Seller’s Guide: Top 5 Tips Selling your home can be easy. Let our experienced staff help you make it happen.
Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Home
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Nothing is easy about selling a house, even in a good real estate market — people are always on the hunt for their “dream” home and they won’t settle for less. Small details like the cleaning your home before a showing to pricing within market value can either push buyers in or out. And, more than likely, you’re going to have a ton of questions about the process – we are here for you every step of the way! First, let’s cover some basics to help you get the most potential out of your home when placing it on the market.
Tip 1: I Want to Sell My Home, How Do I Get Started?
It’s a mistake to think a house will sell by itself. Buyers want to see the “possibility” of living in your house, so it’s important to keep them in mind during the whole process!
- Get Your Home Inspected Before Listing
- Mechanical & Structural Evaluations
- Tests for Radon Gas
- Tests for Wood Destroying Pests
- Basic Roof & Foundation Structural Safety Checks
- Get your Home Ready to List
One tip before listing your home for sale is to get it inspected. Pay for a professional to inspect your home and see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. An inspection can uncover potentially large problems that could be revealed during the closing inspection from the Buyer. If the closing inspection reveals major issues, such as foundation problems, then you could lose the Buyer’s offer or be asked for a significantly lower listing price. To avoid this issue, you can have your home inspected upfront so you know if there is anything serious you need to fix. Spending this extra money upfront could save you a lot of money and time in the long run!
Basic home inspections usually include:
The benefit to getting a home inspection before listing is simple: It gives you knowledge. If you know your home has no significant issues, you know you can list your home at a good price point. If there are some issues, you have time to fix them before listing.
Buyers want to imagine that your house is a place they can live. If there is chipped paint or broken fixtures, Buyers will be less likely to make a good offer. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim, have your carpets professionally cleaned, clear out the gutters… details like this will win over potential Buyers and get your home sold more quickly.
Tip 2: Things You Should Do When Showing Your Home to Buyers
Getting your home ready for showings is one of the biggest deciding factors in selling your home. First impressions are key and making sure Buyers stay in a positive mindset as they tour around your home can be difficult at times. Here are some things you should do when showing your home to potential Buyers.
- Curb Appeal
- De-Cluttering & De-Personalizing
We often tell our home sellers to “de-clutter” and “de-personalize” their home before listing to sell. Buyers can be turned off by a lot of personal items on the bathroom sink or having to step over toys in the floor. Having a lot sitting out on your kitchen counters gives potential Buyers the impression there isn’t enough cabinet space for storage.
De-personalizing your home generally means not having a large number of family photos or an excessive amount of personal items visible around the house — they can distract Buyers and make it harder for them to imagine themselves (and their own family) living in your house.
Do a quick run through each room and make sure that that clutter is not a factor home buyers will notice. By getting rid of clutter and personal items, your home will look more appealing to buyers — a quick fix is to pack away non-essential items in moving boxes and store them until your move.
- Color & Light
If you have bold, dark colors on the walls in your home, you might want to consider repainting with warm, neutral tones. Soft grays and tan colors are among the most popular choices in helping Buyers picture their own furniture and items in the space.
Home buyers prefer homes that have an inviting feel with a lot of light, especially natural light. More light also helps create a spacious feeling, while darker rooms can appear smaller and less inviting.
Pulling back the curtains or opening blinds to let in more natural light before showings will instantly give your home a warmer feel.
- Get Rid of Odors
One of the biggest turn-offs to potential buyers is strong, lingering odors such as cigarette smoke and pet odors. You can get rid of many odors by having your carpets professionally cleaned, repainting walls, opening windows and airing out the rooms. You can also spray soft surfaces with a deodorizer to remove any additional unwanted odors.
On the day of of your showings, bake cookies or boil water with apples and cinnamon to create an inviting scent.
