When you are a homeowner in Maryland, you’re in a great position when selling your property within Maryland.
You’ve lived on the property. You’re used to the property’s perks and unique details that a real estate agent fails to notice. Even with all the right tools, a Realtor has no particular connection with your home.
You are making the best of this perspective on your own. Whenever you can, use the intimate touch. It will help you interact and stand out from the competition with potential buyers and recall personal information.
You know what they say about understanding your rival. This matters even more in an area as challenging as the Maryland real estate industry!
If you want to sell your house, you need to do the legwork to collect all the business information you can. Luckily for you, knowledge is sufficient and readily accessible today. Using all the equipment at your disposal—you're going to need them.
Open houses are a simple but necessary part of the research. Check out which homes are showing in your area and visit them as prospective buyers. In addition to having an understanding of what your house is up against, this exercise will also teach you a few things:
- How to place and plan the property so that it appeals to prospective customers – not all buyers are the same, and experienced realtors have expertise in staging that you can benefit from. Look for themes in the home decor, particularly with furniture and color matching.
- How to act like a pro and take buyers around your house like it's your work – Remember the kind of features Realtors highlight during your tours. They know what to show to drive up the perceived worth of the land. Please pay particular attention, too, to what they neglect discussing.
Searching for homes for sale online in Maryland is another useful analysis method that can be performed to gather data.
- How many houses are currently on sale and which have just been acquired
- How to gage direct rivalry and control your goals
- Analyze sold Maryland listings to learn what they did well and add them to your listing for full impact.
- Look at the listings that are more than 120 days old for reminders of what you can't do, and make sure you don't make any of their mistakes. If they've been on the shelf for so long, they're doing something terrible.
Research the descriptions, images, and languages used to describe the properties listed at the highest prices, and add what you read as you build your home listing. Do the same later when you talk to interested buyers or host your own open house.
Whenever you're marketing stuff, it's essential to consider the viewpoint of everyone you're trying to reach. After all, you're asking them to part with a lot of money. You ought to be familiar with emerging trends and any features prospective customers deem must-haves or deal-breakers.
It does seem more complicated than that. You can get a preview of sales features by browsing at home decor sites and magazines and matching what you find with the listings you're looking for (especially those sold). Pinterest searches are perfect for spotting current and up-and-coming patterns!
More likely than not, if you haven't remodeled your house lately, you're going to have to refresh your home a lot of times.
Some simple things that will make your house go from "meh" to "wow!" include:
A new paint coat
Keep away from the taste-specific colors that people either love or dislike, but don't depend too much on bland neutrals. Instead, put everything you've experienced to the table and add a new coat of stylish paint to strategic sites. You'd be shocked how much difference a brightly colored wall accent would make!
Give some love to your floor.
If you've got an old carpet, get rid of it asap. If your hardwood floors need refining, staining, or something like that, get a job or recruit someone to let them look their best.
If you have no choice but to replace the tiles, choose inexpensive laminated floors that are not as costly as natural wood.
Many factors dictate a house's valuation, but the owner's judgment is not one of them. Most homeowners in Maryland have a sentimental connection to their homes, which can cloud their judgment regarding pricing. This is where it is crucial to consult outside sources.
Buyers don't care for all the lovely memories you've got from the living room, so it's important to keep a healthy distance and professional perspective on your house's pricing.
Using services like Zillow and Redfin to understand how cheap, high, and average rates per square foot in your area look like.
You can also consult public records in local municipalities in Maryland and ask for advice from local Realtors who work with the same type of properties.
It's hard to imagine how, after living in the Instagram era, some people really don't think photos are that important to their listing. They think they're going to take some snapshot off their phone. Nothing may be farther from the facts.
Would you like to buy a good pastry at a bakery or one that's almost as delicious, but it looks like somebody burnt the top and then sat on it? You'd pick a good one with a fancy icing and flaky layers, right? Potential homebuyers are the same thing.
Don't skimp on this move, because it will decide how many people really turn up at your open house and how many deals you get after they leave.
Both the camera type and the lenses used influence the output of your home images. Phones may be fantastic today, but unless you've got a brand new, top-of-the-line smartphone, you're best off using a professional camera that's compatible with wide-angle lenses. Wide-angle lenses are the perfect way to catch details and make each room look ample and airy—and the wider your home looks, the better.
If you know how to take good photographs and plan to go on the DIY way, don't forget to edit them before you post. Too often, people are shifting the focus away from making minor edits. You have to think like a professional, and the professionals have to edit their images to make them shine.
You're not cheating prospective customers as long as you're just changing the illumination and contrast. Editing out the pair of shoes you forgot to pick up before taking the photo is okay.
