10 Potential Ways To Get Top Dollar On Your Home

The Savvy Synopsis

How can you get the best offer on your home? Here are ten “secrets” some have found successful in getting the most out of selling their home. But are these all worth it? Or are some suggestions better than others?   

When you are selling your home, you want to do everything you can to get top dollar in the sale. So, what can you do to best prepare your home? Angie and Walter go through a list of home selling “secrets” in this episode of the Savvy Realtor podcast and discuss which ones would be the most beneficial in selling your home.

For instance, do you use your formal dining room as a playroom? If so, you might want to instead stage it according to its purpose to give the buyer the idea behind the intent of the room. Getting the home professionally cleaned prior to showings can also make a huge difference.

Don’t forget the mailbox! This is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so you’ll want to make a good first impression. Anything you can do to give your home a fresh look will help it get more traffic which usually means a quicker offer at a higher price point.

Consider what other ways you can feature your home. Maybe leave a letter on the counter for the potential buyer listing all the reasons you’ve loved this home and the neighborhood in order to highlight things that might otherwise be overlooked. Realtors can’t talk about the neighborhood statistics or crime rates, but you as the seller can tell more about the culture of living in that area.

Is underpricing your home a way to spark a bidding war (and get a better offer)? Should you get a pre-inspection to better prepare to sell your home?

Find out what Angie has to say and then get your home ready to sell!

Listen to the full episode or click on the suggestions below to find out more specifics on preparing your home to sell it.

0:38 - What are the best ways to sell your home for top dollar? 

0:57 - Have a great mailbox. 

2:44 - Make sure you show the rooms for their purpose.

3:37 - Should you reglaze the bathroom tub? 

6:59 - Write a letter about the home to the potential buyers.

8:19 - Is it worth listing your home under-value and hope for a bidding war?

10:42 - Write an improvements list to show the extras in the home.

12:01 - Describe the culture of the neighborhood to buyers.

12:36 - Don’t forget the features!

12:53 - Show the home with photos or videos online.

15:12 - Will getting a pre-inspection help you anticipate problems found in an inspection? 

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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: (00:02)
It's time for the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter Shorholt alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of a Cole Realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ins and outs when it comes to buying or selling a home. You can find a team online by going to eight Cole realty.com that's a C O L E real teat.com or by calling (919) 578-3128 that's (919) 578-3128 and now it's time for one of the top realtors in the triangle, Angie Cole and the savvy real tour podcast. Well, I came across an article that's listed the 10 secrets to fetch top dollar if you're looking to sell your home, and I wanted to see if you agree with all of these, if you think some of these are a little bit out there in left field and not that actually important

Speaker 2: (00:51)
to focus on. So I figured we could run through this list together and see what you think about these. It sounds like a plan. The first one on the list caught me kind of a little off guard when I was reading it cause it seems so little and simple but it said have a great mailbox. Is that really a top selling feature in secret? You know I a there has been many, many times I have told a seller to get their mailbox painted. Um, you know, I just feel like a mailbox is one of those things that a lot of people kind of let go. You know, it doesn't need to be an expensive or an over the top, you know, just different type of mailbox. But just your standard mail box. But make sure that the post is painted the correct color, whether it's white or black and just make sure it is kept up nicely.

Speaker 2: (01:32)
The letters are crisp, they're clean, they're not peeled off a, the little flower bed around your mailbox is weeded. You know, maybe there's some flowers because that is first impression you, I mean you need to think about when a potential buyer is driving up to your home. They're driving into the driveway. First thing they see is a mailbox. So is it going to make you more money and get you top dollar? I can't say that, but I bet you it could help you to get an offer quicker, which the quicker you get an offer, the higher the price point you more than likely would receive. Yeah, I think it's a, it's one of those, I guess that would be a little secret. A little secret, you know, it's just one of those, it's part of curb appeal. Yeah. I mean in our mailbox, I think when we sold it was fine.

Speaker 2: (02:14)
It wasn't the best mailbox in the world, but it wasn't like a couple houses down where the mailbox was almost horizontal. And when that's a big it, we, I'm, we're not asking me to go by and as a friend, a mail box box. Now that's not improvements. Yeah. There we're asking you to do, but I mean, just make sure, yeah, it's not falling over and it's clean. Make sure, you know, does it need to be painted power wash? Maybe, you know, make it cutesy around it. Yup. Absolutely. Great points there, Angie. So have a great mailbox. One little tip to get top dollar for your home. Angie agrees with that one. The other one is a make sure rooms show for their purpose. So yeah, have an office showing like an office. If it's a bedroom, make it show like a bedroom, not a gym or something like that.

