Important tips to follow By Jillian Chandler
The crazy buying frenzy seems to have calmed down, but that doesn’t mean those still looking to sell can’t get incredible offers. If you are looking to put your house on the market this season, be sure to make the proper preparations to ensure your home is buyer ready—and you’re sure to have multiple offers on your doorstep.
Here are five tips to get your house looking top notch and priced right for those potential buyers.
1. Find the right broker. Finding the right real estate brokerage, broker and agent is imperative when looking to sell or buy. This ensures that your agent will be dedicated to you and selling your home as well as help you transition to your next home purchase that will best meet you and your family’s current and future needs. “Look for an agent that knows the area, the existing inventory, as well as new daily listings, and one that has keen insight and experienced negotiating skills, and is willing to invest his or her personal time into you and your family, go the extra mile to represent you in a professional manner, and help you sell your home at the best price,” says Dave Spencer, professional Realtor and resort and second-home property specialist (RSPS) with Kelly Right Real Estate.
2. Price it right. According to Dave, professional agents will help you to receive the highest, strongest and best offer on your home by first performing a thorough preview of your home, and then by conducting and preparing an accurate comparable market analysis. “Researching ‘like’ properties that are currently on the market and homes that have recently sold in your area, and comparing them with your home and its amenities and improvements, helps an agent to determine the current market value of your home, which, in turn, will help you to obtain the highest and best offer possible,” states Dave.
He goes on to say that pricing your home lower than its market value leaves a substantial amount of money lying on the negotiating table; whereas, if the homes is priced too high, the property will be deemed as overpriced and will be passed over completely by buyers’ agents and their clients for another property more realistically priced.
“Find a competent, experienced agent that will spend the time and do their due diligence to determine the best and most accurate value to market your home,” he insists. “A great agent will earn you thousands more and save you precious time by getting your home sold in the least number of days at the highest possible price.”
3. Curb appeal is a must! Make a lasting—and positive—first impression, as “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” the saying goes. And Dave couldn’t agree more. “Curb appeal is critical, as potential buyers begin sizing up your property long before they enter it. Sellers can dramatically increase their odds of selling their home by doing some simple do-it-yourself projects.” Spruce up the yard and entry way, which is inexpensive but can reap huge benefits. Pull weeds and prune trees; mow and edge your lawn; add mulch or bark to flowerbeds (even add colorful flowers depending on the time of year). Power wash the driveway and walkways; and give the windows and front door a good clean—you may even want to repaint the door if cleaning it doesn’t do the trick.
4. Declutter and lighten up your home. This “first impression” applies not just to the exterior but the interior of the home as well. And when it comes to the inside of your home, “less is definitely more,” according to Dave.
First begin with a thorough cleaning, opening all the windows to let in fresh air from outdoors. Remove pet hair and pet odors from carpets, drapes, furniture. Clean the kitchen oven and other appliances.
Once you’ve given your home a deep clean, it’s time to start decluttering. “Less clutter, less furniture, less ‘stuff’ will enable your buyers to see how big each space really is and will allow them to picture their ‘stuff’ in their potential new home,” says Dave. Go through each room of the house and reduce the amount of furniture and clutter in that space. “Use the love seat or two comfortable chairs in the living room and remove that humongous couch. Put that king-size bed into self-storage and replace it with a double bed.”
You will also want to depersonalize your home by removing family portraits with more generic artwork and wall hangings. As Dave encourages, “You want to help your potential buyers envision themselves and their family living in their new home, with their styles and tastes, not yours.” To add to this, if your home currently has a more extreme color palette on those walls, it’s best to paint these rooms with neutral, pleasing colors, such as light shades of grey and off-whites. “Remember, to get your home ‘sale’ ready, you’re trying to appeal to as many potential clients as possible, not necessarily picking you or your family’s favorite color for wall paint.”
Lastly, let the natural light brighten your home through the windows when showing. To brighten those darker rooms that don’t have much natural lighting, be sure to install brighter wattage light bulbs in your lighting fixtures—you may even want to purchase some new light fixtures if yours are currently a bit outdated.
5. Maintain a “show ready” home. This isn’t always easy, especially if you have pets and kids, but by maintaining your home, and having it ready to show at all times, you’ll increase your chances of having more potential buyers coming to your home. “You only need one buyer to sell your home, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on that one buyer when he or she asks to view your home at a moment's notice—and you’re not prepared,” states Dave. “So, be sure your home is ‘show ready’ at all times once it has hit the market, as this will allow for more showing opportunities, which increases the odds that you’ll connect with that one buyer that has been searching the market for a home exactly like yours!”