5 Keys to Selling Your Home
Buyers will be most interested in your home the first few weeks it’s on the market – so you need to hit the ground running and sell before your listing grows stale. So, what can you do to get the offers rolling in? Here are 5 keys to selling your home:
Price it right from the start
The first 30 days your house is on the market is usually the best activity you’ll see. Listing with an attractive price right away will increase your chances for selling quickly. It’s not always imperative to be the lowest priced home on the block, particularly when aesthetic and other significant improvements have been made. However, it is important that the listing price is not out of line with other comparable homes in the market. This is where trusting and communicating with your agent is very important. They’ll give you an honest assessment of the market comparables in your neighborhood, in addition to factoring in your financial desires.
Enhance curb appeal
Head and Shoulders shampoo throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, very effectively used this tag line in their commercials:
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
That certainly applies to selling your home. Appearance matters. At first glance, you want to show that your home is attractive, clean and well-kept. Don’t give them a “right away” reason to be skeptical. Manicure the lawn. If it’s in bad shape, consider some new sod. Plant some colorful flowers, trim the bushes, and clean the spider webs. Clean, fix, change, and replace anything that will help you make a good first impression. A couple of small and sometimes overlooked items are your mailbox and doormat. If your mailbox is clearly visible upon arrival, buy a new creative one. Put a nice doormat at the front door to give it a fresh look. While you’re there, polish the door knob and hinges. All these come at a minimal cost but with the possibility of big gains.
Clean and declutter
Similar to the outside, it’s the little things that will make the biggest difference on the inside of your home. Start by cleaning all of the windows – then clean everything else. If you have a pet, you might need to find a temporary home or, perhaps, set up simple kennel in the garage. Either way, make sure there’s no odor left behind. Here comes the big one…when it’s time to declutter, consider getting a storage unit. If possible, choose a portable unit. That way, when you’ve sold and it’s time to move, it can be transported to your new home. A general rule to follow is to clear-out one-third of your stuff. Holiday decorations, baby gear, seasonal clothes, extra clothes, extra furniture, smaller kitchen appliances – whatever doesn’t have a purpose or hasn’t been used in at least 6 months, move it into storage.
Make small upgrades and consider repairs
For many, the kitchen is considered the heart of the home. Make this a top priority. Enhancing your kitchen with a new faucet set along with new cabinet door handles, drawer knobs and a lighting fixture with a brighter light will go long way for a potential buyer. If you feel like the cabinets need to be replaced, consider having them refaced for far less money. Buff up the bathroom as well; new cabinet handles, drawer knobs, faucets, shower curtain and towel racks are all minimal expenses that will give a very influential room a fresh new look. As for repairs, make sure all the door knobs work and oil those squeaky hinges. Take care of chipped paint, nicks in the walls and broken light switches. The big ones can get a little expensive and require some thought. I’m a big believer to fix anything that will cause a buyer to think twice about making an offer. Whether it’s a sagging deck, leaky roof or pesky termites, I’d rather not make them a negotiating point. If it can be fixed within your budget so it’s a non-issue when your house hits the market, then it’s probably worth doing.
Hire a professional photographer
Finally, something you don’t have to pay for. Hiring a professional photographer will be the agent’s expense. Even though it’s not your financial responsibility, I’ve included it because it’s extremely important. Did you know that 92 percent of homebuyers use the internet as a major part of their home search? That means the listing photos are a critical factor. You’ve gone to great lengths to prepare your home for show – now it needs to be displayed in a way that will inspire buyers to come and see. A professional photographer sees the world in a different way through a lens, and that amazing talent will make a tremendous difference with potential homebuyers.
This isn’t one of the 5 keys but I’m realistic enough to know that for some sellers an “as is” sale makes the most sense. In certain situations, for a variety of reasons, you just have to secure an agent, stake a sign and get your home on the market. As an agent, I’m totally aware this may be the best path. If so, we’ll just go back to key #1, “Price it right from the start”. However, if you have the time and budget and you’re able and willing to follow the above tips, you’ll have a leg up on the local competition–and you will attract as many buyers as possible, for the right price.