Speaker 2: (02:54)
Most definitely because even if you don't utilize that room those ways, um, it as far as what their true purpose probably should be. The next buyer, our next potential owner walking through your home would more than likely use the room for its, you know, standard purpose. So go ahead and set it up that way because it can be a little difficult for buyers to imagine how they will live in a home if they're walking through and you have, for example, the formal dining room where it's now just a playroom. Well, what if the buyer walking through doesn't have kids? It just really can throw them off. So yes, you know, let's stage and let's set up the rooms for their specific purpose.

Speaker 1: (03:32)
Yeah, that's a good point. And certainly an easy one for us to follow. So easy. So, yeah, the next one is to re glaze the bathroom tub.

Speaker 2: (03:41)
I haven't really heard of this one. Um, let's make sure that you get your home professionally cleaned, you know, but as far as taking the next steps to actually re glaze it and give it that extra shine at virtual, I depends on the type of tub that you have. Some are like a, you know, but we have fiberglass, we have, you know, different style of tubs. Not all of them can be reclaimed, but yeah, I mean if it's dingy that would be helpful. Um, but I can't say that we walk through homes and say, Hey, to get top dollar you need to regulate your tub. Now

Speaker 1: (04:09)
I will say, we actually did this, Angie, we did and have like, I'm like, Russ Dane's kind of like iron stands on the tub or something. So it was actually like, um, I, I believe the tub was not a porcelain tub. It was still like, you know, uh, an insert. It wasn't like the fiberglass or porcelain or whatever. Like it was a composite or whatever, I don't know. But it was original to the home. So, you know, it was 30 years old. It was, it needed more than just a cleaning. And um, we, we had it glazed over and it looked amazing. It looked really good. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (04:44)
Yeah. I mean, you know, anytime it, it, you know, we're getting a home kind of like stage ready, get in it, prepare for the market, you know, whatever you can do to really give it that fresh look is important. So if your tub is showing wear and tear and just age and discoloration, sure. I mean that is definitely something you can do to make it show better. And I feel like a lot of these things that we're talking about, you know, are really to help it to show better. Um, but once again, when a home shows better, you will get more traffic. Cause of course the pictures will be fabulous. More traffic, more people come into your home, you know, it's a numbers game. The more people we get in, the quicker we will receive an offer and typically then you'll get the highest price point. So I get up.

Speaker 1: (05:27)
Yeah, we were very happy with the results from it. Um, obviously don't know the longevity of the, the service necessarily. I, although it came with warranty and all that good stuff, so we thought it looked really good. We had upgraded the rest of the bathroom, so we put in some new floors in the bathroom and we had done in the new thing, you know. So then it was the only thing left.

Speaker 2: (05:46)
I've seen, I've seen where people have gone and like you mentioned, updated their bathroom and they left the dingy tub. I mean talk about, it almost makes it look worse than what it was. Right. It's, it's a big eyesore, so we want that. But the

Speaker 1: (05:58)
cost to reglaze a tub is so much less than putting in a whole new insert. A, I want to say it was like less than 500 bucks right around, right around that. Yeah, something like that. Well worth it. Like a two day process. So it was a, it was a good, good deal. Did you take this one on a, on yourself? Oh, no, no, no. I was not gonna

Speaker 2: (06:18)
I know you're pretty handy and you'd like to, you know,

Speaker 1: (06:20)
uh, I like to not the lock holes in the wall you'd like to dabble here and there. There's things within my skill range that I will stick to. Yeah. Things that require spraying and different types of chemicals. You know, I could get a little out of control. Better left that one to the professionals. That's right. That's right. But I've had a good experienced in it and we did it in the new home as well. We had, uh, we had the, the tubs glaze here cause they were original. So it's, it's been a good experience both times. So I, I'll look into it. If you really feel like you need upgrade your a bathroom tub, shower area, but don't have the dollars for an entire Reno, it's a, it's an easier way to go about it. Uh, something else that I found interesting in this list of secrets to fetch top dollar for your home so far. Angie's in agreement on a couple of these sellers write a letter about the home, similar to how buyers will write letters to the sellers. This is kind of saying do it the other way around. Write a letter about the home and give it to potential buyers. Okay.

