Are you considering selling your home in beautiful downtown Annapolis? If so, you're likely anticipating a smooth and successful transaction. However, even the best plans can go off course. In this article, we discuss five things that can trip you up when selling your home — and home-selling tips for avoiding them.
1. Incorrect pricing
Nothing can stall the sale of a home more than incorrect pricing. The most common pricing offense in listing historic Annapolis homes for sale is setting the list price too high. When market data is lacking and there are no comparable recent sales, setting the listing price becomes more complex and less exact. It takes the knowledge and experience of a reputable real estate agent to determine a realistic sales price. Even then, there’s always the possibility of overshooting the target. Most often, however, mispricing a home stems from either using an inexperienced agent, a seller’s insistence on a higher asking price, or discovering deficiencies that impact the home's value. In some rare cases, a price set too low may also be problematic. A lower-than-average price can trigger suspicions from potential buyers who may be concerned that the home is a bargain due to significant problems.
When incorrect pricing has become a stumbling block to downtown Annapolis homes for sale, the most appropriate recourse is to adjust the price. Most often, that will mean reducing the price. You should avoid a trickle-down approach, where you make many small reductions. A more effective strategy is to reduce the price by at least 1%. In some cases, taking the home off the market and then relisting it at a lower price may be advisable, particularly for homes that have lingered on the market for some time. A skilled real estate agent can offer expert advice on when to lower the price of your home and by how much.
2. Glaring issues
Second only to incorrect pricing is the problem of having unresolved issues with historic Annapolis homes for sale. Unless a buyer is bargain shopping and looking for a place that they can put a lot of sweat equity into, most buyers are looking for a home that is “move-in ready.” If there are major structural, mechanical, or aesthetic issues, they will almost always get in the way of a sale.
Although it may be tempting to avoid the costs and headaches of getting a new roof, windows, or HVAC system installed, doing so can significantly impact your home’s value and appeal. Historic and older homes in Annapolis are particularly susceptible to issues related to aging, such as peeling paint, inefficient windows, outdated electrical systems, and the lack of a central HVAC system. Homes that are located closer to the water may also have flood damage to repair. While these homes' overall charm and beauty can make up for some of those detractors, addressing them can result in faster sales and higher offers.
3. Inadequate preparation
We’ve all seen online listings of downtown Annapolis homes for sale with too few photos, blurry photos, or photos of messy, cluttered rooms. It’s an instant turn-off. A 2021 National Association of Realtors study indicated that 43% of buyers begin their home search online, which means that photos provide the first (and lasting) impression and can potentially turn off almost half the pool of buyers. In fact, in that same study, 89% of all buyers indicated that online photos are “very helpful” in identifying homes of interest. To ensure the online listing showcases your home well, you must start with the basics — a thorough cleaning, depersonalizing, and decluttering. Floors and carpets should either be cleaned, refinished, or replaced. All the walls, doors, and trim should be cleaned, repaired, and given a fresh coat of neutral paint. Effectively address significant issues with necessary repairs, renovations, or replacements.
The next step is to have your home staged. A professional staging company has the know-how and resources to make your home look magnificent in photos and in person. Stagers use the strategic arrangement of furniture and decorative items to enhance the attractiveness of every room. A properly staged home will have a “wow factor” that can elicit a strong emotional response from buyers. Going to the expense of making your home look beautiful and show well is one of the best home-selling tips for correcting a sluggish sale. Remember, any stone left unturned has the potential to be off-putting for a percentage of buyers, so the more you can do to make your home look move-in ready, the more potential buyers will respond to your listing.
4. Insufficient marketing
An insufficient marketing plan can sometimes get in the way of selling your home. In today’s digital economy, sellers must go beyond old-school traditions of yard signs and printed ads when listing historic Annapolis homes for sale. As mentioned, the marketing strategy begins with staging and professionally composed photos (and sometimes videos). Those images will become the centerpiece of your home’s listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Sometimes, a listing has fantastic photos but lacks other details about the property. Insufficient listing detail is another issue that can be problematic when selling a home. Buyers want as much information about the property as possible, including age, HOA fees, room types, room sizes, updates, etc. If the house is located in a planned community, buyers like to see photos of the neighborhood as well, including pictures of any amenities. An expertly composed description of your property can effectively capture a potential buyer's interest.
In addition to a well-crafted MLS listing of downtown Annapolis homes for sale, the marketing strategy should also include efforts to showcase homes on the brokerage’s or agent’s website. Although most buyers begin with MLS listings, some prefer to start with listings on local agency websites. By having your home featured on both the MLS and local websites, a larger pool of buyers is likely to see the listing. Likewise, having the seller and agent promote the listing on social media can also be advantageous.
5. The wrong agent
When listing historic Annapolis homes for sale, you’ll want to choose the right real estate agent. An experienced agent will have an in-depth understanding of the market and be able to price your home correctly from the start. A skilled agent should be able to negotiate on your behalf and help you get the best possible price for your home. In addition, an experienced agent will have a network of potential buyers and be able to market your home effectively. On the other hand, an inexperienced agent may not have these skills and could cost you time and money in the long run. So, when choosing a real estate agent, be sure to use a well-thought-out vetting strategy, get recommendations from trustworthy friends, and choose an agent with a proven track record of success.
Work with the right Annapolis real estate agent
If you are ready to sell your home, working with The Tower Team will provide access to experienced real estate agents with the know-how and skill to get the job done right. From pricing and preparation to a robust marketing plan, we will have all the bases covered so your home sells quickly for top dollar. For more information, contact us today!