Whether you’re starting a family, moving for your job, getting ready to retire or embarking on a new chapter in your life, when your home no longer suits your current situation, it’s time to think about selling it. Although this can be a bit complicated, with the help of your agent, you can minimize the hassles, get the best possible price, and shorten the distance between “For Sale” and “Sold”.
Price it right
If you want to get the best possible price for your home and minimize the time it stays on market, you need to price it correctly from the beginning. Your agent can give you a clear picture of your particular market and can provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA contains detailed information on comparable homes in your area, including square footage, date built, number of bedrooms, lot size and more. It lists pending sales and houses sold in your area in the past six months, along with their actual sale prices.
By comparing your home to similar homes in your neighborhood and reviewing their list prices and actual selling prices, your agent can help you arrive at a fact-based assessment of your home’s market price.
Prepping your house for sale
You want to make a positive first impression when you list your home for sale. Here are some tips on how to enhance your home’s best features:
Work on your curb appeal
Some great things to improve your home’s curbe appeal are to get rid of moss on your roof, power wash your front walk, porch, deck and patio. Clean up the garden and mow the lawn, trim the hedges, weed the flowerbeds and add spots of color with container plants. Clean all the windows inside and out and repair them if they don’t open and close easily.
Refresh, repair and repaint
This goes for interiors and exteriors. If you see peeling paint, add a fresh coat. If it isn’t already, consider painting rooms a neutral shade of white or grey. It’s also a good idea to make necessary repairs as you don’t want to turn off a buyer with a dripping faucet, a broken doorbell, a clogged downspout or a cracked windowpane.
Deep-clean, from floor to ceiling
Clean rugs, drapes and blinds, and steam-clean carpeting. Get rid of any stains or odors. Make sure kitchen appliances, cupboards and counters are spotless and that bathrooms shine.
Declutter and depersonalize
Clean, light-filled, expansive rooms sell houses. So be sure to downsize clutter everywhere in your home, including cupboards, closets and counters. You might also consider storing some furniture or personal items to make rooms look more spacious. Take advantage of views and natural light by keeping drapes and blinds open.
Show your house
After you’ve taken care of all the repairs and cleaning tasks outlined above, your home is ready for its close-up: an open house. It’s actually best for you and your family to leave when potential buyers are present so they can ask your agent questions. But before you go, you might want to:
· Take your pets with you
· Open the shades and turn on the lights
· Light a fire in the gas fireplace
· Bake cookies or use candles and plug-in’s
· Keep money, valuables and prescription drugs out of sight
Be flexible in negotiating
If you get offers below your asking price, there are a number of strategies you can try in your counteroffer. You could ask for full price and throw in major appliances that were not originally included in the asking price, offer to pay some of the buyer’s fees, or pay for the inspection. You could also counter with a lower price and not include the appliances. If you receive multiple offers, you can simply make a full-price counter.
Your agent can suggest other strategies as well and help you negotiate the final price.
If your house doesn’t sell or you’ve received only lowball offers, ask your agent to find out what these prospective buyers are saying about your house. It might reveal something you can consider changing to make your house more appealing in the future or switch up the marketing strategy a bit to better manage expectations.
Breeze through your inspection
When a buyer makes an offer on your home, it’s usually contingent on a professional inspection. A standard inspection includes heating and cooling, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; and the foundation, basement and visible structure. The inspector will be looking for cracks in cement walls, water stains and wood rot.
You can always opt for having an inspection done prior to putting your house on the market, so you can address any potential problems in advance. Your agent can give you several recommendations for qualified inspectors in your area.
Close with confidence
Whether this is your first time or your tenth, your agent can help guide you though the complex process of selling a home. Moreover, he or she can answer any questions you may have about legal documents, settlement costs and the status of your sale.
Your agent’s expertise, resources and extensive network also work for you when you’re buying your next house. Even if you’re moving out of the area, your agent can refer you to a professional agent in your new community.
2018 selling season is upon us! If you have clients getting ready to put their home on the market, the list of to-dos can seem endless. You may wonder if it’s all worth it, but the fact is, a well-cared-for house shows better. Plus, small issues like flaking paint or a dripping faucet can make buyers wonder what bigger problems await them down the road. Don’t let easily-fixed issues derail your selling process.
Here is a list of 8 things you can do right now to ensure a great first impression:
Keep up yard maintenance
It can be tempting to ignore the lawn and walkways, especially if the client has already vacated the property, but this is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Grass, weeds, and overgrown shrubs can create a sloppy, unkempt appearance before the buyer even looks at the inside of the home. Keep things neat and tidy for a good impression up front.
Clean the gutters
Overflowing gutters can lead to cracked walls and damage to the foundation, in addition to just looking messy. The last thing you want a potential buyer to see is water pooling around the outside of the house, or worse – in the basement. Routinely check for leaves, pine needles and other debris that can lead to unsightly – and dangerous – leaks.
Service the heating/cooling system
If the HVAC system hasn’t been used in a while, it can smell funky when you first turn it on, make frightening sounds, or just straight-up not work – none of which leave a great impression. Before showing a home, have the heating/cooling system serviced, clean the ductwork and filters, and make sure everything is in good working order.
In addition, if there is a working fireplace, take care of that at the same time. Clean the chimney to remove any dirt or debris, and block off the flue to avoid and unwanted houseguests (squirrels and bats just love to come in uninvited!).
Replace all the lightbulbs
This is one of those things that is so super simple to do but often overlooked. Imagine taking a client for a showing after dark, flipping on the switch in the master bedroom … and nothing. For a very minimal investment, all light bulbs in the house could be replaced and any embarrassing incidents avoided.
Wash the windows
Dirty windows and screens can be quite unappealing and leave a bad impression on anyone looking at your house. Cleaning all the windows, sills, and treatments will not only make the house look neat and tidy but will allow in the best possible natural light.
Fix up any interior cosmetic imperfections
Chipped paint, dents in the drywall, and scratches in hardwood are easily fixed but can make a poor impression. A buyer doesn’t want to see a lot of little problems that they’ll have to fix down the road. It is not only an inconvenience for them, but makes them wonder about what larger issues may lie hidden in the house.
Deep clean and declutter
The difference between showing a home that has been cleaned and staged and one that has not is night and day. Clean the floors, polish the furniture, put clean linens on the beds – and, most of all, make sure the kitchen and the bathrooms are immaculate. These two areas, more than anything else, are scrutinized by buyers, and they will judge. After all, would you want to bathe in a moldy tub?
Appearance is everything when it comes to selling a home, and with just a little time and effort, you can make sure you get the most out of every single listing.