Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.
Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.
Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.
Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.
4 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Home
Selling your home is a big financial and emotional task, which requires lots of planning. So before you decide to put your home on the market, here are four questions to consider.
What is my home worth?
Several factors go into determining your home’s market value. These include the condition of the property, square footage, location, amenities, as well as recent comparable property sales. For a snapshot of your home’s current value, you can enter your address into a free online value estimator tool. Alternatively, you can look at a recent property tax bill to get your home’s tax assessed value, which is a percentage of your home’s fair market value. If you know your state’s assessment rate (which is usually between 80 and 90 percent), you can estimate fair market value by dividing your tax assessed value by that assessment rate.
How can I sell at the highest price possible?
There are several simple, low-cost things you can do to boost the value of your home. These include eliminating clutter, washing windows and walls, and installing higher wattage bulbs to create a brighter environment. Larger projects, like adding bedrooms and renovating kitchens and bathrooms, typically yield more substantial increases in sales price. Staging your home, which helps paint a picture for how buyers will use their new space, can also add value.
How long will my home be on the market?
The time your home spends on the market depends on several factors, including location, how competitively your home is priced, and how aggressively your home is marketed. Statistics show that if a home is properly priced, an offer should come in within the first 12 showings. If you want to speed up the sales process, don’t underestimate the value of staging. Research shows that well-staged homes can sell up to 32 percent faster than homes that aren’t staged.
How can an agent help?
A real estate agent can help with all aspects of the selling process, from pricing to marketing to handling the intricacies of closing. An agent will negotiate on your behalf to secure the best price – and quickest sale – possible. Looking for an agent who can help guide you through the selling process? Feel free to contact us!
When Is the Right Time to Sell?
Times are changing and you’re thinking about moving the family into a new home. But before you start searching for your next dream home, you’ll need to figure out when you’re going to sell your existing home. The decision is a complex one, especially considering the unpredictable economic environment you’re living in. And while there’s no magic formula for determining the best time to sell a home, there are several factors you should consider.
The Wrong Time to Sell
This likely won’t come as a big surprise: you should avoid selling your home during the winter holiday season. Tensions run high during the holidays and budgets run low. The result? No one’s really itching to buy, and offers that do come in are often low. So as a general rule of thumb, avoid the months of December and January when selling a home.
The Best Season for Selling
Conventional wisdom dictates that spring is the best time to sell a home. In spring, the holidays have past, the new school year is still a while away, and gardens and other outdoor spaces tend to look their best. And while spring is the season that sees the largest amount of buyers, it’s also the season when inventories are highest. This means lots of competition, so if you’re going to sell in spring, you really need to get your property to stand out with effective marketing and staging.
The Best Day for Selling
According to research, Thursday is the best day of the week to list your home for sale. By listing your home for sale on a Thursday, you can make it available immediately for weekend showings. Come Saturday – the busiest day for real estate – your home will have only been on sale for two days, which is great for attracting full-price offers. In general, the shorter amount of time your home remains on the market, the higher the offer you’ll receive.
Quick Tips for Staging Your Home
Staging your home is a proven strategy for speeding up the sales process. It can even help boost your home’s value when offers start coming in. By highlighting your home’s strengths and giving prospective buyers a sense of how they’d utilize different spaces, you can help these prospects develop emotional attachments to your home.
Pay attention to lighting
Great lighting is crucial for making your home look warm and welcoming. If you notice that some areas of your home are dark and dreary, increase the wattages of the lightbulbs in the fixtures and lamps. A good rule of thumb is to have a total of 100 watts of lighting for every 50 square feet of interior space. Also, you should strive for three different types of lighting per room: accent lighting (on a wall or table), task lighting (such as a reading or under-cabinet light), and ambient lighting (overhead).
Update your appliances
Alright, so you might not be willing to spend thousands of dollars on installing new, stainless steel appliances just for staging. However, studies show that new appliances in the kitchen garner high returns for sellers, which means you stand to get a better price for you home. A great, inexpensive solution is to apply stainless steel stick-on coverings to all of your appliances. These coverings can quickly transform an outdated kitchen into one that screams ultra-modern.
Get rid of unnecessary furniture
It should go without saying that when staging a home, you need to get rid of clutter. However, sellers often forget about some of the biggest causes of clutter: namely, couches, chairs, and tables. Having too much furniture in your home can make it seem small and cramped. So before you start showing your home, take a walk around and remove furniture items that you can live without. You don’t need to get rid of everything (afterall, you want the space to look lived-in), but you want to make sure you’re maximizing available space.