Try sending them a call if you're on a tight budget and know someone professional with a camera, but only if they really know what they're doing. Know, pictures are the first snapshot of your house, and they're going to use them to judge. Make them fall in love at first glance!
Lastly, try employing a talented real estate photographer who specializes in real estate pictures of Maryland if you can afford it.
If you have chosen to sell your house on your own, instead of 100% FSBO, you should strongly consider going for a Maryland flat fee MLS listing company. The decision between the two is all about how much visibility you like to actual and active buyers.
With a Maryland state approved flat fee MLS real estate broker, you will have to list your house and offer a buyer agent commission, but you will retain the right to sell FSBO.
Flat fee MLS listings are for hands-on vendors who are not afraid to understand and engage in all aspects of their homes' sales.
For those who are interested in saving more money, it is still a smart choice (even though it translates into more effort and time) if you do it correctly.
For those who are interested in saving more money, it is still a smart choice (even though it translates into more effort and time) if you do it correctly.
What is MLS, exactly?
MLS, which stands for Multiple Listing Service or Multiple Listing System (both names mean the same thing) is a database that list out all properties that are available for sale at any period of time. Local Maryland real Estate agents have access to the database on behalf of their clients. When you have your property listed on the MLS, it gets discovered and eventually bought.
It also acts as the centralized data hub that feeds the major real estate portals like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, etc. to your house listing. Your data listing will remain consistent on all these various websites in this way.
Disadvantages of Maryland Flat Fee MLS Listings
At the end of the entire process, fixed fees typically mean lower overall costs. On the flip side, when you employ a company that will do the listing for you from the start, you'll have to pay the fee in advance.
Instead of merely paying a fee until the property is sold, in this situation, whether the property sells or not, you can pay for the listing.
Offer a competitive buyer's agent commission.
When it comes to the buyer's agent commission, it is in the best interest to bid the industry standard or above. Think about this. Why would a buyer's agent be motivated to show a prospective buyer your property if they don't think they're going to be paid fairly?
Know, this is the business of the agent, and they'll behave accordingly. Don't try to skimp or save money here because, even though you do anything else right, it might adversely affect your sale efforts or entirely sabotage them.
Things to be careful of
Avoid the temptation to go for the cheapest (i.e., free) option if you see a company that wants to list your house for really cheap or even free. Like grandma used to say, it is, if it looks or sounds too lovely to be true. And yes, it's almost always too nice in these instances to be true.
Companies who do not charge for this form of service typically do not provide any real assistance or customer service, so you do yourself and your prospective sale a disservice. You get what you pay for or what you don't pay for with stuff like this.
Hiding different service fees is another explanation why they should advertise their services as free. Before signing something or recruiting someone, make sure you read and understand all the terms you agree to. It's easy to be fooled in real estate, and you don't want to be caught with your metaphorical pants down.
In the end, you would end up investing even more cash in the long run if you chose to work with a business that charges these low or even free rates. They have to make their money somehow!
Since this is not your occupation or field of expertise, when selling your house, remind yourself of all the rules and Maryland state laws you need to follow. We meant it when we said this was hands-on.
Your Maryland flat fee MLS business needs to keep your listing updated and automatically update the MLS with any changes. This is one of the factors involved in the first place selection of the correct MLS business. If you fail to update them promptly, this will result in fines that you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
When selling, other Maryland regulations you need to bear in mind include:
Meet The Requirements for Maryland Property Disclosures
The criteria can and will vary state by state, as with many laws, so read up on what is expected to be reported in Maryland. Meet those criteria then. Closely. Closely.
At a minimum, you usually have to expose any imperfections that your house may have, such as if there is lead paint somewhere inside. Suppose you forget to mention stuff like electrical or plumbing systems that aren't designed to specification. In that case, you might get stuck with a lawsuit. The same goes for improvements to the property's square footage made without proper approval from the city.
Do not discriminate by following fair housing laws.
Be mindful of the terms used and other materials in your listing contract. The law forbids you from discriminating against any class of insured people, so you need to ensure that you treat all potential customers fairly.
The most likely to be interested in seeing and probably buying your property are local buyers looking for houses for sale in Maryland, so don't ignore the promotion of word of mouth. Tell anyone that you meet who might be interested in selling your home.
And if you don't think they'd be interested, tell someone in your circle, because they may very well know someone who is. You might also mention your intention to sell your home in local bulletins of businesses frequented by potential buyers if you have the budget or access.
Market Your Home
Nowadays, marketing is everything. The days of "build it, and they'll come" are gone. It would be best if you gave it all to differentiate yourself and get people to provide you with their time with so many homes vying for attention.
Selling your home is like running a company of your own. You don't make money if you do not advertise and sell.
Go Viral On Social Media
ln all the social networks you're a member of, post your videos. Don't underestimate how many people on Instagram can see a quality image or the massive impact a post can have on Facebook in a neighborhood group.
