Steps for Selling Your Home
You’ve made the decision to put your home up for sale. Whatever the reason — moving up from your starter home, job relocation, downsizing after your chicks have left the nest, or retirement — it’s a big change. Whether this is your first time selling or you’ve done it before, here are 9 smart steps to take for your most successful sale.
Find a Pro to Help You
An HGAR-member Realtor® has earned that designation through education and licensing, must adhere to a strict code of ethics, and has pledged to work for your best interests. They have deep knowledge of your specific local market — comparable home prices, how long the stay on the market, the best times to sell, and a network of trusted partners in the real estate world.
Price It Right
Too many people overestimate what their home is worth and are afraid of taking less. So they’ll price it high, figuring they can always drop it if they don’t get an offer. Your Realtor® will do research on comparable house sales, assess your home’s condition, and work with you to find a price that’s realistic. If you shoot too high, you might actually lower your final price — when buyers see a house they know has been on the market for a while, they tend to feel more comfortable making a low-ball offer.
Make a Good First Impression
Curb appeal is real. So spruce up the garden, put down fresh mulch, paint your front door, and keep the entryway clean and uncluttered. Your Realtor® will have tips and tricks to make things look great, whether you do it yourself or bring in outside help.
Cut Through the Clutter
Clear out closets, be ruthless with tchotchkes. Think about it as the first step of your move, if it helps. Pack up out-of-season clothes, but remember to mark the boxes well. If you don’t have enough space in the attic or basement, rent a storage space. Your Realtor® can help by giving you a fresh perspective on how your home looks to prospective buyers.
Spruce It Up
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way toward making a home look and feel well-cared for. Anticipate what an inspection might find — have you gotten used to the dripping faucet? Or the peeling paint near your gutters? To get the best offers, put a little time or money into making the small repairs that can add up costing you big if you let them go.
Stage Rooms for the Buyers
Think about how the spaces in your home will most likely be used. For example, If you’re an empty-nester who’s taken over the kids’ bedrooms for an office or hobby space, consider downsizing your workspace and adding an inexpensive inflatable mattress made up as a bed — families who’ve outgrown a smaller space won’t have to work too hard to visualize it as a bedroom.
Buyers will want to see your home. But they don’t want to see you in it. If you want to sell, you have to accommodate them. Have a realistic talk with your Realtor® before your home goes active. How much time do you need in advance of an appointment? Can you be out and leave a clean house with an hour’s notice? Or is 24 hours more do-able? Most people will be looking at houses before or after work hours and on weekends.
Think of Your Pets
You love them, but not everyone does. Take them with you or make arrangements so they’ll be safe within your home, and to minimize their impact on your home for showing. Clean up dishes and food. Keep your yard cleaned up and litter boxes tidy. Fish tanks should be clean. A barking dog creates a more stressful environment for the buyers — and Fido, too. Take measures so your cats don’t escape if they’re indoor felines. Realtors® showing buyers your home want to minimize any dangers or stress for your pets, and will carefully abide by any showing instructions your Realtor® has entered into the MLS.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Selling your home can be stressful — and there can be moments of uncertainty as you work through the process of getting offers, making counter-offers and getting through to the final settlement. Your Realtor® has gone through this before, and can offer advice and encouragement.
At HGAR, we’re at your side from start to finish. Good luck on the sale of your home and on the next chapter of your life!