Janet Laughead's Blog
Putting your home up for sale can elicit a myriad of emotions from you and your spouse -- everything from excitement and anticipation to fear and sadness. It's only natural to feel a mixture of emotions, especially if your home represents years of memories, countless milestones, and stages of family growth.
A cautionary note to keep in mind is that it's easy to get caught up in emotion-based decisions that could derail your chances for making a fast sale.
A primary example would be pricing your home higher than it might actually be worth. Despite the fact that you've experienced great family memories there and spent tens of thousands of dollars to maintain, upgrade, and beautify your home, those factors usually do not translate into a sale price that exceeds the property's appraised value. Your perspective, which may be based on subjective criteria, such as all the "blood, sweat, and tears" you put into your house -- not to mention the "TLC" that went into it -- does not hold water in the minds of would-be buyers.
What Does Determine a Home's Value?
The unvarnished truth is that the value of your home is mostly based on prevailing market conditions, the price at which comparable homes in your neighborhood recently sold, and what the market will bear. Effectively setting a price that will bring in the most money without driving away qualified and otherwise-interested buyers is a delicate balance. The homeowner rarely has the objectivity or the specialized knowledge to accurately set the right price. That's where real estate agents comes in, and why it's advisable to sell your home through a licensed agent, rather than attempting a "For Sale By Owner" approach.
Minimizing Bumps in the Road
A good real estate agent will work on your behalf to effectively market your home, collaborate with other agents in the area to schedule showings and spread the word about your listing, and advise you on ways to improve both the curb appeal of your home and its interior appearance. Your agent can also provide indispensable negotiating help, as well as guidance about seller disclosure requirements and other government regulations.
The bottom line is that real estate agents are well-versed in the intricate process of listing, marketing, and selling residential property. Since there are a lot of forms to sign, deadlines to meet, agreements to reach, and formalities to handle, those are among the many sound reasons to enlist the help of a professional.
Although the process of selling a residential property often involves delays, setbacks, and obstacles, most real estate agents are quite adept at solving problems and getting past difficulties. In addition to the marketing, networking, and strategizing they're doing on your behalf, a good agent can also be counted on to provide you with regular progress reports and boost your spirits when you're feeling discouraged.
All house buyers have different pet peeves when it comes to evaluating homes, but there are a lot of easy fixes you can do to reduce the chances of losing a sale. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Squeaky doors: Lubricating squeaky hinges is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your chances of making a positive impression on prospective home buyers. A seemingly small thing like squeaky door hinges can make your house seem old, poorly maintained, and in disrepair. A squeaky door hinge is probably not going to make or break the sale of your house, but in combination with other little flaws that prospects might notice, it could have a major impact.
Weeds cropping up: Another clear signal to prospects that your property hasn't been properly maintained -- at least in their minds -- is the existence of weeds. Other than an overgrown lawn, nothing detracts from curb appeal more than weeds coming up everywhere, especially in driveway cracks, walkways, and front steps. If your home is on the market or you're considering selling it in the near future, getting rid of noticeable weeds will help improve your property's curb appeal and make a better impression on prospective buyers. If you hate the idea of handling or applying commercial weed killers, non-toxic household items like vinegar or salt have been known to nip the weed problem in the bud. Whether you use store-bought herbicides or natural remedies, make sure you don't damage any nearby plants that you want to protect. In some cases, manually pulling out weeds and carefully digging out the roots is the most risk-free approach, although it's also the most labor intensive!
Dust and cobwebs: No matter how thorough you think you've been in cleaning your house, you're probably going to miss a few spots that prospective buyers will notice. In small amounts, a little dust is not going to make or break your sale, but like squeaky door hinges, small problems add up! Areas that homeowners and house cleaners often overlook include baseboards, ceiling fans, and corners of ceilings.
Unpleasant odors: If your house smells like pets, mold, or mothballs, that sometimes can be a deal breaker. Bad odors are a major sensory turnoff that could easily sour people on the idea of making an offer on your house. Musty odors are often indicative of a larger problem, such as a damp basement, leaky pipes, water damage, or mold infestation. Eliminating odors prior to having your house shown can be as simple as doing a thorough cleaning, or as complex and expensive as hiring a mold remediation service.
The good news about preparing your home for sale is that a seasoned real estate agent can provide you with the advice, guidance, and help you need to maximize your chances for attracting offers and selling your property for its full market value.
