Friday, June 7, 2013 / by Jeremy Stuckey
I recently read an article on HGTV.com about the top 10 secrets of selling your home, and I thought they hit the nail right on the head. But of course, it is HGTV, and they do know a thing or two about what they are talking about. But I thought that I would share with you their top ten, but with my own take on each item. And I will rank them more according to my opinion on which are more important than the others. So let’s jump to it!
10. Don’t overdo the upgrades- Sure, updated homes are very desirable and can attract many more buyers in today’s market. But if you’re just getting ready to put your home on the market, a major remodel probably will not give you a great return on your money. Instead of focusing on a big, high dollar remodel that you think may be needed, focus on the small stuff. Fresh coats of paint goes a long way, but keep it as neutral as possible. Not everyone has your same taste in color. New hardware is also a good idea. If you know of any leaky faucets, go ahead and fix those.
9. Focus on Kitchen- Contrary to what I just told you in item 10, if you are going to spend some money on some renovations, focus on the kitchen. This is one of the most important rooms in the house for many buyers, and old outdated kitchens are a major turn off. I’m not saying you have to go and drop $30k or more to totally gut your existing kitchen. But again, fresh paint and hardware goes a long way.
8. Find the Right Agent- Interview multiple agents before listing your home and make sure you find one that will provide the type of service that you want and need. And try not to dwell too much on having the most experienced agents. In some cases newer and younger agents might be what you need in today’s market. A younger agent, such as myself, may be more tech savvy than someone who’s been around a while, and with today’s technology, that could be a huge deciding factor on how many people actually see your home. Also, an agent who may not have a huge inventory of listings will be able to devote more time on your listing and trying to get it sold than an agent that may have 50 or more listings at a time.
7. Have Good Lighting- Please, go through your home and make sure all of the lightbulbs are WORKING! Buyers viewing your home want to actually see your home. Open the curtains when you have showings and make sure your windows are clean so that you have great natural light coming in.
6. Make Closets Look As Spacious As Possible- I know, I know. You’re probably thinking that you don’t have much that you can do about having small closets. But, you can always de-clutter it. You’re going to be moving soon anyway, you hope, so go ahead and pack up any extra items and put in storage. If someone opens your closet and a mountain of stuff falls out on top of them, all they will be thinking is that they will have a major lack of storage. Even a small closet that is neatly organized can look appealing to a buyer. Show it’s potential!
5. Put The Puppies Away!- I am about as big of a dog lover as anyone, but not everyone else is. But, when you are trying to sell your home, make sure pet food is out of sight for showings and cat litter boxes are clean and don’t stink. Febreeze is your best friend!
4. First Impressions- Just like when meeting new people, your home gives off a first impression as well, just from how it looks from the outside. Even if you have the very best looking house on the block on the inside, if you let a jungle grow up around your home on the outside, I promise you, no one will ever see the inside. It will not cost you that much to place inexpensive flowers and shrubs around and keep the lawn cut and looking neat. And curb appeal is one of the few things that can bring you a 100% return on your money.
3. De-Personalize! You want to let buyers picture themselves living in THEIR future home, not yours. So go ahead and pack up your personal pictures and items. You may love to look at pictures of your great, great Aunt Ida all of the time, but a buyer will just see some old person on all of the walls, and may get distracted from seeing the beauty of your home.
2. Be Ready To Show At Any Time- This kind of goes along with the last one. But keep your home clean and in showing condition at all times. You never know when an agent may call at the last minute to show a client your home. And if you must have a few hours to run home and do a major cleaning first, that buyer may be long gone and you could have just lost the one who would have written up an offer. Try to make your home look as close to a model home as possible, and keep it that way. You probably expect your kids to clean up after themselves. Well now is the time to lead by example, and practice what you preach.
1. Price It Right- You can’t control location, and unless you have an endless supply of money, condition isn’t something you have the greatest control over. But price is something you have complete control over, and this is one of the most important steps in selling your home. If you take the market value of your home and put a price that is 10-15% below that, it will sell, and it’ll sell quickly. Although some people may not be in a position to be able to do this, if you have the equity and you need to sell fast, this is the BEST way to do it. And it’s quite possible that it will lead to a multiple offer situation and drive the price back up to market value anyway. And just remember if you over price your home, plan for it sitting on the market for a good while, while all of the other motivated sellers are moving on to the next chapters of their lives.