A good virtual tour will grab a buyer by the hand and lead her from room to room, showing a 360-degree view. Depending on the tour company, you can add sound, music or an exciting, professionally written description that scrolls with the movement of the tour. Virtual tours can also include individual photos available for download or to print.
If you are a seller in Alabama, shoving a For Sale sign in your front yard isn't going to help much. Nor is plopping the listing into MLS. You've got to be aggressive and make your Alabama home stand out like a shining star among the hundreds of others on the market. Whether you plan to hire an agent in Alabama or you want to sell your home yourself, you can use these strategies to sell quickly and for more money in a depressed Alabama market.
Before you begin to prepare your Alabama house for sale, examine the home from a stranger's viewpoint. Ask a friend to help, who might be more removed from your attachment.
Professional stagers in Alabama are highly skilled artists. They can take a blank canvas and paint a sensuous portrait without ever lifting a paint brush. Stagers possess the skills of a top-level designer and they create dramatic scenery that appeals to all five senses.
Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets. Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means: Alphabetize spice jars. Neatly stack dishes. Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way. Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction. Line up shoes.
Apply orange oil to cabinets that appear dry, which will renew their original luster. Put out large bowls of fruit such as polished apples, bright oranges, luscious grapes. Arrange colorful and fun cookbooks on the counters.
Follow these Alabama FSBO tips for how to hold an open house, and remember that in some areas, Saturdays are just as popular as Sundays.
The back yard needs staging, too. For patios and decks, bring in plants and potted flowers, and adds additional color by setting the picnic table with bright, plastic dinner plates.
Gone are the days of selling homes with unmade beds, dishes in the sink and toys scattered throughout. Today's Alabama FSBO homes must be spotless and resemble a model home.
Hire a good photographer in Alabama to shoot a virtual tour with at least two to four spins of your house, and advertise the virtual tour link in your marketing materials.
Photograph the Front. Most home buyers begin a home search online, so good photos are essential. Listings without a photo or with only an exterior shot are often passed over and ignored. Buyers are visual. Follow these tips and your Alabama FSBO house photo will look ten times better than the competition's: Crop out sidewalks and streets. Remove vehicles from driveway / front of home. Shoot up-close and angled photos. Avoid shade on the house. Clear away vegetation blocking front door or path to door.
Avoid For Sale by Owner marketing mistakes by being flexible with showings, offering incentives to buyers and obtaining buyer feedback.
If you decide to offer a commission to selling agents, you will want to put a lockbox on your premises for easy access by agents when you are not home.
Open Houses - Not every home is suitable for an open house due to location or other factors, and sometimes the only way to determine that is to try it. If nobody comes, that's probably a good indication. However, if your home is located near a high traffic area where buyers often swarm, then it's a good candidate. Place open house signs throughout the area directing buyers. Advertise in the newspaper. Advertise open house times online. Invite the neighbors; they're going to come anyway.
Alabama seasonal FSBO sales require unique approaches. The way you would sell in spring is very different than selling in winter.
Check Curb Appeal of your Alabama FSBO. If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get him/her inside. Keep the sidewalks cleared. Mow the lawn. Paint faded window trim. Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive. Trim your bushes. Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
Make Minor Repairs. Replace cracked floor or counter tiles. Patch holes in walls. Fix leaky faucets. Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam. Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as 'the house with the orange bathroom.') Replace burned-out light bulbs. If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
Do not want fall victim to a seller's biggest mistake and not price your home Alabama correctly, because the first two weeks on the market are crucial. That's when Alabama buyers' interest levels are the highest.
Make the House Sparkle! Wash windows inside and out. Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior. Clean out cobwebs. Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors. Clean out the refrigerator. Vacuum daily. Wax floors. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Bleach dingy grout. Replace worn rugs. Hang up fresh towels. Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows. Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
Print Advertising - Print advertising reaches buyers who read newspapers. Online ads reach the rest. If your neighbors say, 'Everywhere I look, I see your home advertised,' you're doing a good job. Puts ads in: Major newspapers. Find out which days pull the most readers. Typically it's Sunday but some newspapers also publish 'picture classifieds' on other days. Local Alabama newspapers. You can probably run a larger ad for less money that will more closely target those looking in your area. Alabama Real estate publications. Check on press date; can you wait? Every Web site you can find (like ListOnTheWeb.com ).
Rent a Storage Unit. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around.
Pricing a home in Alabama to sell is part intuition, part research and part market timing.
