- Clean, organized, decluttered homes sell for more.
Having a dirty or cluttered home can potentially knock thousands of dollars off of your sale price. Buyers are easily distracted by unnecessary items laying around or dust bunnies in the corners. You want a buyer to be able to walk into your home and appreciate the features, not be focused on your belongings. A good rule of thumb is to go through each room before listing your home, and donate items you don’t need. This will also help expedite packing and unpacking when you move to a new home.
- Selling your home is inconvenient.
It’s true! When you list your home for sale, you have to be diligent about keeping things tidy for showings, you’ll constantly be running in and out when prospective buyers arrive to take a look, and your daily schedule/routine is going to be disrupted. In our fast-moving market, many homes end up with dozens of showings scheduled on the very first day of the listing period. It may be a good idea to plan on listing your home right before the weekend, and take your family on a weekend vacation. Let your agent coordinate showings and keep an eye on things while you relax.
- Smelly homes sell for less.
First impressions are everything. If a prospective buyer opens your front door and the first thing they experience is an unpleasant smell, you’re off to a bad start before they even see any part of your home. Scents can cling to fabrics. Consider having your carpet professionally cleaned before listing to get rid of any lingering odors from pets, kids, etc. Running curtains and bedding through the washing machine will also make a huge difference. If you have cloth furniture, spray it down with Febreeze or a similar fabric freshener.
- What you love isn’t necessarily what prospective buyers will love.
While hot pink cabinets might look great to you, prospective buyers will take one look at your kitchen and run out the front door. If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, it’s important to keep any renovations in a neutral palette. You can add pops of color with wall art and décor. These items are easily removable when you decide to list your home for sale, and buyers will be able to focus on the features of your home and picture their belongings in it.
- Homes priced right sell faster.
When a home is priced higher than the market value, it will take longer to sell. After a home is on the market longer than the average for the area, buyers will start to wonder why exactly the home is taking so long to sell, and wonder what is wrong with it. You can easily get into this vicious cycle by overpricing your home. Have your agent provide you with comparables in your area so you can see how your home measures up against the competition.
- Know your LOCAL real estate market.
There are general trends that the real estate market follows across the U.S., but each local market has its own distinct statistics. When evaluating the market before listing your home, your agent should look not only at comparables for the county and city, but also the specific neighborhood that your home is in. Some subdivisions are faster-moving than others. Even within a city, a certain neighborhood might have a higher sale price average per square feet, and a lower days-on-market average. It’s important to look at all of this information to get the best picture of where your home should be positioned.
- Unfinished repairs could cost you.
When a prospective buyer walks into a home and sees repairs that need to be done, they’re already thinking of how much they can knock off the sale price to compensate for those repairs. Almost always, you will save money by taking care of these repairs up front before you list your home (especially if it’s a big-ticket item). You will be able to list at a higher price (and attract more buyers) by taking care of these things first.
- If your home is overpriced, you’re helping sell your neighbor’s home.
It’s true that you don’t want to be the most expensive home in your neighborhood. If a prospective buyer has a goal of being in a specific neighborhood, you can be certain that they are looking at all homes for sale in that neighborhood. If your home is priced at $300,000, and the Joneses down the street have their home with the same number of bedrooms and similar finishes priced at $275,000, that listing is going to be a lot more attractive to buyers.
- Maintaining your home now will pay off in the future.
When you walk into a home that’s been well-maintained, it’s obvious. Prospective buyers will notice the little things that you might be used to from living in your home. While you might walk past that patch on the wall you’ve been meaning to re-paint for the last few years or that loose electrical outlet that needs tightening, it’s painstakingly obvious to prospective buyers. Before you list your home, walk through the entire house as if you were a buyer, and make a list of all the little items that need to be addressed. It will pay off in the long run to take care of these small things.
- Experience sells.
There are lots of steps involved in selling your home, including prepping your home for the market, writing the listing, negotiating contracts, coordinating with buyers, real estate agents, lenders, title agents, contractors, and other vendors. Statistically, listing your home with a real estate agent will get you more money than selling it on your own. That extra cash (and your sanity) is well worth hiring a professional to sell your home. Real estate agents do this every day and have systems in place to make sure every step of the process goes smoothly. If you’re not sure where to start, contact me and I’ll answer any questions you have about the home-selling process.
“Oh, by the way… I’m never too busy for your referrals!”