As summer gets into full swing, we are in one of the most popular times of the year for home sales. To make sure you are ready for your summer sale, be sure to follow these easy steps to get on the right track for a successful, profitable sale.
Clean Your Clutter
Cluttered homes look smaller and less desirable to visitors, so start by clearing out your junk. Not only can you make your home look nicer, but you can also make some extra cash selling your stuff or pad your tax deduction with a big donation to a non-profit like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
If you find the idea of de-cluttering overwhelming, go through your stuff one room at a time. Pick one closet or a less-used room to start. If you look at each part of the home as a mini-project, you will be through it in no time.
Pack Up Early
Clear the appearance of clutter even more by starting to pack up early. Obviously you will want your kitchen usable and need clothes, but storage and miscellaneous stuff around the house is easy to box up and put away early.
I visited an open house last week and no rooms in the house had extra items sitting out. It gave the appearance of a large, open home with plenty of space to grow into.
Clearing out your stuff is an important step in staging a home for sale. Removing personal items like photos and accessories helps prospective buyers picture themselves in the home.
Research Your Local Market
Use your favorite real estate app to find homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood and other homes for sale nearby. Look at the quality of the homes and their price per square foot to compare your home with the competition.
You might find that your home is outdated compared to neighbors or that you may be able to demand a higher selling price than you first had in mind. Local comparisons are one of the most popular methods to determine the value of a home.
You can also register with a tool like Zillow or Trulia to get updated value estimates in your email.
When I recently sold my condo, I paid for servicing and new filters on my heating and cooling units before the inspection to ensure I was able to get by without any trouble. That was $400 well worth it.
Look around the home objectively to identify areas where a buyer might be unhappy with the property. Issues you may not care about could bother a buyer, so don’t look over anything even if you’re used to it.
Each home has different aging appliances or worn flooring or broken screens or any of a number of potential problems. Fix your home’s problems before you start showing to speed up the process and improve any offers before they come in.
Find a Great Agent
Now that your home is ready to sell, find a great agent. Start by looking for agents in your area that specialize in your type of home, then interview a few agents to find the one that is the best fit for you.
When meeting with potential agents, be sure to ask the right questions and find someone who will best represent your needs. It is important to find an agent with flexible hours to show your home when your buyers will be available, will market your home to the widest audience, and will work hard to find you the best rate available.
A trustworthy, hardworking agent can mean the difference between a successful sale and a bad experience.
Set Realistic Expectations
As much as we all want, we can’t sell our homes for more than they are worth. A home is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.
When pricing your home, it is okay to price a little higher than you expect the home to sell for, but if you list the price too high you will scare off potential buyers before the walk in the door.
Offers may start rolling in the day your property goes on sale, but in most cases patience pays. A study by Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner found that houses that stay on the market a little while longer often fetch a better price. Don’t rush to take the first offer if it is too low when a higher one might be a week away.