When you sell a home, there is a lot to think about! I’ve sold homes for more than two decades now, and I learn more every day about what homebuyers want. To let you in on what I've learned over the years, I've put together the ten most important things you can do to sell a home quickly and for more money. I hope you find them useful!
1. Freshen up! Make necessary touch-ups and repairs, fix anything that’s broken and update all maintenance. This includes yard work - mow the grass, trim and mulch. In addition, don’t get lazy and simply give a repair allowance. When you offer an allowance instead of making the repairs, you almost always end up paying more in the end. Buyers generally don’t like inheriting problems that need fixing.
2. Price it right! The right price brings the most buyers, the most demand, and, consequently, the highest price. Unfortunately, determining the right price requires more than a simple internet search. You will need current and accurate apples to apples comparables, along with market trend information. For more detailed guidance on pricing, see this great article by MoneyTalks.
3. Remove or replace 'taste specific' items. Remember - you want your home to appeal to the masses. You may love purple ceilings or quirky decorations, but the the majority of buyers will be turned off by these bold choices.
4. Remove all personal items from view. This includes family portraits, toiletries, socks and (especially) underwear! Personal items make buyers feel uncomfortable and act as a distraction. Don’t distract the buyer. Clear away your personal things so they notice the home, not you. A distracted buyer rarely buys the home.
5. Declutter. Did I mention declutter? If not - declutter! And do it like you mean it. Less is always more. Clear your countertops and other surfaces. Remove all unnecessary furniture so square footage can be showcased. Buyers want to envision how their things will look in your space, so give them a canvas blank enough to do so. An extra piece of advice - choose a designated spot to quickly throw daily clutter when a last minute showing pops up!
6. Clean! Once your home has been decluttered, make it sparkle! Consider hiring a professional to help you - they know how to clean things you thought couldn’t be cleaned, and they think to tackle those areas you wouldn't even consider! The cost of hiring a cleaner is nothing compared to the amount of money you will lose by listing a dirty home.
7. Stage your home properly. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of properly showcasing a home's square footage through staging. In a study quoted by MarketWatch, it was found that professionally staged homes sell in 1/4 of the time it takes homes that have not been staged to sell. Personal experience has proven this to be true for me and my clients as well. There have been many times when professional staging has lured in a buyer when nothing else was working (see one example HERE!). Sellers often mistakenly think it will be expensive, but it doesn't have to be! In fact, I pay the stager’s consultation fee on every home I list, so my sellers typically spend nothing. While all agents won't pay the entire consultation fee, many will at least pay a percentage.
8. Make your buyers feel welcome in your space. Be flexible and ready for each showing. Turn on all the lamps and lights, do a quick tidying up of each room, add some fresh flowers, be sure there are no unpleasant odors and make sure you are gone before the buyers arrive.
In addition, remove your pets, along with any evidence that you own a pet. According to MoneySense, as many as 20-30% of young people have pet allergies, and many people will not even visit a home if there is a pet present. Often those that do visit homes with pets are immediately put off by pet odors, pet hair and damaged landscaping or flooring. For more about what can happen if you leave your pet out for a showing, click HERE (trust me, you're going to want to see this!).
9. Be open-minded and positive about each incoming offer. Remember the one thing you know immediately when you get an offer is that this buyer likes your home more than any of the others they saw, so negotiate accordingly. Negotiating wisely, with an open mind will help you sell for more.
10. Close the sale. You don’t get the most out of your home if you don’t see your contract through to closing. Inspections, appraisal, title search, attorneys, liens, payoffs, dues and due diligence must all be done after an agreement is reached. And it’s all important. That’s why sellers who want to get the most out of their home often hire a well-trained agent to guide them through the process.
If you have any questions about more ways to get the most money out of your home, message me or give me a call at 615-394-1823. I'm here to help.
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Velyn Steward, Real Estate Answerman