Being in the real estate industry for so many years, through the market ups and downs, I have seen what works and what doesn’t work. Yes, it is important to understand the market value of homes in your area, but here are eight tips that will give you that edge when selling YOUR home.
#8 Price It Right
We will do the research for you to find out what your home is worth, then take 10-15% off the price. I have seen homes shown at a much higher rate when it is priced right from the beginning. You will get more attention and more bids this way…it can even drive up the price from multiple bidders!
#7 Sparse Closets
Buyers are always looking for ample storage. One trick is to take about half of everything out of your closets and either put it in storage or neatly organize it in another location of the house. When going through a house, buyers will open up closets and cabinets so make sure they are neat and tidy.
#6 Light Up Your House
Make sure your blinds and drapes are open to ensure the maximum amount of natural light AND turn on lights throughout the house. Now, before you pull the blinds all the way, be sure to clean the windows inside and out. And if you need to trim trees or bushes to allow more natural light in, be sure to do so. Do what you have to make your home bright and welcoming.
#5 Conceal the Furry Family
Remember that not everyone is a pet lover and may not want to walk in and see a bowl of dog food or smell kitty litter. If you have a scheduled showing, be sure to either take your pets with you or have them visit a family member, friend or pet hotel for the day. First impressions are very important to the potential buyer.
A rule of thumb when getting your house ready to put on the market is to get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage or donate what you don’t use. And one of the most important things you should do is depersonalize your home. Most buyers are not able to “look through” other people’s stuff, family pictures and keepsakes in order to imagine themselves living there. You can also consider hiring someone to stage your home to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.
#3 The Heart of the Home…the KITCHEN!
You think you’re selling a home? You’re actually selling your kitchen – that’s how key an update kitchen may be to the sale of your home. Data has show that you’ll probably get about 85% of your money back. It may cost you a few thousand dollars to replace the countertops but a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking pricing if your kitchen looks date. If you don’t have the money to do a full blown remodel, paint the kitchen, put new hardware on the cabinets and buy one fancy stainless steel appliance.
#2 Ready to Roll
Always be ready to show your house. This means that it needs to be “show-ready” at all times because you never know when a buyer is going to come and look. Make sure no dishes are in the sink, try and keep the dishwasher cleaned out, keep the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there aren’t any dust bunnies in the corners. It may be a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.
#1 First Impression is the Lasting Impression
Even if the inside of your home is sparkling, updated and ready for a photoshoot for Architectural Digest, buyers have already judged your home before they even walk inside. You want people to feel warm, safe and welcome as they approach your home. Plant some floral around your home, clean the outside of the house and windows, make sure everything is decluttered inside and you will be on your way to an offer!
Mary Lou McDonald owns her own Real Estate Brokerage firm, ML-Realty.com. She comes from the corporate world with the position of Vice President Corporate Marketing. Her Marketing background helps her significantly with marketing her listings and helping buyers pick the perfect home for them. She loves to share her experience and help buyers and sellers reach their dreams.