During the frenzied Seller's Market, a home seller didn't really have to do too much to get an offer - multiple offers came in very quickly. Things have changed and sellers and their agents need to work as a team.
Are you looking to get the most out of your house sale? You've come to the perfect place! This blog post will talk about seven tips that can help boost the value of your home and give you a better deal when it comes time to sell.
1. Make necessary repairs and/or updates
When it comes to ensuring that you get good value for your home, necessary repairs and updates are absolutely vital. Many sellers have an idea that buyers will prefer to make their own updates, especially when it comes to needed paint jobs. I don't know of any buyer who wants to move to a new place and then immediately take on repairs and needed updates.
If anything is damaged or broken - from the windows to any appliances - then having those fixed before going on the market can be extremely beneficial in terms of getting a better offer. If there's peeling paint, an outdated kitchen/bathroom, or worn carpets, then these kinds of things could knock thousands of dollars off potential buyers' offers. Could investing in some repair work prove worthwhile? It can make a difference in offer prices, possibly receiving multiple offers, and selling more quickly.
One great way of making sure that you get the highest price for your house is to conduct a comprehensive pre-sale home inspection and repair whatever needs attention. Small exterior improvements like painting or landscape remodeling can be very helpful in increasing its curb appeal; also, painting interior walls with neutral hues helps too. Replacing old appliances with modern models indicates to potential buyers that they don't have to spend big money on fixes when moving in - what's more attractive than that?
Keep in mind as well that most home seekers will take a look at images first while searching online so make certain those photos exhibit your residence from its best angle! We hire professional real estate photographers but they are only there to take pictures of your place. You need to set the stage.
2. Clean up and remove your personal items
Most home sellers are probably sick of hearing the word "declutter". But it's necessary if you want a quick sale at top dollar. You're going to have to pack your personal stuff up anyway, so do it now and make your home look as close to a model home as possible.
We once owned a really quaint home that had a lot of display pieces. Before I listed it on the market, I removed a lot of my collections. I loved the look of those things in our house, but guess what? I loved it after the decluttering. The home just looked larger and cleaner and more updated.
It's vital to remember that presentation is paramount when selling your house. To ensure a successful sale, one of the most important steps is cleaning up and removing any personal items from the home before listing it on the MLS, having scheduled showings, or open houses.
Decluttering your space as much as possible without hampering functionality is imperative - this could even be seen as one of the most important steps towards an ideal home layout! But why does having less stuff matter when attracting those all-important offers? Well by removing unnecessary belongings from around the home not only will it look cleaner but also feel brighter - two qualities no buyer can resist when making their decision where to buy next.
The reason behind this being so crucial is that potential buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in the space; family photos tend to make this ability more difficult for them. So pack away mementos, take down curtains, store furniture if needed - anything that makes rooms appear cluttered should go - then de-clutter as much as possible; thus enabling those interested in buying an opportunity to use their imagination with what possessions they'd keep there instead of yours.
Removing all personal items has another advantage too: negotiations will run smoother since prospective buyers can't pick out small imperfections present inside your place but rather gain an understanding of exactly what they are purchasing without getting sidetracked by details you left lying around unintentionally. Plus, make sure bathroom areas don’t have toothbrushes and shampoo visibly visible in plain sight. Kitchens should have only daily used items out in the open, with the exception of dish soap, sponges and washcloths.
Getting rid of those unnecessary items will help make everyday living easier, and it'll open up the space to give each room a more inviting look when adding simple furniture pieces. Doing some updates such as repainting walls or replacing artwork can show buyers how much work needs to be done on their part while also giving them an idea of what it would feel like if they were living in the home.
Cleaning thoroughly is key - don't forget about all the little details like light switches and windowsills! Make sure everything looks super clean for potential buyers so that walking around your house won't seem uncomfortable in any way. Lastly, fix anything from plumbing issues to small repairs before showing off your home; these could potentially lessen offers made, which isn’t ideal considering you want things running smoothly during sale time.
I will help with this. I sold a gorgeous townhouse that was sharply decorated. But when I walked into the main bedroom I noticed an old, lumpy bedspread that didn't look very nice. I suggested they get a new comforter and suggested a white one. They did it (and didn't pay a lot) and it made a huge difference - they were even happy with the new look.
I also noticed that for some reason their ensuite bathroom had smudges on the light switch. They never noticed. I'm sure it was a quick wipe but that silly little smudge could have turned off a buyer. We get used to living in our own place and don't always notice little things that others might. Smells are another one of those things that people get used to in their own homes. I'll let you know if there is an issue.
