If you’re trying to sell your home, there’s nothing worse than seeing it languish on the market for months and months with no idea why. Instead of sitting in Property Purgatory, just follow my 11 recommendations for making sure your property is listed properly and sells with a healthy level of demand.
- Have the Right Agent – This is an agent who knows the market, who is tech savvy and who is checking the market for all the comparables, like how much surrounding properties have sold for and how many days properties have been on the market.
- The Price is Right – You and your agent need to find the right price for the market because if you don’t, there will be consequences. You need to have the right strategy. For example, if the market for condos is low — but yours has a high asking price on your condo — don’t expect to sell quickly. This also is true in reverse. For example, if the market for homes is very hot, a lot of sellers will put their home at a lower price so they can try to instigate a bidding war. The overall listing strategy often depends on the personal situation of the seller. Perhaps they are in a rush to sell. Your agent should be educated enough to sell your home for the right price and list it at the right time.
- Stage Your Home – Ideally, if you’re able to vacate your home during showings, you should have it staged. Staging your home brings a lot of value to a property. According to a 2017 presentation by the National Association of Realtors, 58% realtors representing sellers believe that buyers offer more money for a staged home. As you would expect, Home Staging Resource, an organization that offers training and resources to stagers, is even more bullish on staging. Its website states, “In a survey of 3,500 staged homes, 46% sold for 10% more than they would have unstaged.”
- Have Great Photos – Photos are very likely the first thing buyers see on your listing and on social media. It’s also very likely that photos are the main thing that determines whether they will select your property for an in-person showing and your home needs to make a great first impression. Always take photos and always use a professional photographer because there’s nothing worse than looking at listings with your buyer clients and not being able to see a listed home because there are no photos attached. A listing without photos, or with photos of low quality, is a good way to get your home instantly ignored by potential buyers.
- Include a Virtual Tour – With potential buyers advised to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers are no longer coming out for as many in-person showings. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to offer a virtual tour with your listing. A virtual tour goes a long way in helping buyers determine what properties are worth an in-person look.
- Clean and Clutter-Free – If you can’t vacate your property while it’s on the market, you can at least make it look as vacant as possible by getting ride of your unwanted items and organizing the rest. Along with clearing the clutter, comes cleaning. Cleaning your home before a showing is very important. This is especially true of the kitchen and bathroom(s). You also want to showcase how much storage is available in your home. Items currently stored in your home should be stored off-site, or in your building locker, during showings. This way, people can see just how much storage your property comes with. Oh, and if you have pets, board them or send them to a friend or family member to take care of. You may be a dog or cat lover, but not everybody is, and seeing your pet may prevent some from making an offer on your home.
- Make Small Repairs – You never know what people are going to notice and count as a reason to not make an offer on your home. All those little repairs you never got around to – get around to them now. Fix that running toilet, get new mesh for that screen door, screw in that new lightbulb, fix that leaky faucet, and put on that fresh coat of paint. Any repair you can do to make your home look newer and less of a project, do it.
- De-personalize – You probably have things around your home that are very personal and significant to you, but they’re not personal or significant to a potential buyer, so hide them. People like to envision themselves living in your home and it’s hard for them to do that when there is a picture of your last family trip to Disneyland staring back at them. It may feel like prospective buyers are invading your space and encroaching on your territory, but you want to put that feeling aside and let them feel like they could see themselves living there because that’s what may compel them to make an offer.
- Let the Light Shine In – You want to make your home as bright and attractive looking as possible to a buyer. Just before a showing, turn on all the lights if it’s at night, open all the drapes if it’s during the day and let as much light shine in as possible.
- Pass the Smell Test – If you’ve seen a certain Febreeze commercial, you know that it’s possible to go noseblind to smells in your home. That’s why you need your real estate agent to tell you if there’s any weird or off-putting smells in your home. If there is, get rid of them and make sure you no longer have these smells once you’ve made the effort because smells can affect a lot of potential buyers. Grab a few nice and non-assaulting air-fresheners and make your home smell pleasant as people walk in.
- Take Care of Your Landscape – If you’re trying to sell your home, do what you need to do for excellent curb appeal and take care of your landscape. Your frontyard and backyard can attract potential buyers if you make them both look beautiful.
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