Putting your home on the market can be stressful. Showing after showing after showing requires your home to be presentable at all times. You’re forced to vacate at a moments notice, not to mention the kids and the dog. So, how can you make this process a little less stressful and guarantee your home sells?
First of all, buyers are always more interested in a home the first few weeks it's on the market, the longer it sits, the lower your chances are of selling quickly and for top dollar. So, you need to be prepared and come out blazing.
There are three main ingredients in a quick home sale:
1) It needs to show well
2) It needs to be marketed well
3) It needs to be priced correctly.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best tips and tricks to optimize these three ingredients and to ensure a speedy spring sale.
Rent A Storage Unit
Most people think, “ok, declutter, let’s put everything in the closet.” This is a BAD idea, the closets are part of the home, so anyone viewing the home is certainly going to look at the storage spaces and an unorganized, overstuffed closet doesn’t show well. Your closets should be as clutter free and beautiful as you’ve mede the rest of the house. Instead of shoving things in the basement and closets, consider renting a storage unit. It is super convenient and will allow you to keep your home show ready much easier. As a general rule, you probably don’t need or use a third of your stuff, and it’s actually probably closer to half. Things like holiday decorations, old baby stuff, seasonal clothes, your kids old art projects…put it all in storage. Better yet, you can choose a portable unit, which can be transported on moving day, making your move even more convenient.
A professional home stager sees your home from the most discerning buyer's perspective and a good stager knows exactly how to highlight your home’s best features and minimize it’s flaws. The first impression a buyer gets is often from listing photos online, so naturally these photos should be the highest quality possible. Also of note, is that studies show homes with more than six listing photos online are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers.
However, not everyone wants their home staged, and we understand. So, what can you do instead? Have a friend or two or three take turns walking from the curb through your house as if they were a buyer. Encourage them to look for areas to improve. Then have your agent do the same thing. Even the most beautiful homes can benefit from these practices.
Find The Right Real Estate Agent
Don't hire a real estate agent just because your friend used them or because their son is in your kid’s English class. Hire an agent with a proven track record. Someone who has proven their ability to sell homes fast. You want someone who is familiar with the neighborhood. You want someone who is not afraid to correct your errors. Face it, they do this for a living and no matter how hard you try, you’re going to miss some things. Your agent should be able to walk into your home and tell you exactly what buyers will love and hate, and then help you fix those hate points.
Besides a great track record, look at their reviews. What is it like to work with this person? You should also make sure your agent is savvy online, since this is where most Real Estate business starts these days. Look at the photos on their website (remember tip #2?), make sure they hire professional photographers to take photos of the home. Look at their social media. Are they utilizing these outlets to sell homes?
Do Some Work Yourself
If you’re really trying to sell your home, don't leave all the marketing to your agent. Get the word out yourself. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; if you have these use them. Send e-mails, texts, let people know! Don’t stop at your friends either. Make it known in your neighborhood too! You never know who may know someone whose looking for a home in town. Let others help.
This is Important, and can be hard for some people. Most homes are covered with family photos and this can make it hard to imagine yourself living their. At this point it still seems like someone else’s home, but your buyers need to imagine themselves living there. So, no matter how cute those baby pictures are, take them down when you put your home on the market. Same goes for extravagant art. You want your home to be interesting, but you don’t want the art distracting from the home itself. People also have different tastes in art, so if they hate the art, they may find it hard to imagine living there.
You don't need to go overboard on remodels to make your home more appealing. Honestly, chances are, you probably won’t get this money back in the sale. So, instead, focus on the little things, especially the kitchen and bathroom. New sinks and cabinets go a long way! Light fixtures, new shower curtains nice towels; these are all little things that can have a huge impact on potential buyers. So, instead of spending $35,000 on a full kitchen remodel, get rid of your mismatched appliances and spend $3,500 on new stainless steel appliances. Small investments can make a huge impact, and you’ll have a better chance at optimizing your ROI.
Chances are pretty good you are not a vampire, its likely your buyers aren’t either, so brighten up your home. Dark or poorly lit home can feel a little depressing. A bright combination of natural and artificial light is the best way to go. G the highest wattage lightbulb your fixture will allow, which even come in eco friendly styles now and it will instantly make your home brighter and more inviting. Every time you leave for a showing, turn the lights on and open the blinds. A fresh coat of paint will also go a long way. A lighter natural color paint will help make your rooms look larger. Last finishing touch, a good solid cleaning. Make those baseboards sparkle!
Curb Appeal is so hugely important, it can’t be overstated. Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see. If it doesn’t look great, a buyer won’t even consider it. So, clean up the yard. Consider trimming the hedges and the lawn, add fresh mulch, maybe get your lawn edged, a good pressure washing is always good, clean the driveways and walkways, maybe a fresh coat of paint to the trim and shutters as well. Everything matters, even the little things like polishing the brass on the front door. Go a bit farther, add some Flowers near the entryway, a splash of color helps your home feel alive and inviting.
It may seem a little counterintuitive in a seller’s market, however the facts don’t lie. Last year, the best year for U.S. home sales in almost a decade, 37% of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers. With the added competition in the market, incentives could be the deciding factor for a buyer. If you’re a seller and you’re able to offer a little money toward closing costs, you’re making it easier for that buyer, which may in turn make them more willing to give you the full asking price. So in the end you could end up with a faster sale and a larger profit.
Know The Facts
Spring and summer are the best times to sell your home. If you can wait until then, you probably should. However, selling during the peak season also means there is more competition and buyers can be pickier. So, if you are selling in the Spring and Summer, these tips are especially important. Another important fact, is that homes that aren’t priced right just don’t sell, and the longer your home sits on the market, the less desirable it is. Buyers often expect something to be wrong with these homes. You absolutely have to price your home right, it’s that simple. Do some research on local comps, get a few suggestions from other agents, and then ultimately listen to your agent, which should be the expert we discussed in the beginning of the article. It can be hard hearing your home isn’t worth what you thought, but it’s not worth wasting the summer on. Let your Agent take the lead on pricing and negotiating.
Looking for more information on how to Sell your home quickly this Spring, give the Rullo Team a call 630.513.1771. Not ready to chat yet? Then visit some of our FREE Seller's Resources. We also have numerous FREE resources for Buyers.
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