3. What to do when showing your home
When it comes to selling your house, getting ready for potential buyers is essential. The goal? Making sure they fall in love with the property and come back a second time to make an offer. Or better yet, for them to leave and go straight to their agent's office to write one up!
First off, make sure you allow all showing requests if possible. Most showings happen in a time frame of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. You can specify start and end times, but don't make the showing window too small. Try not to cross out entire days where no showings are allowed. The more potential home buyers that are able to see your home in person, the better chance one (or more) of those buyers will fall in love. Everyone has different work schedules, so you need to be flexible as you are trying to sell one home. They will be viewing multiple homes and hopefully fall in love with yours.
When buyers set appointments, they are setting up a route of homes to view and they have to keep things timely. If you get a request for a showing, you can't expect them to switch their requested time. This is the time that your home fits into their showing route. If you say "No" to a showing you might never get that buyer back. They might find another home they like and make an offer on it that same day.
Open curtains/blinds and let the sun shine in. Use air conditioning and heat to keep buyers comfortable viewing your place. This is not the time to save a couple of dollars on heating and cooling costs. Even on sunny days, turn on all of the lights.
If you know you have showings at a certain day and time, try not to cook anything that will leave an unpleasant odor. If a showing is being requested near your lunch or dinner time, consider dining out, or wait until after the showing if possible.
If you have pets, try to get them out of the house. Either take them with you or drop them off at a friend's or relative's house. There are some buyers who just don't like or are frightened of, dogs, cats, and reptiles. When we sold one of our homes, we had a system where we had the dog leashes at the ready and my granddaughter had a carry case for her hamsters. We got everyone out of the house for showings.
Once the home is in showing condition, you should leave. There is nothing more uncomfortable for buyers than to have sellers sitting around while the buyers are trying to view the home. Even worse are the sellers who want to be tour guides. Most times sellers like this tell us too much information that could go against them. And if you're around when I'm with my buyers, I'm going to ask questions. A good agent will do this to try to help their buyers.
It's really not fun selling a home. It's much more enjoyable looking for a new home. Consider everything you need to do as a temporary situation in your life.
4. You don't necessarily need a professional stager
It's clear that when selling a home, everyone wants to get the highest price possible. So it can be tempting to try and make your house look as nice as you can - who wouldn't want this? One way people often think they should do this is by hiring a professional stager; however, with some time and effort put in on your part, you might not need one at all. With just minimal input from yourself, you could create an attractive space sure to appeal greatly to potential buyers.
I'm not trying to put professional stagers out of business. If you can afford one it can be a great investment and allow for a quicker sale. It's almost a necessity if you already moved out and the house is vacant. Vacant homes usually show smaller than they really are as there is no depth. Vacant homes do sell, but I always wonder how much more they could sell for if nicely staged.
First and foremost, start by clearing out all the mess and doing a thorough deep clean of your house from top to bottom. Go back and read tip #2. After that take an inventory of furniture you have in there; do they need to stay or maybe it's better for them to go away so potential buyers can imagine how their own stuff would look like?
Then assess what basic updates are necessary such as painting walls with more neutral colors or upgrading hardware on cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom areas. Last but not least, add subtle details like fresh flowers arranged nicely here and there- it will give off a pleasant atmosphere without being too overwhelming. With just these few easy steps you'll create an ambiance that's incredibly inviting which may help increase value when selling your house!
I had a listing on an undesirable block of homes. There was a middle school at the end of the dead-end street (imagine parents lined up in their cars to drop off and pick up their kids). Across the street from the listing was an apartment building, and it wasn't great looking. I thought this was going to be a tough sale.
I walked through the house with the sellers and they had a notepad and wrote down all of my suggestions. It was mostly furniture placement, and I advised them to store or sell a very large piece that was in their living room. It was some kind of storage piece and it wasn't doing much for the room but making it look cluttered.
I expected them to do a couple of things. But they did each and every item I suggested. They loved how it made their house look and they wished they had done it sooner. The best thing is that this "location-challenged" house sold in a day and at a price that I crossed my fingers would appraise. This was not a Seller's Market at the time.
I know what buyers want and expect and I'm very honest with my sellers. I wouldn't tell them to do anything that we wouldn't do when putting our home up for sale. I don't want sellers to pay a lot, if anything.
5. Price it right from day one
Getting the right price from day one is key when selling your home. If you ask too much, buyers will be turned away. They will move on to a house that is priced correctly before making a low offer on yours. There are some buyers out there who will only make lowball offers, but after the prior Seller's Market, buyers are more willing to make good offers. Inventory is low so some of the best houses on the market are still getting multiple offers.
To maximize the sale price of your property, begin by looking at what similar houses in surrounding areas are being sold for. Do some digging into how long they've been listed on the market as well as their original listing cost; this information could give valuable insight towards setting an effective starting point for yours!
