Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

Sell your home for top dollar with these tips

Whether or not we’re in a buyers or sellers market, or even in a distressed market, we always advise home sellers to do whatever it takes to try to quickly get top dollar for their home.  There are many easy things that can be done to accomplish this. 

We know that most people make decisions based on emotion, and buying a home is no different.  In fact, it’s probably the most emotional decision one will ever make in their lifetime.  So, the goal of selling a home is to try and connect with a home buyer so that they become emotionally attached to a home and want to purchase it and make it their own. 

Here are some tips to follow if you’re selling your home.

1)      Make the Right First Impressions – When buyers drive up to a home, there is only one chance for that first impression.  Make sure that the exterior of your home makes a statement.  For starters, power washing the outside will help rid the home of dirt and debris.  Try to avoid parking cars in the driveway to give the impression that there is plenty of parking in the garage.  Also power wash oil stains and debris in the driveway.  Make sure the landscaping is maintained and add color if possible by adding potted plants and/or flowers.  Even your front door will make a statement, so be sure that it’s clean, touch up any chipping paint if needed, and make sure the locks don’t stick. 

2)      Make Obvious Repairs – Repair any peeling exterior paint or damaged siding, especially in the front of the home.  Make sure the front door hinges and hardware work perfectly, and the doorbell too since one of the worst first impressions is a non-working doorbell.  If for some reason you can’t get it to work, place a note over the doorbell that reads “Please Knock”.  Sliders and doors all need to be oiled and working smoothly including the sliding screen doors too.  You want that smooth transition from room to room and from indoor to outdoor living.

3)  Get a Pest Inspection.  Although not mandatory, there are quite a few loans that will require that a termite inspection be done.  It may be worth it to do this ahead of time, so that your buyers know what they’re getting into ahead of time and you can hire an inspector that you trust.  If you choose to clear all Section 1 problems (active infestation), be sure to hire a contractor or professional and then have the inspector return to give a clear report.  This inspection report and/or clearance can be provided to a buyer, often times even attached to the MLS listing. 

4) Empty the Garage.  This is my favorite recommendation for sellers because it’s one of the best tips for selling your home much quicker. A garage is typically the man’s space, but both men and women always want to see if they have room to store their items and they will always look in the garage. A clean and empty garage is always attractive to future buyers, so either clear out as much as possible or rent a storage unit and take everything in the garage and put it in storage for a month or two. You can also use the storage unit for the decluttering, which is the next step.

5) Clear Out the Clutter.  Difficult as it may be for any homeowner, it’s very important to declutter and depersonalize the entire house. Buyers need to be able to visualize their furniture and their possessions in your home and if you have too much of your stuff hanging around they won’t be able to do this. Less of your stuff in your house makes the room cleaner and larger and everything seems much calmer. A staged home is a good example of how much of your personalized possessions should be present – which is not much, especially in the main living areas.  Less clutter enhances the architectural details or unique accents in your home too.

6) Interior Sprucing.   Fresh paint on the walls is probably the best thing you can do to add appeal to the interior of the house for future buyers. Saturated colors on walls are less attractive than neutrals; consider painting it a grey, tan, or white so future buyers can envision their own color and art on the walls. Touch up the baseboards and trim also since dirty trim and scuffed up baseboards make a home look dingy.  Clean the whole house including the windows and the carpets to rid the home of dust and odors and keep them fresh and clean until escrow closes. Hire a professional window washer or carpet cleaner if necessary.

7) Price it the home Correctly.  Resist the urge to overprice your home especially in the current real estate market. Your personal attachment to your home may cause you to list the home for more than its worth, but you must be realistic about its true value. The ideal time for an offer is within the first 30 days, so setting the right price is key. If it’s priced too high, the home may not get showings, and you’ll be forced to reduce the price to leave buyers wondering what is wrong with your home.

8) Demand Good Marketing Photos.  Most real estate agents and brokers underestimate the importance of good marketing images of a home. Good images will attract more buyers, poor images have the opposite effect. For examples of excellent marketing photos go to: www.BrentHaywoodPhotography.com

9)  Show It Well (No Pets or Bad Odors)  Having a pet in the home isn’t always the best idea when showing the house to new buyers since they can be distracting. You want your buyers looking at the home and not worrying if it’s okay if the cat goes outside or if the dog is friendly or not. Pets need to be kept away from the showing, whether you take them on a walk, place them in a room away from buyers, or take them to a friend’s house while your home is on the market.  Also be sure your house doesn’t smell like your pets either. Clean surfaces and carpets are important and air fresheners are always a good idea. Fresh flowers on the dining room table or a bowl of fruit in the kitchen make your home’s living spaces feel fresher and more appealing.

10) Hire the Right Agent.  We have many years of experience in the San Diego market, we have listed hundreds of properties in various price points.  We believe in constant communication and respond to calls and emails right away. When we list the property, we ensure that we receive from our sellers all the selling points of the home including such things as upgraded appliances, air conditioning, new fixtures, modern technology, home alarms, etc. We will also do the research on obtaining details about your neighborhood, HOA (if applicable), as well as schools, parks, and other amenities.  And in this challenging market, we are also extremely versed at dealing with short sales, foreclosures and other distressed situations. 

 Source – http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2012/03/ten-tips-for-selling-your-home/

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Mary Ellen Haywood
CA BRE License #01264878

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
810 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Office: 619-269-2277
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