How to Sell Your House in North Andover

Ryan Schruender by Ryan Schruender Last updated Aug 31, 2017

Selling your home can be scary. A good real estate agent in North Andover will help, but it’s your property. You should do everything you can to sell your house quickly.

Entering North Andover Sign.This home seller’s guide for North Andover features 4 steps that will pay off. With the guidance of a real estate agent, our home-selling tips will allow you to present your property in the best possible light.

Follow these tips to sell faster, for a higher closing price.

Table of Contents
  1. Find a Real Estate Agent
  2. Price it Right
  3. Prepare to Show Your House
  4. Market Your Property
  5. Bottom Line

 

Ryan Schruender Realtor.

1) Find the right real estate agent

You want to choose a real estate agent who can sell your home in North Andover for the best return in the fastest period.

Ok, but who’s that?

Houses Sold in North Andover.Even for the best agents, finding a buyer can take several months, depending on the property and local market.

That means you should find a partner with a range of marketing, sales and networking skills.

In 2017 and beyond, agents MUST use social media. A lot.

There’s still value in hiring a real estate agent who’s well connected in the community for word-of-mouth referrals, but that’s not enough anymore. The best real estate agents are tech savvy AND business savvy.

So how do you find that agent?

Here are our top tips on how to find a real estate agent for selling your house in North Andover.

 

Choose a REALTOR®, not just an agent.

NEAR Realtor of the Year badge.Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. There’s actually a pretty big difference.

Both are licensed real estate pros, but only REALTORS® swear to a Code of Ethics, upholding honesty and serving the client’s best interests.

Typically, a real estate agent will only lose their license if they commit a crime. But REALTORS® can be punished for bad business practices, like chasing their own profit instead of a fair sale price for their client.

That makes REALTORS® more likely to work for you, not just for themselves.

Selecting a REALTOR® can also give your listing more exposure on Realtor.com, which attracts more than 60 million visitors each month.

Just like you, the potential buyers of your home are looking for a real estate agent they can trust, and contacting a REALTOR® is an important first step.

 

Get referrals from friends, family, and neighbors.

NAR Realtor of the Year 2015-2016.Everybody searches Google or browses Zillow these days. That’s just how real estate works in 2017 and beyond.

But!

Nothing beats honest referrals from people you trust: friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. The people around you can tell you how to find a good realtor in North Andover.

Ask about it on Facebook or Instagram along with a photo of your home, and you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to chime in with recommendations of local real estate agents.

You may not follow through with your friends’ recommendations, but their feedback should give you a good idea of what to look for in a realtor.

  • Are they responsive?
  • Can they get creative if the initial sales strategy stalls?
  • Were they honest throughout the agent-seller relationship?
  • Did they go above and beyond to close the deal?

 

Read online reviews and ask to speak with past clients.

Real Estate Agents in North Andover, MA: Zillow.Experiences with realtors can vary from client to client. Online reviews can reveal whether an agent is consistently professional and proficient.

In addition to reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp, there are lots of real estate-specific sites that offer detailed reviews from sellers and buyers.

The big 3 are Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. You can also check out LinkedIn to see if the agent has any recommendations there.

Your prospective realtor should have at least a few reviews. If they don’t, they’re either bad, brand new, or not active on social media. All 3 are red flags.

One more thing:

Don’t be afraid to request references. Ask your agent if you can talk to 3-4 of their past clients.

Laura Sullivan Hanks.Of course, they won’t refer you to an unhappy client, but it’s still a good sign if satisfied clients take the time to praise the agent.

When you talk to the past clients, remember that some homes are easier to sell than others. Therefore, the specifics of the sale aren’t very important.

Instead, ask the clients about your agent’s performance in these areas:

  • Business practices — were they fair, honest, and transparent?
  • Communication — was it easy to get a hold of them and get straight answers?
  • Selling process — were there any unexpected surprises along the way?
  • Marketing methods — did they use any unconventional tactics? What worked best?

If you receive good answers on those 4 topics, your prospective agent is probably a solid choice.

 

Houses Sold in North Andover.

2. Price your home to sell.

Pricing your home to sell for the highest amount requires local market knowledge, an understanding of buyer behavior, and research into similar homes in your neighborhood.

A good realtor can walk you through these factors, but understanding how to set the right home price will ensure you are both on the same page from the start.

Below are our most important tips on how to price your house for sale in North Andover.

 

Price your home BELOW market value to create buyer urgency.

Real Estate Bidding War!It’s tempting to identify how much your house is worth and then price it higher to leave room for negotiation. And sometimes that works.

Sometimes.