Keep in mind that any renovations or updates made to your property, like a new kitchen remodel or patio upgrades, could add value to its sale price too. But you have to realize that you might not get 100% of your investment back. You might consider a remodel done 5 or 10 years ago as being new, but if styles have changed and there is visible wear and tear, that remodel is something you were able to enjoy while you lived in the home. It is no longer considered "updated" or "new" and most MLSs have rules regarding this.
I've had sellers who wanted to add money to the suggested list price to cover their $5,000 custom drapes or brand-new carpet. I had one gentleman who wanted that same amount for some ugly and old-fashioned paneling. I know he didn't pay $5,000 for it, but he thought it was worth it. I refused to take that listing. I hope the lady who wanted an extra 5 grand for her drapes and carpet didn't see those things in the garbage when the new buyer moved in. I took that listing because she understood what I was saying and she priced her place reasonably.
Spare some time for comparing neighboring areas and see if there is anything significant that might suggest adjusting the sale price accordingly. By following these steps carefully from day one and being smart about it all along, not only do you increase your chances of getting potential buyers sooner but also get more bang for your buck at the end!
I create a Comparative Market Analysis that is quite accurate and I use a system that most agents don't even know about. Keep in mind, that unless you have a cash buyer, your home will need to appraise. In today's market, buyers don't want to pay more than the appraised value. If you're considering a move in the next year, call me at 480-906-1500.
6. Don't get emotional - treat it as a financial transaction
It's important to be aware of your emotions when trying to get the most out of a home sale. Your house is nothing more than an investment, so you should keep any feelings that could come along with it tucked away during this process. Don't let sentimentality lead you into increasing the value too much - ultimately, those connections won't make a difference in terms of sale price! Holding onto emotional attachments isn't going to benefit either side here; instead, focus on what will actually add monetary worth and avoid being over-optimistic about its true cost.
I know this is easier said than done. We once received a low-ball offer on a house we loved but it was just too small for us and it wasn't worth adding on. Of course, seeing that low offer wasn't a pleasant experience, and I remember rolling my eyes. We made a counter-offer and those buyers walked away. They were a young couple and I have a feeling they were looking above their price range and couldn't go any higher. We sold it soon after to a buyer who negotiated with us.
It's important to take a step back when thinking about the sale of your house and focus on what makes it stand out. Things like beautiful hardwood floors or panoramic views are sure to attract buyers. It can also be tough not getting too emotionally attached as you go through negotiations with potential buyers - try and keep things in perspective by setting an asking price that reflects market conditions rather than sentimental value. After all, this is just a financial transaction! Don't let emotions stop you from fetching top dollar for your home; set realistic expectations instead of letting nostalgia drive up prices beyond their actual worth.
7. Use the right agent
Selling your home can be tricky, and if you want to get the best out of it, choosing a good real estate agent is essential. Search for someone who knows the local market very well; they should also be able to provide useful advice about pricing, marketing, and the negotiation process. The great thing about these agents is that they have access to many resources as well as contacts which will help in making sure you get maximum value from selling your house. So what kind of person do you look for?
I realize we all have to start somewhere, but experience is crucial in such a big financial decision. I just celebrated 40 years in real estate. Many newer agents have never actually had to "market" a home. They just put it in the MLS and received offers the same day or the next. It's a completely different situation now. I have been through all kinds of markets and several recessions. I know what it takes to get a home sold in a slower market. I utilize a complete marketing plan that you most likely won't get with most agents.
You might have some friends or family who are licensed but have full-time jobs. Do you really want to hire a part-time agent to get your home sold? Or maybe you don't want people you know personally to find out about your financial situation. That might also hold true for a "neighborhood expert" - an agent who lives in your subdivision/area.
I believe personality is a big deal. You might interview an agent that seems professional, but you don't care for their demeanor or attitude. You might be dealing with this agent for a while, so if you don't like them, it won't be a comfortable situation. You need to feel that you can trust your agent. I have sold and closed many of my own properties over the years. I know how it feels to be a seller, and it's not always enjoyable. I offer experience and knowledge, honesty, and empathy. I keep up communication and try to make your selling experience as pleasant as possible.
If you take these 7 tips to heart and apply them when selling your home, you'll be able to make some smart decisions that will get the highest possible sale price. Doing market research, evaluating all of your options thoroughly, and thinking about any upgrades or improvements carefully are all essential steps in making sure that you can maximize what your house is worth on the market. With a bit of time and effort put towards it, there's no doubt that getting top dollar for your property is achievable! So don't forget: do your homework before deciding how much money to ask for - then watch the offers come in!Posted by Judy Orr on