If you’re planning to sell your home, there are things you absolutely can and should do to get yourself ready. Selling a property is, after all, a bit of a contest. If you want your place to sell swiftly, for a good price, you need to give yourself a leg up on the competition. Many sellers offering otherwise comparable properties won’t make the same effort, and that will only work to your benefit. And if they do, then it’s extra important to spruce things up in order to keep pace.
So, if it’s time to put your home on the market, we’ve compiled this list of 5 Things that can help you maximize your chance of success:
Contact an experienced Realtor
Begin by hiring an agent who knows your area, and who can evaluate what your home is really worth. Odds are that your neighbor has an opinion, but it’s best to seek the counsel of a professional who studies the market on a daily basis. It’s also wise to choose someone whose marketing approach matches the way consumers shop today. More and more buyers are doing their own research online, and the marketing opportunities on the world wide web are vast. If you want to reach the broadest possible audience – and you do – make sure you hire a Realtor who is tech-savvy.
Eliminate the obvious chinks in your armor
If you’ve got a blatant defect in your property – especially one that is largely cosmetic in nature – correct it before you list your place for sale. Buyers will often seize on the weakest aspect of a home in order to gain leverage in negotiations. Paint is cheap, in the grand scheme of things, and even new carpet isn’t that expensive compared to what it might do for your purchase price. Knock out as much of the simple stuff as you can to give prospective buyers less to complain about.
Consider backing into your list price
If you have a dollar amount in mind that you’d like to net, a good realtor – partnered with a good title agent – can work the numbers backward so that you know what sales price you’ll need in order to meet your end goals. In Florida, the seller chooses the title company, and any title agent with a basic sense of marketing and customer service will be happy to run the numbers for you, even before you have your house listed for sale, in order to earn your business and be called upon when you do have a contract in place.
Not everyone has the eye or the budget to turn their home into a Martha Stewart masterpiece, but how well your house shows will absolutely impact your success. Eliminate clutter, “minimalize,” put the dishes away, and remove items that might disagree with prospective buyers. (Political references or allegiances to sports franchises can turn off folks who root for other “teams.”) And, lovable as they are, give careful consideration to the contributions that Fido and Mittens might be making to the first impressions of prospective buyers. Not all shoppers are animal people, and many are turned off by pets and/or pet odors literally the minute they open the front door. If your place smells like a cat box, folks will find it difficult to appreciate the other staging efforts you’ve made. Have those extended members of your family spend a few weeks with your sister, if you can swing it. We love ‘em, but our furry friends rarely help in getting a property sold.
Leave the emotion out of it
Not all buyers negotiate the way you do, and they likely won’t share the sentimental feelings you have for your home. It may be difficult, or even heart wrenching, to leave a house you’ve enjoyed for many years. But in the end, the sale is a business transaction that’s usually done with a stranger. Getting the deal done is what matters, and you’re more likely to accomplish that if you handle it all objectively and don’t get caught up in the personalities involved.
Hopefully these tips will help you get your home ready to be loved by a new owner, which in turn will help you turn that next chapter in your home-ownership life. If you find that you’ve got questions, or if you’d like us to help you evaluate the particulars of your property, don’t hesitate to ask. That’s what we’re here for. . . !