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Prepare to Sell

Merchandise Your Home

Are you considering selling your home? If you are like most people, your property is one of your largest assets. In order to get top dollar, here are some tips that can help get you more money and a faster sale.

Selling Tip #1: First impressions matter to today’s homebuyer.

The more the buyer feels that the home has been well cared for, the better they will feel about purchasing it. Use a critical eye to evaluate your landscape, including the size of your trees and shrubs. After 15 years, most plants look straggly and overgrown. If a potential buyer can’t see your home, you may have just lost a potential buyer as soon as the realtor pulls into the driveway. Don’t let plants block the windows and cast shadows on the exterior. Pull out the bushes and replace with 3-gallon plants that are 4-5 feet from the edge of the exterior. Add some color with a bed of annuals. Be sure your front lawn is mowed and looks good.

Selling Tip #2: Always be “show ready”. Especially in our market where most of the buyers come from out of town for a limited time, it is so important to make it easy for a realtor to show your house. If you require a 24-hour showing notice or limited showing times you have already lost potential buyers. While it is inconvenient for you it will help get your house sold. The more buyers that come through the door, the higher the chance you have of getting an offer.

Selling Tip #3: Depersonalize the home. Take the personal items out of view. When listing a home, I advise my sellers that we want potential buyers to walk in and focus on the floor plan, the views, the details, etc. and not stopping to look at the personal photos on the bookshelves. You want a potential buyer to envision him or herself living in your house. Make the effort to de-clutter your house as much as possible even if it means renting a storage unit.

Selling Tip #4: The kitchen matters. Does your kitchen look dated? According to a recent study by remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel will help sell a house 8% faster and you will recoup 85% of the cost. While it may cost you a few thousand to do a minor update, a potential buyer may knock off $10000 off of the asking price if you have a dated kitchen. Simple fixes are new hardware, paint, countertops, and one or two stainless appliances.

Selling Tip #5: Make your house bright, cheery and clean. The majority of buyers want a light-filled home. Increase your light bulb wattage, make your windows sparkle and be sure to get rid of the dust. If you have pets, remove the food bowls, kitty litter boxes and pet hair from view. Not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Keep a clean house with dishes put away, bathrooms spotless and countertops as empty as possible.

  Selling Tip #6: Price it right. Price it low and you could lose out on thousands of dollars. Price it high and it will sit on the market for months or even years. This will make potential buyers think that something is wrong with your home when in reality you priced yourself out of the market. This is where an experienced listing agent comes in. When interviewing a listing agent, ask them how many homes they have sold and what is their average days on the market. What is their marketing plan and how will they get potential buyers into your home? A listing agent should analyze the recent sales within the last six months in your neighborhood or “comps” and advise you on where your home should be priced. Why six months? Because licensed appraisers try to use the last six months of sold data and if your home doesn’t appraise then the bank won’t finance the home.



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