Make Sure You Really Want to Sell
This is by far the hardest step to complete. This is even true when it is a 2nd home or vacation home. Why? You have created special memories in the home, even if it was only 1 week at a time. From a residence where your son or daughter took their first steps to watching the delight of your child standing on a surfboard for the first time, these memories stand out as the tableau of your life. It is hard to let them go.
Make a list of all the reasons you want to sell. Put that list into context of what you want to do after you sell. Are you purchasing another piece of real estate? Make sure you consider all the potential cost of accomplishing your ultimate goal before deciding to sell. A real estate sales contract is binding so you can’t change your mind after accepting an offer.
If you are not really committed, or just day dreaming about skipping to a tropical island then the reality is you will likely have seller’s remorse. Maybe, now is not the right time for you to sell. If you are not really committed, it has a way of emerging when evaluating offers or negotiating.
Get the right Realtor
The Realtor you hire to sell your home will make a huge difference, choose accordingly. Clearly, a part time Realtor will not exert the same effort as a full time Agent. Interview at least 3 and see what kind of rapport you have with each. Research the reviews or recommendations for each Realtor. The Realtors track record of properties sold, how fast they sold and at what price will provide valuable insight. Check out their social media and websites to get additional info.
The bottom line is you want someone you can trust. You want an agent who is totally informed about the local market and is constantly monitoring what is being listed and what has been sold. Finally, choose an Agency that leverages technology to get the maximum reach and increased efficiency.
Fair market value
Pricing your home correctly when it is first listed is key. Listing your home for sale for more than the market value will reduce activity and interest and it will just sit there. Many times, the reductions required to get any interest are greater than if you just priced it correctly the first time. There is a stigma applied to homes that have been reduced.
The outside first impression of your home is your first chance to woo buyers so don’t blow it. Many buyers will decline even going into a home they do not find appealing when they first drive up. Don’t forget to clean up and spruce up outside. This applies regardless of the season.
In the warm weather, it is easy to add some blooming annuals for a cheery bright welcome. The same applies to crisp edging for sidewalks, planting beds and driveways. Trees neatly trimmed and fresh mulch will put your homes best foot forward.
In other seasons, there are many small touches that will add curb appeal to your home. Make sure leaves are raked and any branches that have fallen are picked up in the fall. A seasonal wreath at the entrance is inviting and add warmth. Make sure the entrance is clean and free of cobwebs. Consider a bench or other item that can add interest to the front entry.
Keep a light(s) on at night for any potential buyers who drive by. Make sure the “for sale” sign can also be viewed at night.
Don’t underestimate the value of “little things”. Even a few “little things” can add up to be big things in a buyers mind. Once we live in a home, we stop seeing many of the little things that a potential buyer would get “put off” by. Try to walk through your home with the eyes of a stranger or potential buyer to identify items needing fixing.
By definition, little things do not cost a lot to fix. It may take a little effort or elbow grease but the results will definitely pay off.
Many times entryways or foyers can become utility space after we live in the home for a time. The car keys are placed on a hook or a bowl. The mail piles up on a shelf or basket. Coats pile up on a coatrack. Don’t do this. Find a new place for this stuff to keep the foyer clean and neat as possible. Add fresh flowers, a candy dish or another decorative item to create some punch.
Buyers will look everywhere in your home. This means your medicine cabinet, under the sink, and in the closets. They will even open drawers (even when the home is not sold furnished). Give them a pleasant surprise (and I don’t mean snakes in a can that will pop out and scare them) with clean and organized spaces.
No one ever said they had enough storage, ever! With that in mind, go through all the items in your home and make 3 piles: donate, storage, trash (and keep or move). Remove at least half of all items in your closet, medicine chest, cabinets and drawers. Neatly organize the items remaining in the house. This will boost your selling price and make it so much easier to move.
There is no such thing as too much light. You want to maximize the lighting in your home before showing it. Trim outside shrubs that are blocking light into the home. Removing heavy drapes is another good place to start. Clean the windows, inside and out. Next, change out the lampshades with a lighter color or more transparent fabric to allow more light to shine through. Increase the wattage of lightbulbs to 100w. In short, do whatever you can to increase the natural and lamp light into your home.
I don’t mean you have to get rid of your furry friend. Just make it seem as if you did. Before showing the home, make sure pet bowls are removed, cat box is out of sight and no fur balls are drifting across the floor or hiding in corners. Take the pet out of the home during a showing and send them to a pet sitter on the open house day. Make sure there are no lingering odors.
Update & Repair
Small changes can make a big difference. Get a new fresh coat of neutral paint on the walls or touch up areas that are scuffed with matching paint. Make sure to clean the curtains and or blinds (or remove them) or go buy some inexpensive new updated ones. Replace door handles (match finishes to rest of home), replace cabinet hardware (or put a fresh coat of paint on your current ones), make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.
You want the potential buyer to imagine themselves in your house. It will be hard for them to do if your family pictures and treasures are filling the home. The rule of thumb is to get rid of 1/3 of all your stuff. While you can put it in storage, it is a good time to donate and sort out what will be needed in your new space.
Stage the home furnishing for maximum appeal. Your Realtor or interior designer can provide more ideas to rearrange what you have to best show off the home. Most people have too much furniture to properly show off a room. Less is more.
The kitchen is the most important room. Take the time to make sure it sparkles. Small updates will go a long way here. Swap out your cabinet hardware or re-paint them. Add a new backsplash and a fresh coat of neutral paint.
Clean & Ready to Show
Your home must be ready to show at all times. This can be an issue because most of us actually “live” in our homes. No dishes left in the sink, dishwasher emptied, trash emptied. Children’s toys must be picked up and put away. You want it to look like a picture out of a magazine at all times. Ideally, if you can live somewhere else and keep your home staged, do it! I have been there with toddlers and it was hard. I think it would be even more difficult with teenagers. This is extremely important and you will need to get the whole family to join the effort.
Selling your home is a big decision. The Agents at Eillu are here to help you every step of the way. We are Full Service and have a low 1.5% listing commission. Take the first step and let us show you what we can do for you, with a Listing Presentation or find out what your home is worth with our Custom Market Analysis. Contact us today to turn for sale into SOLD!