By Karin Head
So, after months of looking, you’ve FINALLY found the perfect home for you and your family. Or, you’re empty-nesters who are looking to downsize as the next phase of your life begins. Possibly, you’ve taken a new job in another city and are in the process of relocating. As a result, you now have to sell your current home!
Getting a home ready to go on the market is arguably the most important step in the home selling process. When buyers tour a home, they are consistently drawn to properties that look and feel move in ready, and that don’t require a great deal of maintenance. However, as sellers, there are some things you can do to get your home ready to go on the market and increase its “WOW” factor for buyers:
Time to de-clutter! Most of us spend a lifetime accumulating mementos, art, furniture, photos and memories. However, when home buyers walk into a home, they want to picture their art, furniture and photos in the space and imagine the memories they will make in the home. Before putting a home on the market, sellers should work with their real estate agent, or some who specializes in staging homes for sale, to figure out what should stay and what should temporarily go into storage, all the way down to packing up winter clothes to make closets look more spacious. It’s also a great idea to go through closets, basements and attics to figure out what can be thrown out or donated to charity.
Curb appeal is eye catching!
Buyers often get their first impression of a home before they even step foot inside. In fact, a house can be moved to the top of the list, or crossed off entirely, based on a buyer’s initial impression when the drive up to a property. Bottom line – curb appeal is very important! Trimming back overgrown bushes, removing yard waste, raking up leaves, mowing the yard, planting flowers and manicuring plant beds with mulch or pine needles, and pressure washing sidewalks and exteriors can go a long way towards moving your house up a buyer’s list!
Get it fixed!
Most sellers are already aware of any minor repairs that need to be made in a home before taking it to market. As much as possible, sellers should go ahead and fix, or have fixed, things such as leaky faucets, malfunctioning smoke detectors, burnt out light bulbs, electrical issues, cracked tile, etc. As sellers, this will save you time (and money) during the inspection process once you’ve received an offer.
When selling your home, the goal is to put your house’s best foot forward at every showing. And while our hectic lifestyles might keep us from doing a full Spring cleaning every time a buyer tours your home, sellers should do their best to make sure their homes are neat, clean and picked up before showings. Remember: first impressions are everything to home buyers, so you want to make the best one possible! Clothes should be folded and put away, desks and home offices organized, dishes should be cleaned and stored, and the carpet should be vacuumed whenever possible.
Price it right.
In the past few years, home prices have stabilized and began to recover from the recession of 2008. However, it is still very important that your home is priced correctly. Pricing too high can move buyers to other properties, while pricing too low can make buyers wonder what underlying issues a house has. An experienced real estate agent can compare your home against comparable properties in your neighborhood and your area, and help you figure out a price point that will help sell your home quickly.
Have your home pre-inspected. A great way to avoid any surprises during the inspection process after you are under contract is to conduct a pre-inspection with a licensed home inspector – before listing your home. Having a pre-inspection completed allows sellers to know all of the potential repairs a home may need, and they can elect to have those done beforehand. This simple step can save a great deal of headaches and make the selling process go even more smoothly!
This year is shaping up to be a great year to sell your home, as more and more buyers are looking for properties. By following the tips above and working with your real estate agent, you can help move your property to the top of a buyer’s list – and off the market – more quickly!
Karin Head has been working to make North Carolina home buyers’ and sellers’ dreams come true since 2009. She is the Broker/Owner of The Head Team – Keller Williams Realty Elite. For more information or to view listings, please visit www.karinhead.com , email karin[AT]karinhead.com, or call (336) 283-8687.