Other times—maybe more often than not—that method backfires. It can turn away potential buyers immediately.

An overpriced home is more likely to sit on the market for more than a month, when interest fades and buyers start to wonder why it hasn’t sold yet.

And the problem gets worse when price reductions start piling on week after week.

A better strategy is to work with your realtor to identify the market value of your home, and then price your home slightly below its market value to create demand.

Online tools like Zillow’s Zestimate and Chase’s Home Value Estimator can provide a ROUGH estimate, but they’re not very accurate.

It’s best to let your agent provide the valuation using industry tools and comparisons to similar properties sold recently in your area.

Single family homes in North Andover sell for $426,000 on average.

A price slightly below market value is more likely to attract multiple home shoppers. This encourages back-and-forth bidding that can quickly place your home price back at or above market value.

This method isn’t perfect for every home. Ask your doctor—err, REALTOR®—if it’s right for you.

 

Learn from homes that have sold (or not sold) in your neighborhood.

Open House sign.When considering how to determine the selling price of a home in North Andover, remember that property on one side of town is affected by different market conditions than property on the other.

Price your home by first looking at the listings and recent sales in your neighborhood. Then, narrow those comparisons (“comps”) to homes that are similar in square footage, age, features, and immediate vicinity.

A home on a busy multi-lane road will typically sell for less than a nearby home on a quiet drive.

Property is next to an industrial lot? Nudge the price down. Got lots of sun and scenery? Up the price a bit.

Use our North Andover real estate search tool to view the prices of homes currently listed in your neighborhood.

Houses Under $400,000 in North Andover.By browsing recent comps in your neighborhood, you can compare the listing price to the actual sales price. This can show whether there were price reductions or a bidding war.

You can also find trends that have prevented sales by looking at listings that have been withdrawn.

Once you are confident in a reasonable price range for your home, you can price it within a sweet spot on the market.

For example, a seller might price their home at $399,999 to satisfy searches for under-$400,000 listings when comps are listed in the early $400,000 range.

Dying to know what your home is worth? Get in touch and we’ll run a quick report for you—100% free.

 

445 Johnson Street, North Andover MA.

3. Prepare your home for sale

A little effort goes a long way when getting your home ready to sell. How a buyer feels about their new life in your home can be more influential than the nitty-gritty details.

By following these low-cost tips on how to prepare your home for sale in North Andover, you’ll greatly increase your chances for a fast sale at the right price.

Improve curb appeal to make a strong first impression.

445 Johnson Street, North Andover MA - Rear.Whether they are viewing online or in-person, buyers will likely see the exterior of your home first.

Put yourself in their shoes: Drive up to your home and judge its curb appeal.

Remove clutter like children’s toys, garden hoses, or overgrown grass. Tackle small projects that can maximize curb appeal:

  • Fresh landscaping with multiseason plants
  • Power-cleaning your driveway and entrance
  • Solar-powered outdoor lighting that accentuates your yard

Apply a similar approach to your home’s facade by finding easy wins for increasing curb appeal on a budget.

Buyers will looking for your address number—is your house number or mailbox due to be cleaned or replaced?

If you can’t afford to repaint your home’s entire exterior, start with the trim, or just the front door and its trim.

 

Choose interior wall colors that help sell homes.

445 Johnson Street, North Andover MA - Office.Changing your wall colors is a great way to prepare your home for sale on a budget. Paint usually goes for $30-60 per gallon, which covers about 400 square feet—or 50 feet of 8-foot-tall walls.

Lighter, neutral shades tend to be the best colors to paint walls when selling a house. They maximize natural light, make spaces feel bigger, and are less likely to turn off potential buyers.

A recent Zillow study of more than 320,000 home photos found that cooler, neutral colors correlated with a higher selling price.

Across the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedrooms, the best wall colors for selling houses were light blues, beiges, and blue-grays.

Even if a buyer is ultimately looking to paint their walls a more adventurous color, these softer interior colors can still act as a canvas for their imaginations.

 

Make small upgrades with a big impact.

445 Johnson Street, North Andover MA - Kitchen.Don’t have the budget to completely renovate a room? Smaller upgrades can add thousands to your home’s sale price and shave weeks off its time-on-market.

Realtor.com found that homes sold 15% faster when they had stainless steel appliances. Granite countertops help too.

So look at important areas of your house (kitchen and bathrooms). Can they be upgraded without completely breaking the bank?

A few hundred dollars in upgrades now could mean a few thousand dollars in the sale price later.

If you have a little budget now, it may be worth calling your local North Andover contractor to help upgrade your interior.

 

Time it right. Spring & summer are the best seasons to sell.

