When Sony announced last year they were asking $500,000 per episode for the streaming rights to Seinfeld a massive bidding war began between Amazon, Hulu and Yahoo.
After weeks of negotiations, Hulu emerged the winner, willing to pay over $700,000 per episode for the “show about nothing.”
For Seinfeld fans it was “Festivus for the rest of us!”
For Sony, it was $200,000 per episode more than the asking price.
When selling your home, creating a bidding war like that is every home owner’s dream. Unfortunately, most homeowners here on The Space Coast end up settling for average or even below-average offers.
Why? Because most home sellers fail to recognize that getting a great deal isn’t a matter of luck, timing or even location. It has more to do with understanding the mindset of a home buyer and then showcasing the value of your home.
If you want to create a bidding war for your home and sell it above the asking price keep these 5 ideas in mind.
Highlight what makes your home stand out from other similar homes
Every home has something about it that makes it particularly interesting or uniquely desirable.
It could be anything really from an extra deep lot in the back, to mature, fruit bearing trees along the side or even a famous person who once lived in the house.
What was it that made Seinfeld stand out from all the other 90’s sitcoms and motivate Hulu to pay $200,000 more per episode? Well, there aren’t too many shows that have a puffy shirt in the Smithsonian!
Think about your home the same way. What is it about your house that makes it almost iconic? Is there something about your house or lot that enables you to do something no one else around you can do? Put yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes and think to yourself what would make them feel comfortable offering you more than the asking price.
You shouldn’t have to settle for an average asking price. Find the most unique aspects of your home or lot and highlight them.
Spark an interest from buyers ahead of time
I’ve always found that advance marketing is a great way to fuel interest in a property before it’s listed. You can start by creating a unique website that really showcases your home. Then, send a link for that website to all your social media and email contacts letting them know your house is coming on the market soon.
Another way to fuel interest ahead of time is to place the home in the multiple listing service but don’t schedule any showings until the open house that’s coming up that weekend.
Doing that creates some frenzy because people always want what they can’t have. If you showcase you amazing home on a website or the MLS but then add that it can’t actually be shown until the open house coming up that weekend it drives people crazy and generates a buzz.
Make your home irresistible
Over time Realtors, myself included, have come to learn what buyers like and dislike. The kinds of things that really make a home irresistible. Things like removing floral wallpaper and applying a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color can make a big difference. Add a new ceiling fan or replace old light fixtures. De-clutter everywhere you can. And spruce up your landscaping. These are a few simple ideas that can have a big impact.
A few years ago, when the camera used by George Lucas to film Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope went up for sale it was first listed at a price around $200,000. But for die hard Star Wars fans it was more than just another Panavision PSR 35mm. It was an irresistible piece of movie history. The camera ended up selling for a record $625,000.
Similar to Lucas’ camera, making your home irresistible will help you to get more than the asking price. You could take things a step further and invest in some popular renovations like kitchens and bathrooms. Just make sure they add value to your home instead of chipping away at your profits. To keep your costs down you might consider doing some of these type renovations yourself.
Ask for less to get more
This is by far one of the best-kept secrets of selling a home for more than the asking price. Although this strategy appears to be counterproductive at first glance, it works wonders by creating the necessary attention required to create a fierce bidding war. Remember that bidding wars are only created when there are multiple willing buyers. And to get multiple willing buyers, the initial price has to be very attractive…like lower than the going market rate.
When you price your home lower than the going market rate, you’re bound to attract more buyers willing to come in with better offers that ultimately outbid other interested buyers. You’re also bound to get great offers since potential buyers will realize the true value of your home when they view it.
Don’t accept the first offer
This is another best kept secret for selling your Space Coast home for more than the asking price. It doesn’t matter how good the first offer is, you should wait and see what other offers come your way. The more you can create fierce competition between buyers the more likely you are to increase your home’s final sale price.
An interested buyer is always willing to offer more in the presence of competition.
You don’t get the best deal for your home because of sheer luck or the location. And it’s not only about timing the market either. It’s more about understanding the mindset of the home buyer and showcasing the value of your home.
In the words of Seinfeld’s Elaine, think of it as making your home...”sponge-worthy”. ;-)
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