Considering Selling? Here is a full guide to educate and guide you on the sale of your home –
Preparing your home so it’s more attractive to buyers .
When presenting your home to prospective buyers, first impressions are crucial. Buyers begin judging your home the moment they see it and, unless they’re looking for a deal on a fixer-upper, they prefer homes that are well-maintained, clean and clutter-free. That’s why home improvements, particularly if they address the anticipated needs of buyers, can boost your home’s saleability and sale price. Depending on your home’s condition, there are three kinds of improvements that will impress buyers and help you sell for top market value: renovations, upgrades and repairs, reorganization and maintenance. Along these lines, what follows are a few proven, cost-effective ideas that will help your home look its best so you get top market value. Bear in mind, an experienced REALTOR® knows what today’s discerning buyers are looking for and can provide more ideas that will maximize your home’s appeal. Sometimes a small investment in time and money can give you a big edge over your competition and generate a faster sale at a higher price. Renovations – Which Ones Are Market-Smart? Generally, few home owners renovate their homes in order to sell them because they know they won’t recoup the full cost of the renovations in the sales price. However, in some cases minor renovations can really improve the overall impression of a property’s character and quality and, as such, will more than pay for themselves.
When considering renovations in anticipation of selling, there are two important rules: don’t over-renovate, and be careful not to make renovations which please you personally, but which might turn off otherwise interested buyers. Both scenarios will cost you. An experienced REALTOR® will be able to counsel you on which renovations are likely to be good investments in terms of your overall plan.
Small Upgrades And Repairs Can Make A Big Difference
There are few things that put buyers off more than viewing a home that screams of being uncared for. If you want to maximize your chances for getting top dollar, you might need to make some minor upgrades, but you’ll definitely need to make all necessary repairs – even those that are “out of sight, out of mind”. Leaving aside major structural and functional matters, here are a few relatively minor upgrades and repairs that can go a long way to improving how buyers perceive your home:
Exterior • Fix or replace anything damaged or worn, such as patio and deck, gutters and eaves, windows, shutters, screens, storm doors, light fixtures, porches and steps, walkways and fences. • Touch up all exterior paint or if needed, re-paint the house. • Fix doorbells, tighten loose doorknobs and oil squeaking hinges. • Clean or paint front door, polish front door hardware, replace “Welcome” mat if necessary. • Green-up dry lawn patches, plant extra flowers for color, place potted plants beside the front door.
Interior • Fix or replace cracked molding or floor tiles, leaking taps and toilets, loose door knobs, squeaky door hinges, closets or screen doors that are off their tracks, bathroom lighting and hardware, toilet seats, loose caulking or grout. • Fix and touch-up walls, ceilings, windows, etc. • Brighten interiors with a new coat of paint in light, neutral colors. • Shampoo carpets and rugs, replace if necessary. • Make sure major appliances are in good working order. • Replace switch and outlet plates and register vents with more elegant ones. • Add closet organizers or shelving to make closets more functional and spacious looking. • Add organizers or shelving for basement and garage. • Clean and paint concrete floor and walls. • Clean water heater and drain sediment, change furnace filter. • Buy the furniture you planned for the new house to improve the look of this one.
Reorganization And Maintenance –
The Obvious That Needs Doing Similar to necessary repairs, basic reorganization and maintenance tasks are “must-dos”. While buyers might not notice such work when it is done, they’re sure to notice when it isn’t. This impression of neglect will make it more difficult for them to comfortably project themselves into your home’s living space. Here are a few reorganization and maintenance tasks that can improve your home’s curb appeal and inside homeyness.
Exterior • Mow and rake the lawn, trim hedges and shrubs, weed and edge gardens. • Clean sidewalks and driveway, remove any litter. • Remove unnecessary items from the exterior of the house. • Power wash the porch, siding, deck and patio. • Clean off your outdoor furniture and remove any in poor repair. • Clean your air conditioner. • Clear out the garage of everything but cars. If yours has become a two-car attic, throw out all unnecessary items, and then thoroughly organize and clean everything that remains. • If you have a pool, make sure it’s clean and functioning well or properly closed in the off-season.