De-Clutter! People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away? Remove all books from bookcases. Pack up those knickknacks. Clean off everything on kitchen counters. Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use. Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
Host Broker / Agent Tours - If you're planning to sell your Alabama home without representation, then skip this step. However, since most buyers are represented by an agent, it's a good idea to draw as many agents and brokers as possible to view your home. Agents who linger in your home will better remember details to later describe to buyers. The best way to entice an agent to hang around is food. Doesn't need to be expensive, sandwiches will suffice. As agents munch and network, the hope is they will admire your Alabama home and bring back a buyer.
Direct Mail -If you're an unrepresented seller in Alabama, you can buy mailing lists from Alabama list brokers. If you are represented by an agent, ask about a direct mail program. I prefer oversized four-color postcards because they are inexpensive to mail and eye-catching. Here are three places to mail: 1. Neighbors. Everybody has friends and relatives who might want to move near them. 2. Agents who represent buyers in your neighborhood. 3. Buyers who live in other areas and often relocate to your neighborhood.
Choose several or all Alabama house marketing tips, from how to do photographs, print advertising, direct mail and eflyers to hosting tours.
You can't always depend on an agent's opinion of Alabama home or property value because sometimes agents take overpriced listings just to lure your business away from the competitors.
Pets in the home present its own set of challenges. It's harder to sell a home where pets live.
With all the money you will be saving over hiring an agent in Alabama, spend a big chunk on advertising. Figure out your target audience and get the message to them.
Interior Photographs - Take photographs of every room. Even if you suspect the room won't photograph well, shoot it anyway because the photo quality just might astonish you and be useable. Open drapes and blinds. Turn on lights. Focus on interesting details like the condition of a wood floor or a fireplace mantle. Remove trash cans and close toilet lids in bathrooms. Use floral arrangements in kitchens and dining rooms. Avoid shooting into mirrors because your image will reflect.
Signage - Signage encourages Alabama home shoppers to immediately call you or your agent. It's free advertising! If your home is a corner lot, put up two signs. Some homeowner associations prohibit real estate signs. Some HOAs allow only window signs. Try talking to a neighbor whose home is located at the corner of a busy street, asking for permission to put a sign in that yard with an arrow pointing toward yours. Agent signs should include the phone number of the closest office (if the brokerage operates multiple offices) and the agent's cell or voice mail number.
Do not underestimate the power of home staging. It can mean the difference between selling now for more money or not at all.
De-Personalize. Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want Alabama buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there!
Prices vary depending on where you live in Alabama and the local demand for professional home staging. Coastal areas and large metropolitan cities where home staging has been prevalent for years command higher prices. Some real estate agents help Alabama sellers Stage the home themselves. Most listing agents agree, however, that vacant homes show better with staging and will encourage sellers to hire a professional stager. Fees range from $500 to $5,000 or more, depending on square footage and the number of rooms staged.
Remove/Replace Favorite Items. If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
Arrange sparse pieces of furniture in an appealing grouping known as a vignette. Showcase a generous usage of soft fabrics such as silk, lambswool, satin. Display unusual knickknacks in units of 1, 3 or 5. Drape window coverings with simple lines. Add unique elements to shelving, bookcases and fireplace mantels, which draw attention to predetermined areas.
All Alabama FSBO marketing should be geared toward making your phone ring and increasing traffic to your home.
When staging your Alabama home, make the mental decision to 'let go' of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
Exterior Photographs - If you own a condo or townhome without a yard, then take pictures of the clubhouse, pool, spa or tennis courts. If you have a yard, however, buyers will want to see it. Emphasize space and shoot long. Mow the lawn and trim bushes. Remove evidence of pets. Put away children's toys. Avoid shooting into the sun.
Send E-Flyers - Technology has made it very easy to create and send electronic flyers. You can also include multiple photographs of your house. Costs vary but it's generally less than $100 to produce. Here are ideas for recipients: Real estate agents who sell in your area. Friends, family and coworkers. Out-of-area brokers and agents who represent buyers in your area.
Consider spending money on improvements, fixing things that don't work and making repairs before selling to improve your profit.
Stagers bring in a vast array of items to spruce up the house. Here is a small sampling of items professional stagers often use to dress each room. How they are utilized is limited only by the creativity and vision of the stager: Mirrors, Plants, Silk Flowers, Floor and Table Lamps, Area and Throw Rugs, Small Love Seats, Ottomans, Afghans, Pillows, Inflatable Queen-Size Beds, Baskets, Plastic Tables and Chairs.