Ask around if you don't trust us. Through a shared post in a community for a particular neighborhood, you will find many people (especially in the younger generations) who have found their new homes. You might also invest in some paid targeted advertising through Facebook, Instagram, or even Google if you have the budget.
It might sound outdated, but it might be that the email that is the best way to contact the people you meet and don't speak to very much. There are email lists for companies, and most individuals check their emails regularly. Even if it's no longer used so much between friends, email messaging is still efficient.
Send a blast to all your contacts to tell them about your listing (but please use BCC). If you're part of a community center or are friends with a business owner with an active email marketing list, try to get a mention from them. Email messages could be what sells your home.
Word of Mouth Through Your Neighbors
While you're telling everyone you meet that your house is being sold, invite them to check out the location! There's nothing your neighbors would love more than to actually get a look inside.
The most obvious way to highlight your position is with open houses. You're going to get people you know and total strangers who may or might not bring their realtors with you. You should always make sure your home is ready to give the best impression, so clean up the toys for your child and make your bed before visitors arrive.
After you've done all the minor adjustments and all the marketing to get the publicity your property deserves, it's time to concentrate on the real heart of the game.
Read what constitutes good negotiations, various forms of negotiating with different individuals. Learn from the behaviors of those around you who are business people. Learn to think like a seller and comprehend a buyer's mind.
After putting your house on the market and having at least one open house, if you have done all things right, you can start getting offers. To ensure that you are dealing with serious customers, make sure people send their deals in writing.
Try holding all deals until a set day to instigate a bidding war if you see a lot of interest in your house. This strategy does not guarantee that you will receive further deals, but it acts as an opportunity to send better offers to buyers and their agents because they could only receive one shot. Show them that your home is in demand and they're going to start sweating.
You might also want to consult an Maryland real estate attorney once this type of paperwork is submitted and legal contracts start to be agreed upon. This will ensure everything is in order for all parties involved.
You've come all alone this far, so hopefully, you're a stellar negotiator too! Know that a successful contract is not one where you get what you want, but one where all parties walk away pleased with the arrangement they have made.
Try to keep your tone positive and your interactions friendly, so there is a greater chance of finding an agreement that makes everyone happy (or close to). Try to find a middle ground to see if a solution is feasible if there are problems that pull each side in different directions.
Objectively evaluate whatever customers ask as requests rather than demands and consider whether by attempting to put yourself in their shoes, these requests are rational. Can you ask the same question if you were shopping? If yes is the answer, then you may want to give it to them.
Did you and the buyer agree to a price, terms of closing, and all the bits and bobs? Amazing! It's time to draft a purchasing agreement for Maryland and sign it. Because this is a legal document, contacting an attorney who specializes in real estate to ensure that everything is in order is a good idea.
Even when you come to an arrangement that suits everyone, there are still several specifics to finalize. Pay careful attention to every step of this process to keep your sale on track.
When the buyer is having a loan, in most situations, the bank would have to do an assessment of the property to see if the buying price is at a fair market price. This may be irritating, but it’s how the bank guarantees their loans.
If the bank for whatever reason comes back with a valuation that is lower than the negotiated selling price, the buyer would have to pay the difference in the amounts or risk losing the house. The bank would not accept a loan higher than the valuation considers the property to be worth.
Before the agreed-upon contract becomes enforceable, most buyers will demand an inspection. You should comprehend why. In the event that an expert finds that costly repairs are needed on the house, they need to protect their interests.
If you have disclosed all the issues and properly maintained your home, you need not be afraid of any of this, as your deal will most likely not be affected. You need to be prepared, however, because if a home inspector in Maryland uncovers any problems, particularly serious ones, this may change the whole game.
The inspection report has come back, and it is important to fix or replace anything costly. What now? They'll ask their realtor to give you a changed offer if the buyer really wants the house. They would also want you to subtract the cost of the repairs from the home purchase price you have already agreed to.
Know that if you were in their place, you would make the same request. Be fair and maintain a good relationship with the buyer in your negotiations.
That said, you can comply with their terms or, for example, try to negotiate to break the repairs.
Think twice before submitting any counteroffer on the results of the inspection, as at this point the buyer is free to walk away over a previously undisclosed question.
Congratulations! Without a real estate agent, you sold your Maryland home! All the legal papers have been checked and signed now that the agreement is closed. All the terms have been met, and it's time to transfer the keys to their new location to the new owners. It has been a crazy ride to sell your own home, but look how much you have gained!
Hey. P.S. Remember what at the beginning we said about personal details?
Consider leaving a thoughtful note or placing the keys on a personalized keychain, if you want to make this moment extra unique. It is not necessary, but for the new owners, it will be an unforgettable gesture!