The big question that sellers have when they decide to list their house is “ where do I begin?”. The process can be overwhelming if you don’t have someone in the industry, like a Real Estate professional, to guide you through the process every step of the way. The decision to sell can be a big one for some people. Every circumstance is different. We recommend these five key points, to our clients, on “what to know before you sell.”
First things first. Make sure all your paperwork is in order. When we say paperwork, we mean anything pertaining to the house… all Certificate of Occupancy’s, Warranties for Appliances, The Deed. You should always keep a folder in your safe so it is accessible. Organization in a business transaction will move the process along seamlessly and efficiently.
Choosing when to sell is another important part of the process. Statistically speaking, the highest number of listings come to market in April through June. A typical Real Estate transaction takes anywhere from 45-60 day’s from the time the contracts are signed to the time the property closes. People who have a family, with school aged children, try to solidify their home in time for the new school year in September. That being said, you are going up against an influx of inventory that all have the same mindset as you do. Selling at a different time, can definitely increase your chances of supply and demand. If there are less houses on the market, and your home is a “diamond", it may get sold quicker for top dollar.
Preparing your home for sale is our third “Need to Know” tip. What is the first thing a buyer seeings when searching for a home? Whether it is online or in person, the first thing is the Exterior or “Curb Appeal". You can only make one first impression. The minute a home buyer sees the outside of your home, is like the game of Black Jack. Do I want to chance it and pick up a card or do I stay where i am?
The first impression is what drives the home buyer to either “see what’s inside”, or say “this isn’t for me.” Some things that “catch your eye” on the exterior of a home are flowers or a nicely manicured lawn. This generally can be an indication that the property, in total, is taken care of. If the exterior is well maintained, the interior should be as well.
As for the interior; By doing a few inexpensive “fixes” to your home, it can be worth it in the long run. For example, spackeling the nail holes in the walls or painting the spare bedroom are all small things that people will notice. Removing clutter and depersonalizing the home are additional small ticket items that will go a long way.
People understand that you are moving. The house does not need to look “staged” or like someone doesn’t live there. However, the rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in 24 hours then put it away. Like the blender on the kitchen counter or the hand lotion in the bathroom. If it can go in a cabinet or closet, than do it. Less is more.
Boxes can be visible. Line them up against the walls in the rooms, no higher than waist level to allow the potential buyer to still visualize the room.
As for depersonalizing; remove any pictures of you or your family. The main focus is the home and what it has to offer the potential buyer, not the picture of your kids when they were babies. You want their attention to be 100% focused on envisioning themselves in the house.
The next tip is pricing. Pricing your home correctly makes all the difference and the market condition will play a critical role. Determining the price of a home has a few components. We look at the comparable homes in the area that have sold in the last 6 months. Based on this, with other factors, we can determine where your house should be priced.
Now, this is only one portion of the “pricing” assessment. The next question is “how quickly do you want to sell your home?” Have you already purchased another property and have to sell it quickly? If you “Price to Sell” there is a strong possibility there will be multiple offers on your property which generally tends to sell over asking price. If you price on the higher side of the comparable homes, then you may look at a price reduction or the home sitting on the market for potentially longer than you expected.
This is a partnership. We don’t go into a Listing Appointment and tell a seller what their home should be listed at. We think it is important for a dialog to take place and every one be comfortable on the price and the strategy.
Lastly, and quite possibly the more Important part is Hiring a Realtor. You need someone to have your best interest at heart, right ? You want someone that knows the ins and outs of the business and has trusted professionals in the industry that can be referred while guiding you to a successful transaction. It is important to hire a trusted and experienced Real Estate Agent that knows and understands your town, area and needs.
But not only is it an “experience” thing. But it’s also a “connection” thing. You are trusting, and confiding in this person to help you with one of the biggest transactions of your life. You have to “mesh well” with them, as they say.
It is important that you feel comfortable and confident with your Real Estate Agent. Sometimes personalities will just click and other times, not so much. We pride ourselves on our relationships.
Lastly, it is important to do your due diligence. Go online. Research the agent. Check out their social media. Read their reviews. Are they relevant in today’s industry?
These are all very important things we would urge anyone considering “us” to do. You can hear from real past clients, what they have to say. How many transactions the agent has handled in the past. Where their business is generally located. Not to say these are all determining factors, however these all should be at least “considered” before hiring.
Now just to recap, the take away here is simple. Make sure you’re organized, Sell at the right time for you, Prepare your home for sale, Price your home correctly and lastly, hire an experienced Real Estate Agent that you Trust and to help you with the items mentioned above. By following these tips, we can ensure you a successful and simplified Real Estate Transaction.
Yours in Service,
Richie Jr. & Taleen Krug