When selling your home, it makes sense to want it to sell at the highest price possible. You may be asking yourself how this is possible, especially if you have owned it for a long time and you’re worried about the value and if it’s gone down. Fear not! There are ways to have your property get the value it deserves.
What To Consider When Selling Your Home
1) First, do your homework. Find out the local market conditions for your neighborhood. Depending on your area, there may be better/worse times to sell. Once you’ve decided to sell, there are three different levels of service that you may want to consider:
• Sell the home yourself (FSBO)
• List your with a Discount / Flat fee broker
• Utilize a full-service real estate agent/brokerage
If you are inclined to sell the home yourself, note that you will bear the responsibility for marketing your property, along with full legal disclosures, inspections, appraisals, and the like. You should be very comfortable with real estate related documents, and comfortable with the legal implications resulting from the transaction.
You can also choose to use a discount or flat fee broker, who will assist you to sell your property. Depending on the broker you select, you may be able to get some assistance with marketing, open houses, disclosures, title/escrow, etc.
If you want to market your property to the largest pool of possible buyers, list your property with a full-service real estate broker/firm. Now, before you pick up the phone, make sure to take the time to interview more than one agent/agency.
Find out if they are a Realtor — a member of the National Association of Realtors, a trade organization of nearly 1 million members nationwide. Members of NAR subscribe to a stringent code of ethics to guarantee the highest level of service and integrity.
In addition to qualifications, you should check the references of the agent. Make sure to speak with former clients to see if the agent is responsive and is available to keep you up-to-date with progress. You need to have direct contact with your agent, so you will need to be as comfortable as possible. The agent that handles your listing should:
• Detailed marketing plan for your house, including online and offline marketing
• Prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of properties in your area that have sold, as well as properties currently listed
• Help you determine the best selling price for your house
• Advice on suggested home improvements
During the time that your house is on the market, potential buyers will make appointments to view your home, along with the planned open-houses that you or your agent may schedule. Try to evaluate the house as if you are seeing it for the first time.
Buyers need to envision themselves living in the home, so take care to present the property in its best light. Put yourself in the position of a potential buyer and view the property starting at the front, itemizing the most cost-effective enhancements to make.
2) Clean up as much as possible. You may want to paint walls (neutral colors are best) or spruce up wallpaper. Replace old flooring and worn carpets. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers.
If possible, hire a cleaning service. Display your best linens, towels, and shower curtains. Makeup beds, and put fresh flower arrangements on the table. Make sure that there are no offensive odors in the house. The odor is the first thing buyers notice, and often a permanent turnoff.
3) Make your house their new home. Put away or pack small appliances and other items that might be sitting on countertops or tables throughout the house. You want buyers to visualize the space in each room, so it is best to remove as many smaller items as possible. Remove personal items, pictures, and items to present clear shelves, bookcases, and walls.
Move excess furniture to make rooms more spacious. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Clean and organize the closets. If you must, store boxes in an out of the way location. You may also want to rent a temporary storage unit, to allow you to declutter every part of the house.
4) Don’t forget outside! The right landscaping can enhance the curb appeal of a home. Eliminate weeds, patch bare spots, fertilize, and water. Take a good look at the shrubbery. Bushes that have grown to cover windows should be pruned to let sun and light into the home.
Fill in bare spots with small shrubs and colorful, fast-growing annuals, such as impatiens and petunias. A few well-placed flower pots by the front door can be very inviting. Today’s buyers want low maintenance. Your goal should be a beautifully maintained yard that looks easy to care for.
5) Allow your agent/representative to show your home. Buyers don’t want to offend current owners, so they may be more hesitant to consider your home if you are present for open-house events. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a seller.
Overall, you know your home best. Be sure to go through each room and evaluate it to make sure it’s up to the standards you like. If you want to sell your home quickly and for the highest value possible, you’ll need to put in some work beforehand.