Everyone needs a little guidance sometimes. Are you considering or in the process of selling your home, and always feel like you’re one step behind? Or that you simply don’t know what the right thing to do is? There are so many people with those same anxieties, wondering how they can get their house off the market quickly, how they can ease their own stress, and how they can make the process easier for everyone involved.
We’ve compiled a list of absolutely everything you need to get done to make sure you’re comfortable, prepared and proactive, and most importantly, that your home sells.
Searching for your new home can be a stressful process, and a good agent you genuinely enjoy working with can ease a little bit of that tension.
You should make sure the selection process is thorough and reflective of your wants and needs in an agent – don’t just call the first realtor you see on a billboard, or decide to go with the first recommendation or referral you receive. In order to find the agent you’ll want to guide you through the home buying journey, you should sit down with and interview multiple agents until you find someone you feel can get you exactly what you want.
You should find someone you trust with your money and future, someone you feel comfortable with, and hopefully someone you get along with well. It’s also extremely important that they’re very knowledgeable about the area, know the market, and are willing to listen to what you need so they can meet those expectations. It’s equally important to find someone with experience, so they can efficiently walk you through every step of the process.
Some worthwhile questions to ask the agents you interview may be:
While being minimally invasive, these questions will help you gather some insight about who they are, how they work, and how their unique abilities and traits can help you.
A very reliable selling tactic revolves around getting potential buyers to visualize themselves living their daily lives within their new home. As they walk through the kitchen they’ll want to be able to see themselves cooking dinner, hosting company, making their morning coffee, etc. As they walk through the master bedroom they’ll want to imagine themselves waking up to the sunrise every morning – sometimes, these things can be difficult to do if the house is brimming with your belongings.
The house doesn’t need to look completely uninhabited, but it helps to remove things that can make it appear too personal to you such as family photos, specific works of art, books and magazines, and anything else indicative of your life and personality that may be laying around. If the house is clean and thoughtfully staged with little to no sign of you, they’ll be able to more accurately paint a picture of their life there. They also won’t feel like they’re simply looking into someone else’s home, opposed to considering it for themselves.
While your own furniture should do just fine when it comes to presenting your home to potential buyers, many people like to have it professionally staged. This helps make the home appear more sleek, modern, and stylish to potential buyers. It’s an effective and simple way to really make your house stand out, and demand buyer’s attention. A professionally staged home is one that’s ready to be shown off, looks great and expensive, and is often admired by buyers.
As important as depersonalizing and neutralizing the space is, keeping it clean is just as, if not more important. Once your home is on the market and potential buyers begin to visit, you won’t want to turn them off by having dust on every surface or boot prints tracked through the house. Deep cleaning can also be considered a part of the depersonalization process, as you don’t want to remind them someone else is currently inhabiting the space. This could distract them from painting their mental brand-new home pictures.
Your property will also need to be as spotless as possible for the photos that are listed online. As these will likely be posted for the duration of the time your property is listed, you’ll have many eyes on them, and first impressions will become increasingly important. If your house looks unclean in the photos online, chances are they may lose interest in scheduling a viewing.
Alternatively, if your house is very clean in the pictures online but not very tidy in person, this can be misleading and disappointing. You want your house to resemble the photos online as closely as possible, and vice versa, so buyers know exactly what to expect from your home. This way no one feels mislead or let down, and your home can be everything they were hoping it would be.
Curb appeal is extremely important when it comes to the proper marketing and selling of your home. The simple definition of curb appeal is the level of attractiveness displayed by your home from an outside vantage point, such as from the street, or even as buyer’s are walking up for a viewing. No matter how great your house looks on the inside, the appearance of the outside is also important for creating great first impressions over and over.
When you’re listing your house, take some time to really study the outside and note its’ aesthetic advantages and disadvantages. Does the lawn look sparse, or like it’s browning in certain areas? Do you have lots of debris in the yard, dead plants, or anything that hinders the general aesthetic of your home? It’s important to note anything that may take away from the true value of your house, so visitors and buyers don’t get distracted by these details.
It’s always a good idea to do a little landscaping, organizing, and updating as it pertains to the outside of your home. Water the grass more often or plant more if it seems to be dying, coat the sides with a fresh coat of paint, plant flowers or remove any dying or aged ones. You can be the judge of what does and doesn’t need to be done, and it’s likely you won’t need a complete makeover – but it never hurts to touch it up here and there!
The damage doesn’t necessarily have to be severe in order to warrant a repair. If you have things like scuff marks, holes in the walls, or other small to large cosmetic issues, it may be worth your while to fix them before the viewers start rolling in. Any sign of damage is a direct indication of extra work for a buyer, and you want the buying process to be as painless and easy as possible. If your home is something perfectly ready for them to move into immediately, instead of a work in progress that could take up their time, you may find things will go a lot more smoothly.
If you can’t make these repairs yourself, a professional fix would always be a nice touch. If any repairs are significant enough, they could even have a positive impact on your asking price. Remember that any alteration and change that could cost you money just means a healthy ROI is in your future when your home does sell.
The important thing here is to make not just any upgrades, but to make valuable ones. Try to be diligent in analyzing what may just be an aesthetic preference, and what can actually positively serve the home and increase its value in the process. You can always get guidance from a professional if you feel like you don’t know where to start.
Last minute showings aren’t ideal, but they do happen – even regularly scheduled ones can sometimes steal your free time away from you. There are many things you can do to help yourself to always be prepared for showings as they arise, so minimal effort can go into very successful viewings.
This is a small thing you can do that will really take some stress off during those last minute cleans. If your bedroom always looks showing ready, that’s one less thing to worry about – plus, it’s so nice to start your day off by making your bed, and equally as nice to end the day by getting into a well made bed! This should go without saying, but you should also make sure your bedding is clean and presentable at all times. This means frequent laundering, and ironing if necessary.
You won’t have to run around organizing or stowing random items if you’re always fairly neat. Before you turn in for the night commit to a walk through of the entire house, identify any messes, and make sure everything is taken care of before going to sleep. This will ensure you’re never rushed to clean, or left wondering if you missed something during a showing.
This is great both for the aesthetics of your home, and the smell. A full laundry basket, even if the rest of your home is spotless and perfectly clean, can be indicative of unwanted mess. A full trash bin can also be a turn off, for obvious reasons. Make sure that anything that isn’t integral to the aesthetic isn’t in plain view when it’s time to show your property.
Even if you are perpetually tidy, dust and other debris will still find its way into your home from your clothes, shoes, or anything else you bring inside. Staying on top of deep cleans can make the tidying process easier, and can give you peace of mind during walkthroughs and showings.
Every week or so you should be making time to dust, sweep, mop, and scrub all surfaces of your house that could potentially collect dust and look unclean. This will keep your home looking and smelling fantastic for anyone that happens across it.
And Everything Else?
On top of all these things, some things needed for the marketing and selling of your home will be specific to your needs, and the specific qualities and aspects of your home. Your agent will know what to do once your situation has been assessed, and will provide you with direction from there.
Don’t be afraid to consult your chosen agent with questions, or look to them for advice – good relationships as mentioned above are key for paving the way to a dynamic that allows open and honest discussion that will get you closer to having your wants and needs met. When it comes to the small, personalized details, your agent will set you up with a plan for what actions you need to take to get your house off the market, the money in your pocket, and your own dream home lurking just around the corner.
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