When putting your home up for sale one of the first things you should consider is to contact a real estate agent. Set up interviews and see who you think will work the best for you, personality wise and their experience. Ask them to bring you a list of the homes they have sold in the past 6 months to a year, and then do a comparison to your home. What style homes did they sell, the location and the price. Do not be in a hurry, check out their Facebook, website and background. You are not committed to a Realtor until you have signed the contract to hire them. Once you do that, you can be committed for up to 6 months on some contracts and they can get up to 6% commission of the selling price of your home.
Compare Your Home For the Right Price
Do your homework. Go online and look up homes that have sold in your area and that are comparable to your home. Try to stay as close as possible to the square footage, bedroom and bathroom count, one story or two, pools etc. Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with comparables that have recently sold in your neighborhood.. Once you have a price average for your area, you may want to bring your price down just a bit to attract buyers. Or you can offer to pay part of the closing cost as another incentive. Your Realtor can help you with this.
Showing It Off
Home Staging is great for presentation and bringing out the best of your home. Walk around your home and make notes of things that attracted you to the home. Is it the beautiful deck you added on to the pool area? New Air Conditioner, added on a room or simply the style itself that makes living there so cozy. Ask some friends over and to give their thoughts on your home. This will come in handy later for pointing out the attributes to the potential buyer, the listing and a virtual tour.
Clean, clean, clean! There is nothing worse than someone coming in to look your house over and having to stumble over clutter or want to hold their nose from a bad odor. Do a through cleaning from top to bottom. Add fresh flowers, candles that are mild in perfume to various rooms. Hide the kitty litter box, pets water and food bowls and have pets outside if possible. Someone allergic to animals will not want to stay.
Windows – Give them a good cleaning inside and out. Open the blinds, curtains and shutters and let in natural light all over the house. Having a showing at night? Replace your light bulbs with a higher watt bulb.
Bedrooms – make sure they are clutter free and the beds are made. Clear off the night stands and bureau’s of any papers, books, make-up etc. Put kids toys in the closet and give the room a neat appearance. Think of a hotel room when you walk in. Only the necessities should be showing. Open the curtains and let in the natural light.
Bathrooms – clear off any make-up, medicine, tooth brushes, toothpaste, mouthwash etc and make the sink and bathtub clutter free and shine. Add fresh towels and clean shower door or curtain. Don’t forget to shine up the faucets and mirror too.
Kitchen – Open up the counter space by removing appliances like toasters, blenders, food processors etc and putting them in a cupboard. Wipe down the cupboard, counters, sink, etc and make what needs to shine, shine. Take down any magnets, pictures or kids art work off the refrigerator and give it a clean look. Give the inside of the oven and stove top a good cleaning as well as the microwave. Yes, the buyers may want to peek inside these.
Living Area – Fluff up those pillows on the sofa, clean any rugs and carpet. Dust the furniture and check to see if the drapes, shutters or blinds need a good cleaning or maybe fresh paint added on those shutters. If you have glass doors, make them clean and its a nice day open them up.
From the moment your potential buyer steps out of their vehicle, they are accessing your home, by the curb appeal. Make that first impression count and be welcoming. Have your landscape well manicured and kept up for the duration of your home on the market. Bushes trimmed, grass mowed and walkways edged and any flower or veggie planter boxes are full and pretty. When they walk up to your front door, have an attractive knocker or door bell and be sure that front door is appealing. A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference. Something we may not think is important, may be to the buyer. Even upgrading the numbers on your house can make a small difference.
Tell the World
The notes you have made about your home and the staging all done, its time to take pictures and video. Your real estate agent should be able to help you with these two very important details. Pictures and video should be clear and show off your home inside and out to its best. Add as many pictures as you can to your listing and other places online. With the Internet at our fingertips, buyers are going online to search for homes and you do not want to miss out on this opportunity to show off yours. Your real estate agent will include you in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and there are more places online like Realtor.com, Trulia, Homes.com, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate to name a few. Don’t forget Craigslist and Facebook, Twitter and where you share on Social Media sites. Have your Realtor meet with potential buyers and be sure they can afford to purchase the house before showing your home so you are not wasting you and your Realtors time.