price in the shortest timeframe.

4. Clutter 

Sellers today must take the time to clean up their home. Before listing, tidy up. Toys everywhere cause the buyer to think the home is small.

Closets so stuffed the doors barely open lead the buyer to believe there’s not enough closet space. Kitchen counters with gadgets, spices or decorative items cause the buyer to remember there’s not enough counter space or the kitchen is small.

Sellers today must take the time to prepare their home for the sale. Personal items and heavy decorating only confuse the buyer. The less distractions for the buyer, the better the chance they can see themselves living there.

Timing and pricing are more important than ever, and serious sellers need to focus on the goal — sell. Recent home sales and active listings research, combined with the necessary pre-listing steps will position a seller to achieve their number.

Katherine Salyi is a top producer on Ryan Serhant’s New York Team. You can follow her on Twitter at @ksalyi.

Email Katherine Salyi.

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