In the Hilton Head area, real estate options are as plentiful as our oysters (click here to see why). We have dozens of communities for people to live in full time, or to stay on vacation. Our designers work with hundreds of realtors, and we see thousands of properties. Every day we have multiple homeowners walk into our store and design studio to talk about their homes, or interest in selling their home.
If you are serious about selling your home, here are our three keys. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss them:
1. Be a Motivated Seller
There are sellers, and then there are motivated sellers! If you enjoy your beach retreat two weeks per year, you can afford your vacation home, and you don’t mind not selling it, you probably won’t. And who can blame you, you are still enjoying your home! A motivated seller is a person who is ready for a change. You may have had a change in life situation, you may be sick of the upkeep on your second home, you may be moving out of your primary residence into something bigger, smaller, less expensive to maintain, with or without a pool, but you are done. You want to sell your house and move on. And you will!
2. Pair with a Superior Realtor
We have a list of over 2,000 realtors in Beaufort county. And trust us, there are even more than just 2,000. Some are bad, some are average, and some are superior. One intrepid, and excellent realtor from Beaufort said he gained notoriety for returning phone calls, disclosing honestly the details of homes, and showing properties when asked. Yes, that’s it. Now, as it turns out, he does far more than just those three elements, but it’s a little startling what passes as real estate in our neck of the wood. You don’t just want any realtor, or the one whose commission you can talk down, you want the person who sells homes and has a good reputation. If your realtor has a good reputation, their listings get shown, and your home will sell.
3. Make your Home look Nice
This is where we can come in as a professional staging company. You will want to make modest, cost effective improvements to your home. It is important to prep it for sale. We can even go in and offer a design consultation to open up clients eyes to the broader market. It is also important to do more than just declutter and depersonalize if you don’t live there. You have to create a vision of what it would be like to live in your home! Buyers form an opinion of your home in 15 second, and 90% cannot visualize themselves in a home without furnishings. 92% of buyers viewed homes online first last year, and on average they look at 12 properties before viewing any. Your home must look nice, and your pictures have to be great!
These are not groundbreaking, but you would be surprised how often we see one of these key points an issue with the process. There is a huge home inventory in the Lowcountry, Savannah, Bluffton, Hilton Head, Beaufort, Okatie, etc. so it can be tough.
A few final suggestions related to the above three tips. Don’t drive yourself too crazy if you have to negotiate a bit on your home’s sale price. If the buyer isn’t negotiating, they’re not buying. Many realtors are 3 parts hustler, and 1 part realtor. Don’t be fooled by the glitz, make sure you are getting substance. Price your home competitively, but give yourself just a little room. Just a little! Finally, don’t fall into the trap of “trying your home out on the market” before staging it (if empty or partially furnished). This is a recommendation that bad realtors provide to people with nice homes. Don’t fall for it! Just don’t : )
Why? Staged homes sell almost 80% faster than unstaged. Homes that sell in the first 6 weeks sell for 6% higher (and your industry average staging costs you 1.5-3% [ours even less]). Carrying costs matter. Homes staged at the onset have an almost 800% increase in multiple offers. Multiple offers put you in the driver’s seat. Many times bad realtors will suggest you drop the price first, then consider staging it later. Their commission is only going down incrementally with price drops, and it makes their job easier to sell the listing, whereas you are eating all of that price drop when your money could have been better used elsewhere!
Those are our three cents. Feel free to chime in with the comments below.