How Selling Your House is like Making Lasagne
How many layers are there in a lasagna?
There’s no right or wrong answer to that. Other than, “more than one” probably. Even two is pretty skimpy.
So, let’s say three is minimal for argument sake. (But, four or more is better.)
The number of layers probably just boils down to using up all the lasagna noodles and sauce you have, or getting to the top of the pan you have to use. No exact amount. Use what you’ve got.
But, if all you’ve got won’t stretch to make three layers in the size pan you have, perhaps you should use a smaller pan. At least have the three layers.
This isn’t a lasagna lesson.
You could say that it doesn’t really matter how many layers there are, as long as it tastes good.
And, there really isn’t any rule that you can’t have a one or two layer lasagna. So, you’d be “right”.
It just wouldn’t look exactly right. Not a big deal. It’s lasagna.
But, this article isn’t really about lasagna, it’s about real estate. Specifically, the critical “layers” you you need to have when you list your house for sale.
Like we were talking about above with lasagna, for the sake of argument, you definitely need three layers. More would be better.
So, let’s look at the three most important layers when listing your home for sale.
The 3 layers
The three “layers” you need to have when you list your home for sale are:
3- Ease of access
The price of your home is the first, and most critical layer when you are listing your home. If you don’t nail the pricing, the next two layers won’t matter a whole lot.
It won’t matter how much exposure your home has if the price isn’t in line with the market. Buyers have a good handle on values, and they won’t waste their time looking at a house if the price is way out of whack.
There’s certainly a little room to be on the “high” side. You don’t need to “give your house away”. But, you really need to be priced well against the current competition, and justifiable against similar homes to yours which have recently sold.
Exposure has gotten easier over the years because of the Internet. But the easiest way to ensure you reach every single buyer in the market is to make sure you’re on the local multiple listing service (MLS).
Beyond that, you want to make sure your listing “populates” or “syndicates” to all of the real estate sites out there. Again, the easiest way to do this is typically to list your home on the local MLS. Most agents have a system that then allows your listing to be picked up by more real estate websites than you can imagine.
Beyond that, it doesn’t hurt to have some other exposure in terms of marketing. This will vary from agent to agent, and company to company.
But the bottom line is this — your home needs to be easily found. And since most buyers are actively looking online, make sure it’s on there as “everywhere” as possible.
Ease of access
Your home needs to be easy for buyers to come and see.
Sounds simple enough…
You want your home sold, so of course you figure you’ll make it easy to come and see.
But not everyone does. More people than you can imagine make real estate agents and buyers jump through hoops to schedule a showing.
Saying no to a showing, or trying to corral every showing into a tight window of time during the week is going to hurt you.
So, just make sure you keep your house ready to show at any given moment, and say yes to any request to come see the house. (Within reason, of course…)
If you just do all three of those things, you’re in pretty good shape to get your home sold for as much as the market will bear, in as short a time as possible.
But, it won’t necessarily be as good as it could be, if you were to add just a few more layers to your “listing lasagna”.
The “extra” layers.
While the first three layers are more or less non-negotiable, and will most likely get you as close to the highest offer as possible, as quickly as possible, you may want to consider these extra layers.
Adding these into your mix will increase your chances of getting the highest and best offer possible, as quickly as possible.
1- Hiring an agent who knows and understands the market.
2- Hiring an agent who is a strong advisor.
3- Hiring an agent who can negotiate.
4- Hiring an agent who keeps things together.
Knows and understands the market
It’s easy enough to hire a real estate agent. There’s plenty of them. But, you should really make sure to hire one who truly knows and understands your local real estate market.
You want one who can analyze the activity on your house, and the overall market, so that the agent can…
There’s a lot of talk about selling homes “as quickly as possible”. The key words there are “as possible”.
Sure, you and your agent want your home to sell, and sell quickly. But “quickly” depends on the market. And you want an agent on your side who, after analyzing the market and activity, can advise you on what to do…
Should you stay firm on your price and just be patient?
Should you lower your price? If so, how much?
Is there something you can change about your house that buyers are getting hung up on? If so, is it worth doing, or will the cost be too much for it to make sense?
There’s way more than that to list, but those are just a few examples of advice your agent should be relied upon for, and be able to provide to you.
This is another thing that gets a lot of lip service. But an agent who negotiates well is a huge asset.
Sure, you want one that will negotiate a “win-win” enough to make a deal come together. But, you really want one that gets you the fatter end of the win. And that isn’t always just about price.
A good negotiator will get you the best price and terms.
And, more importantly, it’s important to have an agent who will…
Keep the deal together
There’s a lot of time, and a lot of things that can lead to a deal falling apart between signing the deal and a closing.
Things go wrong. People get cold feet. Buyers get greedy and ask for credits and repairs, or threaten to bale on the whole deal. Appraisers throw their opinion into the mix.
Again, just to name a few examples… but there are so many things that can make a deal fall apart.
Having a strong agent on your side, who can almost predict and nip problems in the bud beforethings get out of control, is a huge layer to add to your listing lasagna. And, if things do get dicey, you want an agent who can wrangle it all in and get things back on track.
Looks can be deceiving.
People often look at selling a house as pretty simple. And the truth is, it is pretty simple…in terms of the first three layers.
But that doesn’t necessarily make the best “lasagna” possible. It might look OK enough to be called lasagna, but it’s not gonna be quite as tasty as it could be, if you take enough care to add the next four layers.