Selling your home can be an exciting time because it usually represents a positive change in your life. Chances are, putting your house on the market means you're moving up in your career, expanding your family, or even retiring.
Regardless of the reason you're selling your home, one thing's for certain: You'll want the process to go as smoothly as possible!
The first step to making that happen involves choosing a real estate agent who's experienced, easy to work with, familiar with your neighborhood, and ready to help you navigate the many twists and turns of selling your home. If this is the first time you've sold a home -- or if you haven't done it in a decade or more -- you'll need lots of advice on everything from pricing your home correctly to enhancing its appearance and making the best possible impression on potential buyers.
Since you usually don't get a second opportunity to make a great first impression, there are two crucial concepts to remember that can make or break your chances of selling your house at the best price and in a relatively short period of time.
Curb Appeal: One of your top objectives in listing your house is to attract as many qualified buyers as you can. The first hurdle you'll need to clear is making your property look inviting from the outside.
Whether you're selling real estate or consumer products, attractive packaging is what catches people's attention and draws them in. The outside appearance of your home and yard is the first thing that triggers either interest or disinterest among prospective buyers. House hunters often make a snap decision in a matter of seconds about whether to pursue a real estate listing, and that decision is typically based on factors like the condition of your lawn, the neatness of your shrubbery, and the appearance of the exterior off your house.
Basic ways to enhance your home's curb appeal would include applying a fresh coat of paint, maintaining a manicured lawn, and -- if the season allows -- placing colorful potted or hanging flowers on your porch or near your front door. Good curb appeal advice would vary, depending on the style, size, layout, and condition of your property, so the best place to turn for customized curb appeal ideas would be your real estate agent.
Home Staging: Most people are familiar with the concept of home staging, but don't necessarily know how to go about it in the most effective way. Part of the problem stems from the fact that homeowners can't objectively look at their own home and see what needs to be improved or changed. Outside opinions, such as those from a professional home stager, Realtor, or home decorator, can be extremely helpful. If you happen to have a friend or relative with a flair for home organizing or decorating, they may be willing to provide you with some productive suggestions, too!
Home sellers rejoice! The housing market moves rapidly, which means home sellers who allocate the necessary time and resources to enhance their residences should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in their properties as soon as they become available.
Ultimately, navigating the fast-paced housing market can be simple for home sellers – here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.
1. Focus on Your House's Curb Appeal
For home sellers, it is paramount for your house to make a positive first impression. Otherwise, homebuyers may shy away from your residence if it fails to garner their attention.
Fortunately, it can be quick and easy to revamp your home's exterior and boost your property's curb appeal.
A home seller who mows the front lawn and cleans his or her home's siding can bolster the property's curb appeal instantly. Also, don't forget to clear off walkways and remove leaves and weeds from your lawn to further enhance your home's curb appeal.
2. Price Your Home Competitively
A homebuyer may not even have to set up a home showing to be turned off by your property. In fact, a home seller who sets a high asking price for his or her residence risks alienating potential homebuyers immediately. Conversely, if you set the right asking price from the get-go, you may receive many great offers on your residence when it hits the housing market.
Assess the prices of comparable houses in your area to determine a "competitive" asking price for your residence. By doing so, you'll be able to establish fair market value for your house and improve your chances of a quick home sale.
Don't forget to be flexible with your asking price as well. And don't forget, if a homebuyer submits an offer that falls below your initial expectations, you can always counter this proposal.
3. Work with a Fast-Paced Real Estate Agent
To succeed in today's fast-paced housing market, you need a real estate agent who understands what it takes to list a property and maximize its value at any time. Thus, hiring an experienced real estate agent ensures that you can generate significant interest in a fast-paced housing market.
An experienced real estate agent will be able to promote your residence to the right homebuyers consistently. This real estate professional will go the extra mile to ensure that you can add your property to the housing market and get the best results possible. Furthermore, your real estate agent will address any of your concerns and questions and ensure that you receive the support you deserve throughout the home selling process.
Listing a home in a fast-paced real estate market may seem difficult, particularly for first-time home sellers. But with an experience real estate agent at your disposal, you can overcome any housing market hurdles. This real estate professional will simplify the process of listing your residence, and ultimately, help you optimize your home's value.
Take advantage of the aforementioned home selling tips, and you can minimize the guesswork associated with selling your home in a fast-paced real estate market.