Selling Your Home – 10 tips from a Local Real Estate Professional
To give your home an edge in your marketplace you must be priced right and look better than the competition. Here’s how:
#10 Show off your closets. Storage is very important no matter what size house you’re selling. Buyers want to see that there’s more than enough room for their belongings. Remove half of the items in your closets and put in storage. Get matching wood hangers, organize by color (like a store), and don’t forget to clean out drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers look everywhere.
#9 Keep it light. Replace lights bulbs, remove dark drapes, choose light and neutral paint colors. Clean your windows, make it light and bright.
#8 Conceal your pets. Of course you love your pets, but not all buyers will. Make sure dog and cat bowls are neat and tidy, hide the Kitty litter box, and make sure there is no visible dog and cat hair, as it gives the impression that the house is unclean. If possible, take your pets out with you during showing and for Open Houses.
#7 Don’t over-improve. Small improvements like repainting, changing outdated hardware, having carpets cleaned, re-staining a deck, and getting the yard neat will pay off, but major renovations may not yield a big enough return on your investment. If you’re already thinking of moving, discuss the financial implications with a Realtor so you don’t over-improve.
#6 Stage your home like it’s a model home. Depersonalizing your home will allow any buyer to envision him/herself living in your home. Remember, when you sell your home you’re going to have to move. When you move you’re going to have to pack. Most of the principals of Staging just mean that you’re going to pack up some of your things early. It’s a little bit of work, but you’re going to have to do it anyway, so do it before you put it on the market so you can get top dollar for your property.
Here are some general rules:
• Pack up all collections as they become a distraction for buyers from the desired focal point....your home.
• Reduce the number of books on bookshelves.
• Reduce the number of family pictures on shelves, pianos, and tables.
• Reduce the number of wall hung photos and paintings in every room to one large piece on a wall or a small group of three.
Still not sure how to make your home appealing to Every Buyer USA? Your realtor may recommend a stager who will rearrange your furniture, pick paint colors, and give your home a fresh look that will appeal to the masses.
#5 The Kitchen is everything. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. If you don’t want the headache or expense of a kitchen remodel, simple updates like new hardware, and neutral wall paint will give your kitchen a facelift. A kitchen can never be too clean so before every showing clear off counters, clean appliances, wipe down the sink, and take out the trash. Don’t leave any dishes or unnecessary objects on the counters, and remove magnets from the refrigerator.
#4 Always be ready to show (and leave). Keep your house clean, and be ready to evacuate at a moments notice. It’s more comfortable for buyers and their realtors to look at your home if you’re not present. They’ll spend more time, give it more thought and look more seriously if they can look and discuss openly. Don’t put restrictive timeframes on showings. Houses that don’t get shown, don’t get sold, so buyers should be granted access during typical showing hours.
#3 Don’t underestimate curb appeal. It’s the first impression and the last impression you’ll make to buyers. A freshly painted front door, well-manicured yard, and lovely planters on the front porch will give buyers a feeling that this a well maintained home. Replace sad looking shrubs, plant a few perennials, replace an old mailbox or an exterior light, and you’ll get a 100% return on your minimal investment. Stage the backyard as well. Make sure deck and patio furniture is in good condition, and show buyers how lovely Sunday brunch could be in your yard.
#2 Hire an agent. All agents weren’t created equal. A tech-savvy realtor has many tools to market your home. Find a realtor who knows the comps in your area, monitors the Multiple Listings Service, has a great Marketing Plan, and has a great list of professionals from a good handyman to a Radon Specialist to share. Also remember, you will be communicating with your realtor frequently during what could potentially be a stressful time in your life, so choose someone who is forthcoming and that you’ll enjoy doing business.
#1 Price it right. Buyers are well informed and know the comparables in your neighborhood, so be “real” about pricing your home. If you want to sell it quickly, price it aggressively and it will sell. Houses that “sit” on the market for extended periods of time become less desirable and put the seller in a vulnerable position when negotiating.
Good luck in the sale of your home!
(Photo courtesy of Turning Leaf Design Home Staging)