Are you getting ready to sell your home? If so, there are a few things that you will need to do to prepare the house for sale. You only get one chance to make a first impression and to make the asking price more attractive to buyers.
What to Know About Selling Your Home
The Asking Price
If you need help estimating your home’s market value, talk to neighbors, search the internet or consult with an agent to establish the average asking price for homes that are comparable to yours. For a more accurate asking price, comparable homes should be located in the same neighborhood as your home with similar features and square footage.
How to Price Your Home
Several factors should not dictate how you price your home. What you paid for your home, the amount of cash you need from the sale, what another real estate agency says your home is worth, and even what an appraiser says your home is worth does not affect its value. Market conditions, current interest rates, features, condition, etc… are among the “many” factors that agents look at to determine the price of a home.
Before selling your home you should take some time to spruce up the outside. Buyers will be much more likely to look at a house that has curb appeal. Start by cleaning up the yard: mow the grass, rake the leaves, trim all bushes and trees. If necessary paint, stain, or mend fences, decks and sheds. You should also find a place to store outdoor items such as kids’ toys or lawn and garden equipment. Once the yard has been cleaned up consider adding inexpensive additions such as potted plants or flowers.
Your Home’s Exterior
If your home’s exterior looks run-down buyers may turn away before they even enter your home. Make a home repair checklist to start chipping away at small projects before you list your home. Repair bent gutters, loose shingles and cracked windows before putting your house up for sale. If you have the money and the resources you may want to consider painting your home’s siding, window sashes, shutters and trim.
Your Home’s Interior
Start by cleaning the house thoroughly. Remove all cobwebs, dust, and anything else that makes the house appear unclean. Take time to wash the windows, floors and, if necessary, the walls. Next, work on making the home seem as spacious as possible. Remove all clutter and store any items that you do not need. Furniture, knick-knacks and art should be kept to a minimum. When your clutter has been removed, buyers will have an easier time picturing how their personal items will fit into the home. Consider staging your home as this may help increase the marketability of your home. If necessary paint the walls and the trim. Paint can be a very inexpensive way to change the look of a room. When choosing a paint color keep in mind that lighter, more neutral colors help rooms appear more spacious and sell better than homes with darker interiors.
The Buyer Can Determine the Home Value
The value of your home is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay in today’s market based on comparing your home to others currently on the market. Buyers today are more value conscious than ever. They look at homes in a wide range of towns and cities. When they look at your home, their extensive market knowledge and experience tells them quickly whether it is priced correctly.
Even the best agent from the best company with the most innovative marketing will not be able to sell a home that is not priced correctly. Focus on pricing your home correctly. Overpricing a home is the single most harmful factor to significantly lowering your final sales price. Why? Your home will generate the most excitement the first few weeks on the market. When you overprice your home, agents and buyers will use your home to justify the sale of another property correctly priced. No amount of staging and upgrades will overcome a home that is out of its price league however there are ways to increase the value of your home depending on your time frame to sell and the amount time and money you are willing to invest.
Buyers and agents compare your home to the other homes in the market using the “big four” indicators of values: location, square footage, style and age. Pricing right and making fast adjustments in your price if you’ve missed the target is critical because your property does not have a long “shelf life”. Generally speaking, buyers and agents do not have a opinion of homes that stay on the market longer than the area average.