As you saw in the post yesterday, I have made the decision to sell my house. It’s an old house and not in the best location for a quick sale so I spent some time getting it ready before it went on the market. Here is a list of things that everyone should do when they put their house on the market.
- Contact your local Board of Realtors and ask them for a list of the top listing agents. In our area, they are called million dollar agents. This list should be generated by the dollar amount of their listings that have sold. Even if your best friend is a Realtor, you owe it to yourself to at least talk to the best. These agents are highly professional and motivated to sell the homes they list. They can give you valuable advice on price, market, improvements and repairs.
- Make a list of questions. You will want to ask each Realtor what price they think it should sell for and ask for the statistics to back it up. You will want to know what they see as the strongest selling points and the weakest. You will want to ask them what they would like you to do to the home before you list it. They should have a fairly extensive list of things that you can do to make your home sell quicker and for more.
- Mow the lawn, weed eat, trim the hedges, weed the gardens, sweep the sidewalks. The outside of your home is the first thing that people see and you will want to keep it as clean and neat as possible while it is on the market.
- Neutralize the inside of the house. You will want to remove as many personal items as possible before you list it. I remember looking at one house that had large velvet Elvis pictures in every room. It quickly became the Elvis house. Now depending on your views on Elvis, that might be good or bad but I want my house known for the big rooms or the gorgeous gardens and not my artwork.
- Fix anything that you know of that is broken or damaged and paint anything that is in need of paint. It doesn’t cost much to put on a new coat of paint and it might make thousands of dollars of difference. I finally got my screen door fixed, it’s been bugging me ever since I moved in.
- Take pictures in every room. It never fails that when I take pictures I see things that are out of place. Somehow the 2 dimensions of a picture just make things stand out. Things might have been there forever and I just didn’t see them.
- Declutter! Clean the closets, bookshelves, cabinets. Buyers will open them and look. You want to give the appearance that there is room for everything and that everything has a place. If your closets are crammed full of stuff, how will they know there is room for their stuff? It’s better to go through every room and pack, give away or throw away anything that doesn’t have a specific place or use.
- Remove things you want to keep. If you have curtains that you want to keep, take them down before you put your house on the market. Buyers become attached to things in the house and you could lose a sale because you refuse to part with Great Aunt Edna’s drapes.
- Make a list of the things that you love about your house. Buying a home is a personal choice but generally what appeals to you will also appeal to buyers. Make sure that your agent is aware of the features and benefits your home provides. Do you have great schools? Neighbors? Low energy bills? All of these are benefits that may not be immediately apparent to a buyer.
- Be realistic about the value of your home and be prepared to negotiate. Know what you would like to sell it for and what the lowest price is that you can possibly accept. This will help you in choosing a realtor as well as in negotiating the sale.
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Tags: Real Estate