Selling your home at the price you want is not the easy breezy affair as it looks like. As a seller, you have to do the homework of preparing your house for foot traffic and showings. The house must be prepped and staged to make it appealing to prospective buyers. That’s not all, repairs and a little sprucing are in order too. You’ll want your house to look and feel good to buyers but also to be functional without leaky valves, watermarks or water damage, broken air conditioners or heaters and outdated roofing. So let’s get the ball rolling to learning the keys to a successful real estate sale:
1. Clear your memorabilia and clutter. Get some storage boxes; clear out stuff that you’ve accumulated over the years living in the house. Pack up the non-essentials such as trophies, toys, books and knick-knacks that lay on floors, and dust shelves and cabinets. You want the buyers to see the house and not your things. One of a prospect’s concerns is storage. Put ⅓ of your belongings in packing boxes and store in a storage unit or garage, even some of your clothes and shoes from cabinets. The principle is for the prospects to envision themselves living in your home, so a half-empty cabinet helps them imagine their own things/clothes in the closet, plates in the cupboards and their own collection of personal items displayed on the living room shelves or the mantle above the fireplace. Organize the things that you leave behind. Staging the house tickles buyers’ imaginations on how the house will look when they move in. Part of staging is de-cluttering and organizing.
2. Never keep a home secret from your real estate agent. Broken pipes, leaky faucets, water damage and marks are definite turn off to a buyer. As a seller, you must divulge these disadvantages to your real estate agent for him or her to make an action plan about these things, and work these out with you. Your agent is your teammate/partner in selling your home. Keeping things about the house from him/her will hurt you more monetarily than being open and engaging in working out these disadvantages.
There is also a legal aspect of knowingly not sharing the obvious damages and repairs to the buyers. The seller is obligated to disclose any know defects for this very reason one of the listing form seller signs specifically talks about seller knowledge about house defects. Who else would know what is working and what is not working better than the person living in the house. Water damage can make or break the deal. Even if you have fixed the repair and homes inspection report shows water damage it is a lot better to be upfront and disclose in the disclosure form that there was water damage in the past which was fixed. It will be good idea to save the work estimate and payment invoice for the work completed to satisfy the buyers.
3. Remodeling isn’t always right. Improving the looks of the house via remodeling takes time and cash. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always spell a price increase for the seller. Decide wisely on remodeling your home before selling. Price depends on the home but also on the neighborhood and community where your house is located. If you want to remodel or upgrade, make sure this would bring in more value to your house. The best upgrade ventures are the exterior and kitchen. The exterior of the house gives the buyers their first impression. And first impressions always last. Fix the exteriors, clean sidings, freshen up the garden and the curb with flowers and ornamental plants, an a fresh coat of paint will make the house more appealing. The kitchen is the heart of the home, where everybody convenes, cooking, discussing and doing everything possible on the kitchen table. A new countertop, sleek new stove/oven or dishwasher, or cabinets with new hardware are just a few touches you can do to make this part of the house homey and attractive to buyers.
4. Instead of remodeling a part of the house, you must first fix things around the home that are functional and more important. Replace or repair broken windows, doors, power wash vinyl sidings and replace broken ones. These are little things to you, but cumulatively, a functional and clean house shows more potential as most buyers aren’t into fixer uppers and just want to move in and go on with their daily routine and their business as usual. A fixed and functional house is key to a successful real estate sale.