In today’s real estate market of collapses, short sales and foreclosures to sell your home you need to be smart, understand your neighborhood and market your home in a way that shows value and curb appeal. The cookie cutter homes of the 1980′s and 1990′s are separated by what you added, changed or did on the outside and inside to make your home different than others within your neighborhood. Here are the 10 steps to get your home on the market and sell faster than any of the other homes in your neighborhood.
- Take yourself out of your home, obvious right?
Basically what we’re saying is prepare home to sell like you would see a model home. I you have items in your house that make you feel comfortable might make others be deterred from buying your home. Look at each room as an opportunity for someone to see themselves living in your house. Take ideas from home magazines, go to other properties in the area to see how their homes look inside and out. Be prepared to do things you might not like but the buyer will like, market your home like a model home
- How does the front of the house look?
First impressions are everything. If you walk up to home see that the lawn is not manicured, the front door has no screen door, spiders are hanging around making their home around the door your chances of selling the home will go down very dramatically. Remember, as someone walks up to your door think of how you would like to present an image of show home, creat curb appeal. The lawn is an easy thing to fix, if you have some weeds, cut it and then get some feeder that makes the lawn look green overnight, especially before an open house. Look next at the front door, how does it look? If it needs paint go the the hardware store and pick out a color that will pop, like deep blue, forest green or red. If you do not have a screen door, invest the $250.00 and get one. Make sure the trim around the windows are painted and clean, if not paint or pressure wash the front of the house to give the appearance of a clean home. Do you have flowers in front? If not get bright beautiful flowers that make the home look bright and cheery. Boring is bad and dreary, present a happy image before someone walks in.
- The backyard, don’t forget about this gem
Just because you did everything on the front of the home do not forget about the backyard. Where do people go to relax when it’s sunny and warm? the backyard! A couple things to think about is can I see myself relaxing in the backyard of this house? Can I see people wanting come back here and feel comfortable? This is how you have to look at your backyard when selling your home, even if you’re a hermit, you have to think outside of your comfort zone to sell your home. No concrete patio, no deck, no problem. You can buy a nice trellis, get 16 to 20 2×2 concrete blocks, a table and some chairs and now you have created a nice area to go and entertain. The cost will be less than $500.00 if you look at local garage sales for a table and chairs, those are easy to find. If you have a deck or concrete patio, the biggest thing is to update and paint the deck or pressure wash the concrete to give a good appearance. Be sure to make sure you have abundance of flowers, bushes and trees to create the right look and feel.
- Are you a pack rate or a clean freak?
Well if your a clean freak and everything is spotless like walking into a museum that’s great but be a little loose so the people coming into your home feel like you live their and not just on weekends. If you’re a pack rat and you need someone Hoarders than we are in trouble. Seriously what buyers do not want to see is cluder, if they see cluder the buyer will be seeing I have a lot of work to do and more money to spend. If you have too much in house, rent a storage locker when selling your home. It won’t be easy but again you want people to feel like they want to live in your home.
- Show some flair!
Remember the movie “Office Space”? they talk about having flair to show off your personality the same goes true for your home. People will see 5 to 10 open house on a Sunday. You need to make your home stand out in a good way. Typical things that stand out, great pillows on a couch, if you have a fireplace a great mantel, if you want people to love the kitchen make them feel like that they could eat and cook while they stand in it. The bedrooms have the windows opened with great window treatments. Finally invest in some air fresheners, what is the one thing you always remember when you go to a hotel or a nice resort, the smell of freshness people love a home that smells fresh and inviting.
- Call the Home Inspector
Make sure as you start this process you call a certified home inspector, display the results and than let the prospective buyer see what you have done to fix everything and update the out of date items. This is very important because if you want top dollar for house in this real estate market you need to be prepared to make the home ready to move into without any additional dollars for the new home buyer to spend. Everything you do to the home is create confidence in the buyer so make sure you have no surprises for the buyer to find out.
- Are you a Mr or Mrs. Fix it?
Are you one of those home owners who likes to fix things? If you are than do it! If the home inspector left you a bunch items to fix around the house and you can do a majority of them than do them and save yourself the money. If you do not how to hang drywall, fix roofs or put up siding than stay away from those items and call a professional. Again, this is part of the process you want to start in the beginning before you call a real estate agent or you decide to put your own home up for sale. These items could take up to 6 to 12 months or longer to fix so make sure you have a plan in place.
- Understand your neighborhood and prices
If you’re thinking of selling take a walk around your own neighborhood, take notice of the homes that are full sale, write them down, go back to your home and look at those houses online. Now go out to other homes in your area setting up a two mile radius from your home and see how your home stacks up against other homes in the area for sale. Go to their open houses, even if you know the person, that friend or acquaintance you know is more apt to tell you what they have gone through so far in the process. Once you have done your job on the homes in your area you will then know how to market your own home. Do not rely on the real estate agent for this. They can be very helpful but you have lived in your area for years and you know what made you buy in the first place. We are not saying the real estate agent cannot help you but if you do the upfront work the real estate agent has a much better chance to act a consultant to you and sell your home better to other agents in the area to sell your home faster.
- Great Photo’s create great curb appeal
If you’re photographer great! if you the casual photog that is ok too, but if you do not know lighting or how to take a good picture than hire a professional. The cost is $150 to $200 for a good photographer to take pictures of your house and give them to you. It’s worth the cost and your house will stand out better than any other house in the area. Lighting, shadows and colors is everything when marketing a home. By having the right tools when taking pictures of your home, your home can look like a home out of Better Homes and Gardens.
- Real Estate Agents and Mortgage Brokers
These two people are the cornerstone of your process. As we said, if you do the upfront work your real estate agent will be a great consultant and sell your listing to other agents to sell your home faster. By doing the upfront work you can also negotiate a better commission in your favor but if the real estate agent has to do a lot of the work to sell your home than you will pay more to sell your home. Try to find a real estate agent who either lives in the area or knows the housing market in your neighborhood. The mortgage broker will be your biggest help in getting you into your next home but also helping you understand the market in your area to sell your home faster. The idea is selling your home is ether to move into a bigger home or down size to a smaller home so the mortgage broker can tell you how much you will need for the bigger home or how much you will save in a smaller home. Be smart and get a recommendation from a friend when choosing a mortgage broker. The fees can be a pain especially if they are just a broker and not working a a bank directly.