So you want to sell your house. It seems simple enough. A sign goes up in the front yard, and at some later point you get a SOLD sign on top of it. Then there is a moving truck and on to the next adventure. There might be some steps in between, but that is the important part, right? Of course, but let us break down the steps in between because they are often critical to achieving the goal of getting the most money for your home. For most U.S. households, the equity in their property is their largest single asset, constituting two thirds of their net worth. As a seller, you want to get all that money out and these tips can help do that.
The Internet - The First Impression
Typically, the first time a prospective buyer will encounter your home will be the same way you found this blog, through the internet. 90% of home buyers conduct their home searches online. In fact, going online will be their first step. As a seller, you want to make sure your home has the broadest possible reach online. This means putting it on every site possible.
Before you give your house its own twitter account, first you need to know what information is most critical to attracting buyers. Visually appealing, professional photos are a must. Your smart phone has come a long way in the last few years and Instagram filters can make you feel like a pro, but resist the temptation. Bad pictures are the fastest way to lose a buyer. Next, it is important to list all the features and updates that you have done on the home. After that, tell the world about the community, the schools, the parks, and all the things that make your home a wonderful place to live.
Curb Appeal - Meeting In Person
If a buyer likes what they see online, they will come out to see it in person. This is where attention to detail kicks into high gear. From the mailbox, across the driveway, to the front entry, your home must be neat and orderly. No cobwebs on the porch light or in the eaves. Make sure the trim and front door look clean and bright, and make sure all the windows are clean inside and out. The front yard must be at its best.
Interior - A Blank Canvas
The inside of the home is where the greatest amount of preparation is required. Everything inside that makes you feel at home, from the pictures of family, to the dog bowls in the kitchen, to that stack of required reading books on your night stand. All of that must go before a buyer ever sets foot in your home. Your toothpaste tube and that hairbrush? Gone! All evidence that you live there must be hidden at all times. It must look like a housecleaning crew just left, so that when a buyer arrives they can see themselves in your home. Be sure to install white towels and those designer soaps in every bathroom. Clear those kitchen counters, don’t hide everything in the closets, those all need to look roughly half empty. It gives the impression they are larger to the human eye. The most critical ingredient is light. Light everywhere. Open all curtains and shades, use bright bulbs in all lamps and make sure to have adequate lighting in every room. This makes a room appear large and inviting.
Pricing to get the highest sale
Pricing is one of the most misunderstood elements of listing a home for sale. Initially, many sellers want to list high thinking that they are leaving room for negotiation or worst case they can drop the price later if they get no response. The reality is that a home purchase is the largest financial transaction the vast majority of us ever complete in our lives. Buyers spend a lot of time and effort to establish their price range and serious buyers don’t bother looking at homes that are overpriced. On the other hand, if a home is priced competitively, this can draw the highest number of motivated buyers. Having a number of motivated buyers interested gives the seller a stronger negotiating position.
Agents - How to Pick a Professional
The vast majority of real estate transactions are conducted by realtors. In fact only 2% of homes that start as for sale by owners are actually sold by those owners. So you’ll need a realtor. But how can you tell the difference between a great realtor and an average one? A realtor is ultimately responsible for one result, selling your home at the price you both agree on. To do that, a great realtor will be involved in every element of the preparation described in the previous paragraphs.
From the moment an offer is presented, through all the negotiations, to the delivery of the proceeds to the seller, a great realtor is there to create solutions to the challenges that arise in every deal before it is completed.
If you have more questions about what a great realtor can do for you, please contact our team.
Written by Nelson Buss