Take time to prepare your home for sale and you’ll increase it’s value.
It’s important to be objective and look at your home through the eye’s of a buyer. Some of the minor quirks and/or items in disrepair in your home may not bother you, but they may cause potential buyers to walk away and prevent your home from ever being sold. Make your home as appealing and uncluttered as the home you would like to buy and you’ll increase the value of your home.
• Make the entry to your home inviting. The front door should be bright, clean, and attractive. Add a wreath, welcome mat, brass accessories, and potted plant to achieve this look. Mow the lawn, and trim the trees and shrubs away from the house so it can be seen. Rake leaves and remove any dead or unsightly plants or shrubs.
• Check and replace or repair any broken roof shingles, gutters, shutters or siding. Clean out the gutters.
• Fix cracks in the driveway or sidewalk. Remove oil stains from the driveway and resurface it.
• Wash all windows inside and out.
• Remove clutter from the yard. Put away tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, and any other “hobby” items (e.g. that classic car jacked up on cinder blocks).
• Powerwash the exterior of your home and patio or deck, and paint the exterior of your house if it looks at all like it needs it.
Make everything outside look fresh, neat, warm, and inviting. Buyers will drive by and not come in if your home does not have some “curb-appeal.”
• Paint the interior of your house with neutral tones. If possible, paint the ceilings white or use ceiling paint to make the rooms seem larger. (Few things can increase the value of your home more than painting.)
• Professionally clean the interior of your home, removing all cobwebs, washing windows inside and out, and removing any “distinctive” smells such as cat litter, heavy spices or oils from cooking, etc. Air out the house.
• The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Make sure it’s clean, and redecorate if needed. Put away all minor appliances. Do everything possible to make the kitchen uncluttered. Wash and polish the floor.
• Clean, clean, clean the bathrooms. Make them spotless.
• Other than the kitchen the master bedroom is most important. Organize all closets. Pick up clothes. Simplify the furniture. Open curtains every morning while your home is on the market.
• Steamclean all wall-to-wall carpeting. Replace any worn carpeting with neutral colors.
• Polish wood floors and stairs or refinish if faded or spotted.
• Repair or replace worn or outdated appliances (e.g. avocado green or coppertone appliances from the 70′s).
• Repair dripping faucets, sticking doors, and other nuisance items.
• Add lamps or lighting to any areas of your home that are dark.
• Make sure that all major systems such as the furnace, air conditioning, hot water heater, etc. are in good working order, and repair or replace them otherwise. Unless your home is being sold “AS-IS” these systems by law must be in good operable condition.
• Remove clutter from all rooms. Things that make your home a home for you may be distracting to a buyer and make your home appear small. Box up knick-knacks, magazines, books, toys, and other items that might influence a buyer’s feeling about a room. Put them in public storage if needed.
• When the house is being shown… make sure it’s straightened up (clothes off the floor, etc.); open curtains; set out fresh flowers; use potpourri, scented candles, or put a drop of vanilla extract on lightbulbs to give your home an inviting scent; play soft music in the background; remove your pets (particularly that cute boa or pit bull). Create an easy-going relaxed atmosphere that makes your home seem comfortable and livable.
What an agent will do for you…
• Represent YOU in the sale of your home.
• Work to get you the most money for your home in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of inconvenience.
• Prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) that will assist you in pricing your home.
• Promote the sale of your home through the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) computer.
• Advertise in selected local newspapers and other specialized market-specific publications.
• Agressively promote your property through other local real estate firms. Up to 50% of our sales involve other cooperating brokers acting on your behalf.
• Make an appointment for each showing.
• Qualify buyers before showing your home.
• Contact you after your property is shown to let you know what happened and pass along comments made by buyers and their agents.
• Present all offers to you and estimate your net proceeds from the offer.
• Help you with all sales negotiations to maximize your bottom line.
• Help you through necessary inspections, appraisals, buyer’s loan approval process, escrow, and closing.
• Take care of the dozens of details that must be carefully monitored prior to settlement to ensure your home really gets SOLD after you accept an offer from a buyer.
• Keep you informed every step of the way.
• Attend the settlement or closing as your representative.
• Help you locate another home locally or in another city, and make your move as easy as possible.
Pricing Your Home
As a home seller, your primary goal is to get the most money possible for your home in the shortest possible time. Above all else, how you price your home will determine your success in reaching your goal.
Regardless of what you paid for your house, regardless of what you think your house is worth, and regardless of what other homes for sale are priced at, the value is determined by the buyer. Buyers devote considerable effort in finding the best house at the lowest price, that is, finding the best value. Every buyer who looks at your house is comparing your home’s value with that of others they’ve seen. If you live in a subdivision or area where the houses are relatively homogeneous (e.g. a condo building or area where most of the homes were built at the same time by the same builder) pricing is pretty straightforward. You can expect that your home will sell pretty close to the price received by your neighbors who sold recently — adjusted of course for upgrades, differences in lot quality, location, and so on. However, if you live in an area where the homes are relatively heterogeneous (e.g. each home is relatively unique) or where homes have not been sold or listed on the market for some time, then pricing becomes more complicated. This is where a professional real estate agent can really help. A well-trained agent is always in touch with market trends and has access to all of the recent home sale transactions in your area. Equipped with this knowledge and data they will prepare an informative comparative market analysis (CMA) report for you. Using the CMA you can price your home properly to maximize the money you receive from the sale of your home.
Listed below are the factors considered by Real Estate Agents in helping you establish a price for your home:
What affects your asking price?
• How quickly you must sell (A quick sale may require aggressive pricing)
• Competition (Are there few or many homes available similar to yours?)
• Available financing (Is your loan assumable at a below-market rate? What are current interest rates? What financing alternatives — Conventional, FHA, and VA — are available for your area?)
• CMA or appraisal (Do you know what similar homes in the area sold for within the last six months?)
• Your selling costs.
What doesn’t affect your asking price?
• Your original cost (Price is determined by today’s market — the economic conditions of supply and demand.)
• Your investment in improvements (Potential buyers may not appreciate the imported silk paisley wallpaper in the dining room. In fact, some may adjust their offer by the cost to remove and replace it.)
• The cost to build your home today (Replacement Cost is only considered for insurance purposes, not for pricing a home.)
• Your personal attachment your home (Prudent buyers buy on their emotions, not on yours.)
• What the “Joneses” sold for (Regardless of what the Joneses sold their house for, every house is a little different, every buyer and seller is a little different, and every transaction is a little different. And people tend to exaggerate what they really paid or received for something.)
What happens to the overpriced house?
• Helps to sell the competition (Most buyers are competitive shoppers.)
• On the market a long time (Studies show that 80% of your potential buyers see the house in the first 4-6 weeks. If you don’t sell then it takes about 3 months to replace them with an equal number of newcomers.)
• Loss of market interest and qualified buyers (Buyers use value, quality and price of similar properties as deciding factors.)
• Negative impression is created (People wonder why the house is still on the market. They believe something must be wrong with it.)
• Seller continues to lose money (As long as your home is on the market you must continue to make mortgage payments and pay to maintain the property.)
• Seller accepts less money (Studies show that the longer a house is on the market, the greater the discount off list price is ultimately given.)
• Appraisal problems (Even if you find someone who is willing to pay your inflated price, you still may not be able to sell the house because the lender must agree that the home is worth the asking price or they won’t lend money to the buyer.)
Again, a well-trained real estate agent will help you avoid the pitfalls of an overpriced listing and help you get the most money possible for your home in the shortest possible time, with the least amount of inconvenience.
Take time to prepare your home for sale and you’ll increase it’s value.