Speaker 2: (07:18)
Yeah, and I've, I've never seen where the seller is actually just giving it to potential buyers, but um, I have often seen where there's been a letter left in like just on the counter top or in a notebook that's left with a home. Um, that may be what they're meeting. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I think that's a great idea. You know, that's just more of taking your time. It doesn't even cost you anything. So just take a little bit of time to jot down what you love most about the home. Maybe some special features that you know from reading the MLS sheet or looking at pictures a buyer wouldn't be a of, also maybe talk about the neighborhood. That is one thing that you as a seller, you can run with it and just talk about how fabulous your neighbors are and who you love in the neighborhood and all that good stuff and why you really love living there. Where as a real estate professional, we can't even go there. We can't tell you who lives in a neighborhood and you know, really talk about what style of neighborhood it is. So you know, use that time to really just upsell your home and your neighborhood.

Speaker 1: (08:15)
Very good point, Angie. Yup. It's a neat little feature. I think this next one I know that you kind of view as controversial, so this may be our first big disagreement with this list. This particular article really pumped up is a great secret in real estate to list your home undervalue in order to inspire a bidding war. I'm not for this, I'm enough

Speaker 2: (08:37)
for this and it's funny you mentioned that. I'm actually one of our listing specialists, Lowery Ligon came to me the other day and she was pulling comparables in a neighborhood where we actually just closed actually this week when I'm talking about one of our sales that was that same townhome neighborhood and she was going on another listing appointment and all of the sudden a listing has popped up. And you know, typically when you're looking in a townhome neighborhood, it is very straightforward as far as what the homes are worth, right? Like pulling comparables on our end is pretty seamless. Well, one person who just listed their home priced the home just really, really, really, really low and it made no sense. But this goes back to what you're stating right here about listing under value. I said, you know what? Because based on the pictures, I mean it was as cute as a button.

Speaker 2: (09:23)
I said, I bet their tests in the market, they're listing it well below value and their goal and their hope is to get multiple offers and drive that price right back up. And I'll tell you what, I'm not that brave. You know, I'm not going to gamble with someone else's money. And that's what I feel like is happening here. You know, this is not a, we're not in Vegas. You know, definitely when I'm dealing with someone else's money now is not the time to kind of test the market. And so I don't love that idea personally of listing under value in order to drive and get top dollar for your home. You know, I'm all about listing it, right? So we do not want to overprice your home, but we do not also want to undervalue it. We need a focus on price and it just right. And from there we will then get top value.

Speaker 1: (10:09)
Another great uh, discussion here on the savvy real tour. If you're just tuning into the program, this is the show here in the triangle and beyond that helps you learn a little bit about the real estate landscape and some of the ins and outs when it comes to buying and selling. And good to, to know that Angie doesn't agree with necessarily everything else that's out there in the media and from other agents in terms of how they do things. There are different ways to go about it and some good reasons there for wanting, Angie doesn't necessarily believe in just listing your home undervalue arbitrarily to try and fetch top dollar, uh, not the best way to go about it most of the time. Uh, another tip on this, uh, list Angie was to give buyers insider info on the property that's not in the listing. That seems like a weird one. Like how would you decide what's worthy of not being in the listing so that you can withhold it as insider info? It's that

Speaker 2: (10:57)
hi. Yeah, I don't quite understand this one, but, um, I guess what I could gather out of it is we are limited in our MLS database as far as how many characters we can put in there. For example, in the public remarks, we are limited. I, I want to say, is it 250 kilo K? No, 500 characters. I can't remember. I'm drawing a blank. But anyways, we are limited to our characters. And so if we want to really talk about as much as far as you know what's so wonderful about the home in those public remarks, but there could be so many other great features about your home. So what we always suggest is right up in improvements list and we can then include that in the documents section of our MLS database so you can really help to then show you know all of the extras, all the improvements that you've done to your home to then get yourself highest value. So yeah, once again, it's just just like writing a letter about kind of your home and neighborhood. Also do more of an improvement list of you know, changes, you know, little features that maybe wouldn't be noticeable. Yeah, put that on a list. I think that's a great idea.