Interior • Clean and tidy the entrance, clear stairs and halls. • Create space by storing all excess furniture. • Remove from closets, cabinets and shelves any clothes and other items you won’t need until after moving. Pre-pack and store if possible. • Organize kitchen counter tops, removing some appliances if necessary, to make them look as spacious as possible. • Thoroughly clean everything in and out of sight. • Remove all odors and add air freshener, dishes of potpourri, etc. for scent. • Throw out any unnecessary items in an unfinished basement, and then thoroughly organize and clean everything that remains.
Strategically pricing your home to get top market value Determining the best asking price for a home is one of the most challenging, and also important, aspects of selling it.
In fact, it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to set a price that’s so high that it discourages showings and serious offers from the very qualified, motivated buyers who would ultimately determine your property’s top market value. On the other hand, you don’t want to set a price that’s so low that it attracts lots of interest, but sets the stage for offers and negotiations that could result in your getting less than the market would actually support if you were a little more aggressive. Moreover, this balancing act is even trickier now, given that we’re still in a buyers’ market that is fraught with a variety of economic uncertainties. All the more reason why, when you make your decision to sell, you should do plenty of research as well as seek out the advice of one or more experienced REALTORS® and financial professionals. So What’s Your Home Really Worth? In a perfect world, your home’s value would be everything you think and need it to be. Perhaps you have specific financial goals or you’ve just made an offer on another home that’s is dependent on selling your home at a certain price in a given time frame. However, simply put, your home’s value is not determined by you, but by what the market is willing to pay for it at a given time. These days, the market increasingly includes home buyers who have researched property values over the internet for months, have already viewed at least 10 homes, and are not under any pressure to buy. Indeed, they may be quite hesitant in hopes of missing out on one of those unbelievable deals that continue to pop up.
Setting the stage to sell –
Aim for perfect open houses and showings Having invested in some of the effort and expense of preparing your home to sell, you’ll certainly want it to take full advantage of it when you open up your property to prospective buyers and other agents during open houses, agent tours and showings. That’s why making sure your property looks its very best can give you that little extra competitive edge that will help get it sold. Keep in mind that many REALTORS® have, through education and experience, mastered the art of home staging. Make the most of their skills – and impartiality – to create that “buying feeling” in your home.
Time-Proven Tips For Showing Your Home
Here are a few ideas that will help you maximize your home’s attractiveness to buyers: • Ideally, you should be absent so buyers feel comfortable making comments. • Make sure your home highlight sheets are easily visible. • Open all drapes and shades during daylight hours to let in as much light as possible, but screen out unappealing views. • Light the whole house, especially dark corners and hallways. • Light (or turn on) the fireplace. • Showcase your home’s best features. • Turn off the television. Play quiet background music. • If you’ve repainted in neutral tones, add bold splashes of color (with throw pillows, crockery, pictures, etc.)Place fresh flowers where they’ll stand out. • Open all doors between rooms to give an inviting feeling. • If possible, open windows beforehand to circulate fresh air. • Pick up toys, remove all clutter, ensure beds are made, clothes put away. • Floors should be clean, carpets and rugs vacuumed. • Trash and recycling bins should be tidy and odor-free. • The kitchen & bathrooms should sparkle. • If possible, bake cookies or put a pan of cinnamon in the oven to create a warm and inviting aroma. • Ideally, pets should be unseen. Pet areas should be clean and odor-free. Not everyone may share your love of animals, and some may be allergic to them. • Lock away and hide all cash, jewelry and small valuables
Important: Keep Your Home Available (And Ready) For Showings
Particularly during the first weeks after you list your property, real estate agents from many firms will want to show it to their buyer clients. It is especially important during this window of opportunity, when interest will be at its highest, that you make your home available for showings, preferably at the time requested by the buyers’ agents.