Preparing Your Home
Home buyers will be making very careful inspections of your home. You will need to do some preparations to your home to get it ready to sell. Your home will only have one chance to make a first impression with a potential buyer so you will want your home to sparkle and appear spacious and clutter free, the kind of place that will impress the buyer. If you work each day toward the goal of making a clean, spacious and clutter free home, it will soon be ready to make that first winning impression.
The house will be judged by its first impressions of the exterior as well as the interior. The exterior must look great:
- Be sure the paint, siding, windows, caulking and gutters have been tended to and are in good condition
- The yard must be kept clean and free of debris
- Grass should be mowed and edged, shrubs should be neatly trimmed
- Sidewalks should be free of stains and swept
- Repair any cracked windows and torn screens
- Put a fresh coat of paint on your front door
- Check to make certain shingles are laying flat and none are missing
On the interior you should make the following preparations:
- Brighten up any dark areas, clear out unused or unnecessary furniture
- Have all carpets cleaned or replaced
- Rid your home of any pet odors or stains. Not all people like animals and they feel they are “dirty” so make sure you home does not “appear” that animals live there
- Keep bathroom fixtures, tubs and sinks sparklings and repair or re-caulk any areas that may need it
- Wash walls or put a fresh coat of paint on them of a light neutral color
- Wash all windows and blinds
- Clean out the fireplace and wash the enclosures
- Clean out and organize all closets. They will be inspected by buyers
- Repair doors that do not close properly and oil any squeaky parts
- The kitchen cupboards should be washed and free of debris and grease
- Appliances and the sink, faucet and floors should sparkle
- Remove anything you can from the counters and make it less cluttered
- Clean all cold air returns
- The garage should be cleaned out, swept and organized
Listing & Marketing Your Home
Your home must be marketed to the buyer…that’s where working with a professional Realtor® really helps. In using a Realtor® your home will be advertised and placed in the multiple listing service for all Realtors® to view. Listing agents market and promote your home to hundreds of other local agents who are currently working with homebuyers. It will be placed on the Internet systems for online shoppers to find. This dramatically increases your personal sales force and the possibility of a sale.
When pricing your home it is a Realtors® job to know local market conditions and home values. If your house is priced above the market value, fewer buyers will preview your home. The buyer’s Realtor® is working for the Buyer and the buyers best interest. They will not be showing their customers overpriced homes. They will work with homes that are fairly priced and those are the ones they will show to clients. If your home is overpriced and it does successfully sell above the market value the purchaser will run into problems when obtaining a mortgage. The lender requires an appraisal and if comparable sales within the last six months don’t support your sales price, the house will not appraise for the mortgage amount and the sale will most likely be lost. By overpricing your home you could end up with it on the market much longer than necessary or lose out on a sale due to a lower appraisal. It is much more advantageous to price your home at the fair market value so that mortgages are obtainable and so it does not sit on the market for as long a period of time. Buyers are looking for the best house in the best location for the lowest possible price. The key is to offer the best overall package of condition, features, & price to assist in a timely sale.
Your home will not be the only one for sale in the area. Buyers will compare your home’s location, condition, features and price with other available homes. The best overall package as they see it will win an offer. As your agent, I will keep you informed of the market activity and make suggestions on adjustments you may want to consider as needed with the ever changing market. The asking price of other similar homes in the area will affect the price you can get for your home.
Price is the main area where you can adjust to compete with the other available homes in the area. Buyers are more informed now than ever before and the Internet, with its wealth of information is at their fingertips. They will not pay more for a house than it is worth and they know what is available. I will help you to determine the “fair market value” of your home and still help you receive the most money for your property.
Marketing – When it is Time to Show
Typically you will have a days notice to show but many times you will only have an hour or two. If you do not make your home “ready and accessible” and refuse a showing, the buyers will most likely look elsewhere first and might find a home they like, therefore losing you the possible sale.
- Pick up all papers and clutter or toys
- Open all draperies and blinds, and let the sun shine in
- Turn on all lights
- Leave a light music station playing
- Light a jar candle or two for a pleasant scent and ambiance
- Make all beds and pick up all clothes
- Vacuum carpets and sweep floors if time allows
- Open windows if weather allows for fresh air
- Remove pets from the home when possible
When it is Time to Show
You should not be home when your home is being shown. Homebuyers will feel like they are intruding and will hurry through the house without taking the time to look at everything. If you cannot leave for some reason then step outside and remain out of the way. Do not move from room to room or volunteer any information if you are within earshot unless directly asked a questions by the real estate agent.
Give me a call to get started with your real estate needs!