Let’s face it– selling your home can be a daunting task. Whether you’re moving, selling an estate property, or flipping a home, you’ll have a lot on your plate. The housing market has its ups and downs, leaving some to struggle to find the right buyer.
However, you can get ahead of the curve by following the simple steps in this guide, including getting your home ready, finding a good agent, improving curb appeal and more. Let’s dig in…
- Getting Your Home Ready
First impressions and curb appeal are essential for speeding up the time it takes to move your home on the market, but you also want to know what might come up during inspections. Some of the biggest turn-offs for potential buyers are untidy homes, unkempt yards, and undisclosed damage.
The first thing you want to do is declutter your home and make sure each room is in pristine condition. The area should be clear of any unnecessary items and well organized. Peeling, discolored or worn down paint should be given a fresh coat using neutral tones. Any minor repairs should be taken care of before showing your home. Major repairs will need to be weighed for cost-benefit and if not repaired, then properly disclosed.
As for improving curb appeal, consider these ideas to get your home sold fast:
- Paint your exterior front door and entryway
- Update your house numbers to something bold
- Inspect and clean up your roof
- Comprehensive cleaning in and out (consider a power washer)
- Hire a professional carpet cleaning service
- Updating the Landscaping
Let’s face it, first impressions matter. When it comes to your home, that first impression comes from its curb appeal. Which is why what is on the outside matters just as much as what is on the inside of your home.
According to LawnStarter, there are a number of things you can do as a homeowner to increase the curb appeal of your home, one of which is to update the landscaping.
In fact, according to HGTV, those homeowners who take the time and effort to update their landscaping can reap up to 1000% returns on their investment in some cases, while also making sure their home moves quickly on the market.
Although landscaping can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. For those home sellers on a budget, there are a variety of updates that can be done cost-effectively.
Affordable Ways to Update your Landscaping Include:
- Repainting or resurfacing outdoor structures such as a deck, patio, walkway, or gazebo
- Installing outdoor lighting
- Adding color and contrast
- Eliminating excess growth, and weeding out non-essentials (a clean look is better)
- Treat the lawn to make it lush and eliminate weeds such as crabgrass
- Edge, trim and mow weekly
- Find a Good Agent
Although some owners are tempted to sell on their own, the best bet is usually to hire a professional real estate agent. The right agent can help you through every step of the process, and can often get your home sold faster and at a higher asking price.
A home sale is a nuanced and often anxiety-inducing process. So be sure to perform due diligence to choose an agent. Find one with a good reputation, and don’t just go for the lowest commission percentage. According to Bankrate, getting referrals from your personal network is a great place to start. Speak with friends, family, and even reach out on social media to get real-world feedback from those who have worked with particular agents or brokers.
Check their selling history to see if they have worked with properties like yours. Narrow down your local agents to a top three or five; if you have options, you can negotiate commissions between them until the lock-in period. Once you lock-in with an agent, you generally aren’t allowed to change during the contracted period, so taking your time with this step is paramount.
- Be Prepared for the Selling Process
Before viewings begin, ask your agent what you might do to prepare and make your property more sell-able. Research your area to learn what buyers might need to know– are you familiar with the schools or the pet-friendliness of your neighborhood? Can you tell them about local hospitals or eateries or grocery stores?
When the viewings begin, step back and give your potential buyer some personal space to explore. If you don’t have an agent, be sure you stay nearby to answer questions while not crowding. If you have an agent, they will handle the tours while you go out for a break; get a coffee, grab some groceries, of view some new homes of your own.
Finally, know your set price and how low you are willing to go. Your agent can help you set a price, or you can look at nearby properties and have an assessment done. Many home buyers will want to negotiate on the price, so have a minimum in mind. You can always let them go lower if their offer offers enough perks.
It’s Time to Get Out There and Sell
There is no one-trick-fits-all when it comes to selling your home. Be aware of the area and the market around you. When you list your home, it’s a good idea to stay proactive even if you use an agent. Check in with them often and see how viewings are going and discuss offers.
As with anything, advertising is key. Make sure your home is listed on different sites, put open houses in the newspaper, and let your friends know to spread the word.