When it comes time to sell your house, things can become very personal quickly. This makes having an open, honest relationship with your real estate professional a key element to the success of the sale of your home.
Before you put your home on the market, here are some things expert real estate agents want you to know:
1. Your stuff is lovely, but – While your home may be beautifully decorated, it still looks like your home, not the potential buyers’ home. Clutter can make a home feel cramped and leave a bad first impression.
If you are going to be moving anyway, it makes perfect sense to start packing and putting a lot of your current belongings in storage.
2. Stop hiding things – Leaky faucets? Termites? An air conditioner that barely blows cool air? Do not keep any of your home’s flaws from your real estate professional because you are worried it might hurt your chances of selling your home.
Remember, your listing agent is on your side and knows what must be fixed or what can slide—so go ahead and share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Whatever you hide from an agent will most likely be discovered later and then it will be a significant problem.
3. You need to fix a few things – You need to know that it costs money to sell your home. You will need to invest money in your home to make it look good to potential buyers.
Replace the trim, clean the scuff marks off the walls, and power-wash the vinyl siding. To you, the condition of your home is totally normal because you have lived there for years. To buyers, this may mean expensive repairs, which may cause them to lowball you or not make an offer at all.
4. Your remodeling might not pay off much – Blood, sweat, tears, and a heck of a lot of cash might have gone into your remodeling projects, but that does not mean there is a guaranteed payback for any of it.
An ROI, or Return On Investment, means that some home upgrades do not necessarily increase value. It largely depends on what kind of home improvement you do. Ask me for a list of some common renovations with their projected return on investment.
5. Don’t overprice – While listing at a high price and then coming down as necessary seems like the best way to avoid leaving any money on the table, you could be doing yourself a disservice.
If you overprice your home, buyers may not catch that, but buyer’s agents will. When a home is overpriced, buyer’s agents will either avoid bringing their buyers or, worse yet, they use it as an example to sell another property.
6. Cleanliness really does count – When you are ready to sell, put in the time or the money to make sure your home is beyond clean. Everything gets noticed during a showing. The kitchen and the bathrooms are the two main areas where cleanliness – or lack thereof – is most obvious.
7. Have some patience – Yes, we know you thought your beautiful house would fly off the market the moment you list it, but that is not always the case. In fact, realtor.com data shows that homes sit on the market for an average of 66 days.
The real estate process is long: from showings to inspections to negotiations to the close of escrow. Be patient! Persevering leads to success.