“What’s the best way to sell my home?” It’s a common question between friends and family. And it’s especially common between homeowners and their real estate agents. That’s because there’s an entire process that comes with selling your home, from the moment you decide to put it on the market to the day the deal is signed and closed (then, of course, there’s the emotional process that comes with its fair share of unpacking on its own. But that’s a conversation for a different day).
The good news is that once your home is on the market it’s pretty much smooth sailing (through very patient and anxious waters). Once your house is listed it’s a matter of showings, offers, and patiently waiting for just the right buyer to come along. However, the days, weeks, or even months that lead up to the day your home is listed can be time-consuming. Why? Because it takes preparation!
So, do these 5 things before putting your home on the market.
1. Check The Market
Before you put your home on the market it’s important to do your homework and compare, compare, compare.
It’s your home, so naturally, you have an attachment to it. And that attachment might breed some overly sensitive value attached to it. After all, the person who lives in your home after you should appreciate it as much as you, and appreciate all of the work you have done on it throughout the years. Sadly, the market doesn’t value personal attachment. So, check the local housing market on one of the numerous realtor sites. You can even go tour homes on the market in a similar neighborhood to yours, in a house that’s comparable to your home. Notice the upgrades, the neighborhood, property size. You should set realistic expectations on the value of your home based on the current housing market in a comparable location and style to your own.
2. Update And Upgrade
One of the easiest ways to make your home go up in value before you put it up on the market is to update it and upgrade it in minimal, but impactful, ways. Put a coat of fresh paint; remove any and all carpeting; polish the floors; upgrade certain appliances (think inexpensive items like faucets and microwaves); fix broken doors and handles; get new bathroom mirrors. All of these small tasks can make a big difference when it’s time to sell your home, and pay dividends in the sales price.
3. Remove Any And All Personal Items
If you can afford it, removing all of your items (including furniture) from a house before you put it up for sale is a good idea. You can easily put all items in a storage unit and then hire a professional decorator to stage your home in a minimalistic way. The concept here is that each individual buyer who looks at your home can envision it as a blank slate and paint it to their taste. However, that route can be costly.
Instead, put all of your personal items in a place that won’t be easily visible—such as a basement, attic, or even closet space. If personal items are compartmentalized into designated areas (ones that are usually associated with clutter, anyway) then a buyer can still get the full feel and visual of your home. In a way that fits their future plans. Things you can move are photos, bold pieces of art, flowers, curtains, paraphernalia, etc.
4. Hire A Good Photographer
Once you’ve done your homework on the local market, implemented necessary upgrades, and rid your home of its personal touch it’s time to do the number one most important thing when it comes to selling anything: photography. And as good as the new phone cameras are sadly they just won’t cut it.
Hiring a professional photographer is worth the added expense because they will make your home look beautiful. A good-grade camera will capture each nook and cranny of your home that optimizes visuals for prospective home buyers, without the blurry or pixelated effect. Check a photographer’s references, work, and ensure that it can be done in a timely manner.
5. Find Your Realtor
The final part of the process is the most obvious. Get yourself a reputable realtor who will work for you and with you. Then, let the rest take care of themselves.
By doing these 5 things before putting your home on the market you will make the whole process seamless, and easier, and get your home sold at the value you want.