Preparing To Sell Your Home
Thinking about selling your home? If so, you might be wondering what’s next. You already know there’s more to selling a home than just putting a “For Sale” sign in the yard. But you might be a bit unclear of just what all needs to be done.
Don’t worry. The home selling experts at Wyse Home Team Realty have your back from beginning to end.
To get the ball rolling, here’s a quick list of what you’ll want to do before bringing prospective buyers through the front door.
1. Know your finances and needs.
When planning to sell your home, it's good to pull out those papers from when you first purchased the home. You’ll also want to pull out any loan documents or other financial contracts that are tied to the home. Refresh yourself on what you paid for the home and what you still owe on the home. It’s a good idea to have an idea of what you want or need to get out of your home in this transaction.
2. Hire an agent.
Another big piece of the puzzle when planning to sell your home is locking down a listing contract with a great real estate team. You want to align yourself with a real estate agent who will give you an HONEST estimate of what your home will sell for in the current market. And you’ll need a great team that is known for investing HEAVILY in marketing their sellers’ homes. For example, if you’re seeing the agent’s advertising everywhere, so are your potential buyers. And that kind of EXPOSURE sells homes! Then, when the time comes to discuss the details of the listing agreement and sign on the dotted line, it’s important that you watch the bottom line, not the commission line. “Saving” 1% on the commission is useless if you end up getting 5% less for your home because the agent was a less experienced negotiator or spent less money marketing your home.
3. Make a Features Sheet.
Take a moment to think about all the improvements you’ve made to your home since you moved in. And when you bought it, what were the features and things that made you fall in love? When planning to sell your home, you’ll want to create a list of improvements and features that make your home great to assist your agent in marketing the property. Sure, the agent can see there are gorgeous granite counters in the kitchen, but he might not realize that you’ve installed high-end energy saving windows everywhere. Be your own best advocate. Make sure your agent has the best and most accurate information about your home.
4. Fix the little stuff.
It seems so simple. But yet, the little things can be so BIG when planning to sell your home. Small things like a loose door handle, drippy faucet, broken lightbulb or cracked window can give buyers big cause for concern. It makes them question if you can’t take the time to take care of the simple things around the home, what are the odds that there are some bigger issues here that were left unattended.<
Or at least address the scuff marks and stains. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to ensuring a buyer feels a place is clean and welcoming. Painting is a MUST if you have bold colors on the walls. Replace the bold with something neutral like white or pale grey. If your walls are already a neutral color and you don’t have the time or desire to slap a fresh coat of paint everywhere, you’d be surprised what a few touch ups here and there and a box of Magic Eraser pads and a little elbow grease can accomplish on those scuffed baseboards, walls and doors. Grab a paint brush or a scrub brush and get to it!
6. Curb appeal matters.
Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. When you're planning to sell your home, set a schedule for trimming the bushes and keeping the lawn mowed and edged until the sale is closed. And if there’s a flower bed, make sure it has some fresh mulch and pretty flowers in it! The outside should look great so as to invite your prospective buyer to take a look inside.
7. Declutter and depersonalize.
I know this is a tough one for many families, but the bottom line on your home deal could be impacted by how well you declutter. When planning to sell your home, it's helpful to keep counter tops clean and mostly bare. Ensure you’ve only minimally decorated tables, walls and shelves. Clean out and organize closets, cabinets and drawers. Take down photos and knick-knacks and unique art work. Although the place might feel a little empty to you, it will help your home to feel more spacious to buyers, and give them more confidence the home will hold their things. Meanwhile, the lack of décor allows them to imagine their own style in the home. Create an environment where your prospective buyers can begin to build an image of their new life in your home while they're walking through. The more they can imagine their life in your home, the more they won’t be able to let the image go!
No seriously. CLEAN. Like hospital clean. Then, for good measure, do it again. Okay, that might be a bit overboard, but cleaning is definitely important when planning to sell your home. The goal is to make your home and property look as spotless as possible. Spend extra time in the kitchen and bathrooms. Buy quality cleaners that do a good job of removing tough stains, ground in dirt and mold/mildew. This kind of deep cleaning not your strength? Hire a professional. A good cleaner will usually cost less than a couple hundred bucks, while a clean home could draw in offers that are hundreds or thousands higher than its dirty or smelly competition.
9. Hide your valuables or take them elsewhere for safe keeping.
For the next few weeks or months, there could be a lot of people walking through your home. Although most people are generally honest, and agents work hard to ensure the homes they enter are properly protected in their care, it’s still best and safest if sellers hide, lock up or REMOVE expensive jewelry, cash, and other fine treasures from their home during its time on the market.
10. Be showing ready.
It’s important that you be as flexible as possible about how often and easy it is for other agents to show your home to their clients. Most often, agents plan a day of showings for their clients. They calendar out a full afternoon of homes to see and if you couldn’t make your home available during the the day and time they plan that tour, you’re out of luck. These appointments are rarely rescheduled. Make sure your home is always clean and ready for a showing, and be prepared to LEAVE on short notice so that the prospective buyers can tour the home and discuss its merits without you being in earshot. It’s best to have an advance plan for a place you and the family can go during unexpected short notice showings.