When it comes time to sell your property, it can be a stressful time. Often, you’re not only selling, but also looking for somewhere new to buy. This means not only locating, approving of, researching, and purchasing a new property, but also the stress of moving.
It’s not always a walk in the park.
In order to make the process as painless as possible, it’s best to do yourself a favor and make your own home as easy to sell as possible. While it’s always the market that determines what your house will sell for, there are a few things you as the owner can do to hasten the process and reduce the number of things buyers will ask for when writing contracts to purchase your property. These are the 9 P’s of home selling.
- Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Try to remember that you love your house, because it’s YOUR HOUSE. Not everyone will see it the same way you do. Messes on countertops, overgrown landscaping, marks on walls, clothing strewn about-all things that can turn off a potential home buyer. Clean up the place. Make it tidy. Remember, people know someone lives here, but they want to be able to picture living there themselves.
- Paint the walls. A fresh coat of paint is relatively inexpensive but can really make a used home look fresh and pop with color and charm. You can do this yourself, invite friends over to help you, or pay a handyman to do it if you’re too busy. For the money, fresh paint will be the best return you can get.
- Professional cleaning. Have someone come by and scrub the bathrooms and kitchen, professionally clean the flooring, and dust the furniture and shelving. Remember, your home may not be brand new, but it can still feel like it is to someone who’s never lived there. A good clean home shows pride of ownership and gives the impression it’s been taken care of the whole time. This can have a big sub conscious effect on potential home buyers feeling comfortable choosing your home over the competition.
- Pets should be kept outside or in crates. Yes, you love Fido and Fluffy. They are your world and you couldn’t live without them. But not everyone feels the same. You want your home to appeal to as many people as possible. This includes cat people if you have dogs, dog people if you have cats, and no pet people if you have pets. While it’s understandable Nemo may have to stay on the kitchen countertop, all other animals should be secured when showing the property to potential home buyers. Don’t let your lovable pooch be the reason someone is turned off from your home.
- Protect your valuables by keeping them locked up and away. This should go without saying, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. The realtor showing your home can’t be there in every room for every person coming along to see, and you never knew who showed up just to tag along.
- Put your home out there for as many people to see as possible. While your realtor may be working hard to get your home in front of as many people as they can, it won’t hurt to email/Facebook friends and family with information that your home is for sale with your realtor’s contact information. You never know where the person to buy your home will find it!
- Pay for an inspection. Most home buyers are going to pay for an inspection, and often use items flagged in the inspection to negotiate a lower price for the home. Some repairs can be deal killers when banks refuse to lend on a property in need of certain repairs. Do yourself a favor and if your home is older, pay for an inspection and repair the minor issues you can afford to before the home buyers see it. You’ll be glad you did when nothing slows down your escrow period and you don’t get the additional stress of negotiating for and making additional repairs while trying to negotiate the contract of the home you want to buy, and arranging for your stuff to be moved.
- Pro-actively approaching the selling of your home can pay dividends in the long run towards your peace of mind, ease of transaction, and stronger position when negotiating. Don’t fall victim to procrastination (the evil “P” of real estate”).
- Position yourself to have answers for any objections home buyers may need. Ask a successful realtor for any problems they can foresee arising when the home is under contract, and consider making the necessary changes beforehand.
There you have it. A few well-timed adjustments can make all the difference in navigating a successful closing period. Don’t get caught behind the 8 ball trying to play catch up, and negotiating from a weaker position when it counts.
If you have any questions about what your home is worth, or would like to learn more about the home selling/buying process, please email me at:
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