Speaker 1: (11:59)
Yeah, that's another interesting one there for sure. Also on this list, Angie, is to describe the neighborhood culture to buyers. I guess that kind of fits into the last couple years.

Speaker 2: (12:07)
It does. It does. And once again, as a real estate professional, that's something that we cannot explain and discuss, you know, because we cannot start talking about, you know, familial status, all of that good stuff. You know, those are protected classes. But as an owner, as a seller, you can tile, you know, the public, why you love your home and your neighborhood and why you chose to live there. So yeah, take the time to, to write that note, that letter that we can leave in the home or we can also upload, like I said, into the document section of the a MLS and matrix database.

Speaker 1: (12:37)
I'm going to breeze over this next one just cause again, I think it kind of falls into the same category here, but you know, don't forget to list extras like lighting up grades or tech you've updated or any other trendy features. You've added notes

Speaker 2: (12:48)
that went to our it. That was our improvement. Less. Yes. Yeah. And then I'm a number nine was creative video tour. I'm not 11. This one. Um, we, you know, professional photography is number one, right? Uh, because most potential buyers, they do their search online. They are zip and through pictures and if they liked the pictures, they schedule a showing. Well with a video tour, I feel like those are often kind of lost. They're really not seen by the public and less there is a home that they first fall in love with because of the pictures and then they digged for further information and to create a really good video tour. I mean that can run you a couple of thousand dollars. Um, and I just strongly feel like marketing dollars could be used in other avenues to really drive traffic and video is not one of those things that we should be doing.

Speaker 2: (13:40)
Um, that's honestly, that's not on one of our marketing, um, lists. You know, we, we do other tricks. Like there's something called a Zillow video, which I can explain more in person. Uh, we also do more of a panned out virtual tour, which we then target, you know, and put marketing dollars behind that to boost that post. But I don't know if they met here more of a professional video tour. I just don't think that that's needed in our market. And I don't think that's utilizing our marketing dollars to the best possible, you know, way and uh, ability.

Speaker 1: (14:12)
Yeah. The a as much as video seems to have taken over the rest of the, the rest of the world. Right. It's, it's still something about just that traditional photos, 25 photos that you get at the home to kind of give you the impression of it. I find myself craving the video when on our home searches only once there's a home you really, really,

Speaker 2: (14:33)
exactly, exactly. You can't wait to go look at it. So you wish you had videos, you know what I mean? Right, right. But you know, every home would never kill. So yeah. I mean when people once again are searching for homes, I mean they are spinning all of two seconds on your listing online. Look, you know, they look at the pictures. If they don't like it, click next one. They are not watching a two to three minute video. I mean maybe not spend in two seconds, maybe you know, 50 I mean really 10 seconds. Right on, on a potential listing. But they will not sit there and watch a two to three minute video for every single home, only to find out that it, Nope. Ugly. Don't like, it doesn't work for our family needs.

Speaker 1: (15:11)
Yeah. That's a great point. Last but not least, 10 secrets to fetch top dollar. A couple of these are hits, a couple of them misses. Last one here is get a home. Pre-inspection what do you think about that?

Speaker 2: (15:22)
Uh, you know, I'm not a fan of this one either. I feel like I'm, I'm disagreeing a lot here. Um, yeah, this was the five secrets I know. I know. Reason being is, you know, oftentimes I've seen where sellers have, uh, decided to get a home inspection or pre-inspection they run wild with fixing everything and then it's time for the buyer's inspection to be completed because buyers don't trust sellers, right? So they still get their own inspection and you know, there's still a laundry list of other items and I find that a lot of times sellers can invest money into their home, which would make them net last. Right? So they're not getting top dollar anymore because they fixed items that weren't really needed or you know, not important to the next person that is going to buy their home. So, you know, to me, you know, just even saying, Oh, but we got the home pre inspected, that's not going to get you top dollar because buyers do not trust sellers.

Speaker 1: (16:19)
Yeah, that's a great point, Angie. Everyone's going to want to do their own due diligence. That's why they call it due diligence, right? You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter [inaudible] alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of Aiko Realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a Cole realty.com listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the blog and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a coal realty.com and you can also call Angie with your questions. (919) 578-3128 

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