445 Johnson Street, North Andover MA in Summer.Homebuyers are often younger parents who don’t want to interrupt their kids’ school year by moving.

This factor, along with the better weather that brings out more buyers and greenery for curb appeal, make spring and summer the best time to sell a home.

The high demand during the spring and summer typically allows sellers to price their homes for more money. Bidding wars are also more common, raising prices even higher.

But what if you can’t choose when to sell your house?

Sometimes sellers have to move sooner than expected. In those cases, there are some advantages to selling your home during downtimes in the fall and winter.

With less inventory, your home is more likely to stand out in listings.

There will also be some home shoppers who can’t wait until the spring.  Luckily for you, they tend to be motivated buyers looking to move quickly.

Want to talk to an expert about how to prep your home? Get in touch. Advice is always free.

 

Open House sign.

4. Market your home.

Your realtor should advertise your home for sale in print, online, and through social media. This is why they get paid, so it’s expected that they will cover the costs of any related advertising services.

Below are our tried and tested marketing strategies for selling a house fast in North Andover, including how you can help market your home on your own.

 

Stage your home for the buyer’s imagination.

445 Johnson Street, North Andover MA - Interior.It may still be your home, but when a potential buyer arrives, the interior should be a template for how their loved ones and belongings will thrive within the walls.

That means you should move extra furniture and clutter to an external storage unit, and remove family photos when staging a home for sale.

Once all the clutter is gone, your agent may want to bring in a home staging company to rearrange the remaining furniture to create a greater sense of space and flow between the rooms.

The furniture grouping in your home should maximize natural light, aided by the use of:

  • Mirrors
  • Glass doors
  • Neutral colors

Ideally, every room should have three types of electric light:

  • Ambient (ceiling)
  • Pendant (reading or undercabinet)
  • Accent (on tables and walls)

While you don’t want to overwhelm buyers with your personal items, a staged home should still look like it is lived in, with tasteful accents like plants in vases and bowls of fresh fruit.

Once you are done staging your house for sale, a deep cleaning of your entire home is in order.

 

Hire a real estate photographer to show the best of your home.

North Andover Real Estate Photography.Having professional real estate photos can be a game-changer in generating interest from your listings.

The photos that will help sell your house will convey a sense of space, capture natural light, and emphasize the best feature in each room.

Shots on an iPhone are not the best way to achieve this, so your realtor should be willing to pay to hire a professional real estate photographer.

While taking photos to sell your home, most photographers will use a wide-angle lense to frame the whole room at an ideal angle around an appealing focal point.

By using an advanced knowledge of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity (and a tripod), the photographer can capture more depth in low-light rooms, or even take stunning exterior photos at sunset or dusk.

After the photos are taken, a good photographer can also use Photoshop and other software to enhance each shot, removing any lingering clutter and refining the lighting, contrast, and colors.

 

Promote your home yourself. Don’t rely 100% on your agent.

Real Estate Facebook Marketing.Some of the most creative ways to market real estate come from sellers themselves. As the owner of your home and the keeper of the memories you’ve created there, you are in a unique position to market your home.

Use your personal connection with your home—as well as your personal connections with friends, family, and co-workers—to market your house online.

For example, you could record a personal video in your home and around your neighborhood that highlights your favorite features, then upload it to YouTube and share on Facebook.

Once you have professional photos of your home, post them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, emphasizing that you’re looking for a good owner.

Naturally, your neighbors should want considerate buyers to move in next to them. Use this to your advantage by asking them to spread word of your home’s listing.

If you are a member of an online group for your neighborhood, or on an email list for your HOA or subdivision, send an announcement about your home’s listing along with its top selling points.

 

Bonus: Include neighborhood info with your home listing.

Ultimate Guide to North Andover Life, by MVRE.Remember that home buyers—especially those with young children—can be equally interested in the neighborhood surrounding your house.

If your realtor isn’t already doing it, use part of the listing description to pitch the strengths of your neighborhood, whether it is a nearby school, coffee shop, or hiking trails.

North Andover has TONS of great neighborhoods. Here’s our local guide.

Still have questions about marketing your property? Give us a call. Answers come at no cost!

Houses Sold in North Andover.

Ready to sell your North Andover home?

It’s never too early to start preparing for the sale of your home. When clients ask us how to sell a house fast, we always emphasize the need to be prepared before it is even listed.

The tips above are a proven model for quickly selling property on the North Andover real estate market.

Want to learn more about how to get your home ready for sale? Contact us and we’ll set up a time to chat.

We’re ready to be your partner in preparing, marketing, and selling your home.

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