Selling your home? You need every advantage you can get. You might not be able to predict the market, but you can avoid common selling mistakes – and take a few dedicated actions to try to get your home sold as quickly as possible.
1. Price it right.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Price makes all the difference when it comes to selling your home, and there are a lot of factors that go into determining its worth. When it comes to selling, over-pricing or under-pricing your home is a huge mistake. But remember: Unless you’re a real estate agent, you’re likely not the best person to make this decision. It’s critical that you and your real estate professional know your market and deeply analyze the comparable sales in your neighborhood or area to understand exactly where to price your home.
2. Get rid of stains & smells.
Walking into a dirty, smelly home will not entice someone to make a big life decision! Prospective buyers don’t want to know where you dropped that bottle of wine or your pet’s favorite “spot.” After all, the goal is for buyers to picture themselves in the home, not the last family who lived there. If stains are prevalent, invest a few bucks in new carpet – and enlist the help of a professional cleaning company (and air freshener) to help clear out gross smells.
3. Clear the clutter.
The more clutter in your space, the smaller it looks. You’re planning to move anyway, so you might as well get a head-start on packing, right? Take time to declutter vital areas like closets, counters, cabinets, drawers and more – and even that stack of years-old magazines – to make rooms and storage spaces feel larger and open. Removing “stuff” also allows a buyer to see the home and potential. (An easy rule of thumb to follow? Leave closets, cabinets & drawers half-empty, so buyers can see the storage space that’s available.)
4. Set the stage.
Not every buyer has “vision,” so it can be difficult for buyers to seem themselves in your home if the space is completely empty. A properly staged home can help a buyer see the potential and give them ideas on flow and how to set up the space for their own needs. Focus on removing personal items to create a calm, peaceful home.
5. Use top-notch photography.
What makes a buyer want to see a home? Photos! One of the best ways to differentiate your home from the rest of the market is superior photography. The vast majority of buyers search for homes online and rely on photos to determine their initial interest in your home – and the quality of the photos you use in your listing and marketing materials can make ALL the difference in driving interest to your house. Always, always hire a professional photographer (and do NOT rely on your cell phone’s camera)!
6. Clean up the curb.
Curb appeal is real. In fact, poor curb appeal might even keep a buyer from stepping out of the car! A messy front yard could signify a messy house – and no one wants to walk through (or clean up) someone else’s mess. Take the time to clean up your yard, porch/patio, front door and any walkways prior to listing photos and showings. In winter, make sure sidewalks are shoveled and iced. In warmer weather, keep the lawn mowed regularly, and sweep mower clippings off the property.
7. Maximize the light.
After location, good lighting is something many buyers look for in a home. Open blinds and drapes, clean the windows, change lampshades and trim down any bushes or foliage blocking sunshine. Make your house bright and cheery, and it will make it more sellable.
8. Be ready for showings anytime.
Buyers don’t always share your schedule, which means you might have to make arrangements to be out of the house in the drop of a hat. And that means you might not have time to re-clean. As much as possible, your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and the dust bunnies swept. And try to be available when buyers are – or they might not even get a chance to look around!
9. Find the right real estate pro.
While selling by owner may be appealing, home sellers who try to do it themselves often end up sitting for sale for a longer period of time – and selling for less than those who work with a real estate agent. A licensed professional will have resources and expertise to help you navigate the process of selling and will be an intermediary between you and the buyers.
But it’s also important to pick the right agent. Make sure you find someone who understands your area, and what your goals are as a seller.
Thinking about looking or listing? Let’s grab coffee and see how we can help you today.