Recent years proved bleak for the American real estate industry, and Tucker homeowners experienced this downward spiral firsthand. On May 1, online real estate marketplace Zillow estimated the average Tucker home value at $130,200, a 21.9% decline from the year before. Even now, however, viable strategies exist for people hoping to sell homes in the Northlake, Tucker and Smokerise communities.
Tucker native Jessica Crocker, a broker with Georgian Home Realty and certified home stager, points out a fact easily overlooked in the current market - buyers are still out there. “If it’s priced right, it will sell,” says Crocker, “but you have to be able to be patient with it. It’s a process.”
Crocker offers several suggestions for homeowners looking to make that process as short as possible.
Know Your Market
Understanding your home’s realistic sales price is vital. Homes already on the market in your neighborhood provide important information. “If there are houses in your neighborhood and they’re for sale, you need to be in there looking at them,” says Crocker. “That’s your competition.” Pricing your home correctly can make the difference between a quick sale and an agonizing wait. Notes Crocker, “It is so price driven, more so than anything else. If you have someone who absolutely isn’t going to change their price, their house can sit there for two or three years.”
Big Improvements, Small Cost
Everyone knows big ticket buzzwords like granite, stainless steel and hardwoods appeal to prospective buyers. In comparison, many smaller scale areas also make a big difference. Modern light fixtures, switches and fresh paint can remedy dated interiors. Small, easily maintained flower beds and a well kept lawn improve curb appeal.
The front door area is very important to first impressions, yet it’s often overlooked. Make sure your doorbell is attractive and in good working order. Keep the entire area clean and free of cobwebs and consider adding a potted plant and new door mat. Giving the door a fresh coat of paint and a new kick plate (which can cost as little as $20) can make a huge difference as well.
Clean, Open, Inviting
Because buyers often ask to tour homes at unexpected times, maintaining a clean environment is vital. While this may be particularly difficult for those living in the home they are trying to sell, there may not be time for a last minute tidy. Keep areas open and free of clutter. If possible, rent a storage unit and put at least half your belongings into storage when the house is listed for sale. Open space allows you to emphasize the home’s attributes, and realtors like Crocker can help you stage it in ways which allow buyers to better see the home’s potential.
Don’t Fear the Renter
While the idea of renting may seem scary for some, today’s realities make renting attractive. A good strategy can be to list a house for rent at the same time it is listed for sale. “Today’s renter is the professional couple who got laid off and their credit went bad or they lost their home,” says Crocker. “They are normal people just looking for a good neighborhood, a good home, who are either too scared to invest again in the market or they can’t yet because their credit isn’t back up.”
As for the future of real estate in the Northlake-Tucker area, Crocker is optimistic. “Things are going well. [Tucker] has the streetscape thing going on, [and] there’s some work going on over in the Northlake area, slowly but surely. Some of our elementary schools in the Tucker area are doing really well, so all these little things are helpful. So, I’m envisioning [the market] continuing to do better.”
Crocker continued, “we have a really good sense of community here and I think that people like me grew up here and stayed or moved back because this is a good community to live in. It’s a tight-knit community and people come here and stay here.”
Jessica Crocker can be reached at Georgian Home Realty, 2341 Main Street in Tucker, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 770-783-5237.