Marney Kirk: What to do to sell your home
You can find real estate agent Marney Kirk on Twitter, Facebook and her own blog (which won Zillow's best-blog-in-Baltimore contest), so she's one of the first people I thought of when you all suggested guest posts. She's with Keller Williams Excellence Realty in Timonium, has been an agent since 1998 and was recently named entrepreneur of the year by the Greater Baltimore chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors.
Take it away, Marney:
Timonium, or Lutherville-Timonium, as the Post Office calls it, is part of the 21093 zip code.
According to MRIS, our local multiple listing service, there are currently 43 townhouses listed for sale under $400,000 in 21093, with an average of 98 days on the market. There are nine under contract, and the average days on the market for those houses is 72 days.
What does this mean for sellers of townhouses in Timonium?
It means there is a LOT of competition out there and sellers need to put their best foot forward when listing their house for sale.
A seller's best foot involves a number of things:
First, clean out and clear out personal items. Buyers want to visualize their things in the house, and too many of yours can block that.
Make those minor repairs you had been thinking about, or that your agent recommends. They really do make a difference.
Paint colors DO matter. Neutral is the way to go.
Consider staging. It is an expense, but it has been shown to sell houses faster, because stagers are professionals who know how to make your house look more desirable to buyers.
Price it competitively. The only two things a seller can control are condition and price. Make yours the one that buyers do not want to miss out on. If it looks right, feels right, and is priced right, buyers will choose yours over the 37 others they may qualify for and view.
The unfortunate part, along with the rest of the Baltimore area real estate market, is that Timonium house values are lower than they were a few years ago. Sellers may be taking a loss, so thinking of putting more money into a house where you may already be losing is a hard pill to swallow. But if you need to sell or want to sell, this is what you need to do – so that your house actually sells instead of sitting on the market.
Thoughts, questions, arguments? Comment away.
If you've got expertise or an interesting experience to share, I hope you'll volunteer to write a guest post, too. (Chances are, if you're trying to buy, sell, rent, renovate, etc., you've got the makings of a guest post in you. Here's one from a colleague who was struck by the way one selling couple is using their smallest bedroom.)