Real estate agents often refer to curb appeal as “staging your yard”, which is basically maintaining the exterior of your house. When home buyers drive up to your house, the first thing they see is your front yard. If what they see is an uncut lawn filled with weeds or dirt patches, they’ll instantly be turned off. Making sure the grass is cut is extremely important when wanting to make a good first impression. Adding a few other details, such as flowering plants, can also increase your curb appeal!
Grab a notebook and stand in front of your home. Anything that jumps out at you or looks like it needs attention, jot it down. Be sure your front yard is immaculate, first impressions are largely decided here.
Tip 3: Getting Offers & Closing
It’s tempting to jump on the first offer a Buyers gives, but always remember your own expectations. Be flexible but don’t put yourself in a position to lose the benefit. Having an experienced REALTOR® on your side is a crucial part of negotiating the best price for your home.
- What to Expect After Listing
- Negotiating a Price
Potential buyers will usually make an offer below the asking price, which means you should be ready to make a counteroffer. As your REALTOR®, we will guide you on making the right response. Be flexible, if you notice a Buyer constantly looking at the barbeque grill, consider offering to leave it with the house — small negotiations like this can sometimes win a buyer over.
- Closing the Deal
During the negotiating process, try to come to an agreement as quickly as possible. If the Buyer makes an offer that you don’t like, don’t say no — make a counteroffer. If the Buyer walks away, they can always find another house, but it may take time for you to find another Buyer. When both parties have agreed to the price, it’s time for closing day.
Here’s what to expect during the closing period:
- All parties will sign the papers, officially sealing the deal.
- The day before, we will help you gather all the necessary paperwork (i.e., Proof of Title, Contract).
- The Buyer will probably do a last walk-through 24 hours prior to closing.
- You will need to pay Seller closing costs.
- Hand over keys to the house.
- Notify utilities and homeowners insurance that you have moved.
One of the first things to happen after listing with your REALTOR® is your home being entered into the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This online database will notify other real estate agents that your home is for sale and make it visible on numerous listing search websites.
Tip 4: Moving Out Before Closing Time
As you reach the closing phase, you’ll need to start thinking about moving out. Soon the house will be the Buyer’s and you should be ready to move into your own dream home. (Click here to see how we can help you find yours!) This is the time to get rid of unwanted items, decide if you need professional movers to help you relocate, and make sure you have everything ready before the move date.
Remember, that once the closing contracts to your home are finished, the house is no longer yours beyond the agreed date. Some contracts will give you a grace period to officially move out, but this can be troublesome. It’s not easy to move in just a couple of days and could lead to further issues, like if something in the house breaks during this grace period. To provide a smooth transaction, it’s best to move out prior to the closing date.
- Tips on Moving
Knowing what you have and where it belongs is an important step in having a stress-free move. That’s why you should create an inventory of items, properly label boxes, and begin packing ahead of time. Moving a whole house can be daunting when you look at it as a whole. Instead, divide up the packaging with your inventory list and do it by rooms.
- Packing Boxes
As you go from room to room, package your boxes with a system. Smaller items should go into large boxes and large items should go into the smaller boxes — the exception are books, which can get heavy quick! Pack heavier items at the bottom of the box with lighter items near the top.
If you want to save on boxes, one trick you can try is leaving items in drawers. If it’s not containing anything fragile, just take the drawer out of the chest or desk. You can stretch tape across the top to hold things inside. For clothes, another easy trick is to leave them on the hangers to make for easy storage when you get to your new house.
Once everything is packed, make sure you label all your boxes with the room they should go to and their contents.
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Tip 5: One Conclusion, One Sold House
In today’s real estate market, just placing a “For Sale” sign isn’t enough anymore. Competition is fierce at times and home buyers are looking for their “dream” home. Adding and fixing small details has proven to go a long way in selling homes. From staging your home to pricing it right, you and your REALTOR® have the power to negotiate a fair selling price. When you understand the selling process and keep these tips in mind, you can be confident in selling your home quickly!
Have questions about selling your home? We’re here to help!
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