5 Tips for Selling Your Home FAST

5 Tips for Selling Your Home FAST

Do you need to sell your home FAST? You need to approach things a little differently if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible. Read on for our top five tips for selling your home fast!

1: First impressions are everything!

Buyers draw a lot of conclusions based on what they see within the first minute of visiting your home. A house that looks neat and tidy suggests that the home has been well maintained. A messy house makes buyers wonder if you’ve been messy with maintenance and repairs.

Make sure your yard is tidy and has good curb appeal. This is one area where you may want to consider doing some upgrades before listing your home. Usually, investments in curb appeal have a significant positive impact on the value of your home. It’s still a good idea to discuss this with your Realtor first, though. Your Realtor can advise whether or not the investment is likely to pay off.

If nothing else, just make sure the exterior is well mowed, weeded, and clutter-free. If algae has formed on the side of your house – something very common in our humid climate – have your home professionally power washed.

On the inside, make sure your home is spotless and free of clutter. Clean, clean, clean, and then do some more cleaning! Do whatever it takes to scale down your stuff so that buyers have nice, clear views throughout the home. This includes removing personal photos. The old adage is true… You want buyers to picture themselves living in your house. That’s hard to do when your photos and stuff are all over the place.

Consider fresh paint if your walls are scuffed or dirty. Even if you’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom, dingy walls can create the impression that the home is dirty.

2: Price your home competitively.

This is probably the #1 factor that will determine whether or not your house sells quickly. If you over-price, you’ll have little interest from buyers. And the longer your home sits on the market, the less appealing it is. It’s hard to overcome the initial impression that the owner (you) isn’t willing to sell at market value.

It’s your realtor’s job to understand the market and provide guidance on pricing – carefully consider their advice! This article about how to price your home also has some helpful advice.

If you aren’t seeing much activity once you’ve listed your house, it’s probably because your price is a bit high. Discuss lowering the price with your Realtor. It’s better to do that sooner rather than later if your goal is to sell your home quickly.

3: Tackle any necessary repairs.

Most offers will be contingent upon a home inspection. Also, you’re legally required to let buyers know about any problems you’re aware of. So if there’s something that needs to be fixed, go ahead and take care of it. This will result in a better inspection and a faster close.

A word of caution though: Be realistic about your ability to tackle any repairs yourself! If you’re not experienced with repairs and maintenance, you’ll be better off hiring a professional. A sloppy repair is often worse than none at all.

Also, don’t pursue any major renovations without discussing with your Realtor first. It’s unlikely that a remodeled kitchen or bathroom will increase the value of your home enough to make it worth the cost. You’re better off reducing your price a bit to account for these outdated spaces. That gives the buyer the opportunity to make their own changes that suit their tastes and lifestyle.

4: Get great photos of your house.

Listings with great photos get significantly more traffic. Great photos practically pull buyers through your front door!

Take exterior photos on a bright, sunny day. Make sure interior photos are well lighted and in sharp focus. Open the curtains to let the natural light in. Make sure your rooms are clutter-free and looking their best. If you’re not a great photographer, ask a friend with a good eye to help you out. You may even want to consider professional photography. If that’s not an option, this article about taking real estate photos with an iPhone offers great advice.

5: Harness the power of social media!

It’s your Realtor’s responsibility to market your property, but social media makes it easy for you to help out. Ask your realtor to post your listing on their Facebook page and other social media platforms. Like and share the post, and ask your friends and family to do the same. This exponentially increases the number of people who will sell your listing.

We’d be happy to share more tips on how to sell your home fast! Just give us a call or shoot us a message if you’d like to discuss a marketing plan for you home.

How to Price Your Home

How to Price Your Home

There is one thing that matters more than anything else when selling your home: Pricing it right! The most important thing your Realtor can do is guide you through how to price your home.

The Consequences of Overpricing Your Home

Overpricing your home can have a snowball effect on the entire sales process. If you’re priced too high, you won’t get any interest in your home. Your house will sit on the market, and this looks bad to buyers. Even when you’ve dropped your price, buyers will wonder why your house has sat unsold for so long. They’ll wonder if something is wrong with your home. They’ll assume lots of people have looked at it, and no one wanted it.

That’s a scenario you definitely want to avoid! If you follow the process described below, you’ll be on the right track.

The Process of Pricing Your Home

1. Meet with your Realtor to discuss your goals for the sale. Do you need to sell as quickly as possible? Are you willing to make some improvements if that will help you get a higher price? Are there any major repairs needed that will impact the value of your home?

2. Review comps with your Realtor. After your initial meeting, your Realtor will research recent sales of comparable homes (“comps”). This is an indication of the market value of your home – more on that coming up.

3. Agree on a pricing strategy. You and your Realtor will agree on a list price based on your goals, the condition of your home, and the comps. Your strategy should also include a plan to reduce the price if you haven’t received much interest after a certain period of time. Remember, you don’t want your house sitting on the market for a long time. So if you’re not getting interest, drop your price sooner rather than later.

It’s All About Market Value

What is your house worth? Whatever someone is willing to pay for it. That’s its market value.

It can be tough to face, but buyers are never going to pay more than the current market value of your home. It doesn’t matter what you paid for your home. It doesn’t matter what its tax assessment is. It doesn’t even matter how much you love your home and how wonderful your memories are.

The only thing that matters is the market value at the time you list your house for sale. That’s why reviewing and understanding comps is so important. These recent sales are the best indicator of what your home is worth.

It’s okay to look at current listings too. That can help you understand your competition. But keep in mind that a house listed for sale is very different than a house that has actually sold. Your neighbor down the street may have their home priced higher than yours. But if you’re both overpriced, that doesn’t really matter.

An important point to note is that it’s more difficult to gauge market value in rural areas. In cities, there are tons of properties being bought and sold all the time. This keeps market value fairly steady. In rural areas, there are far fewer transactions. There’s also a lot more diversity in the types of homes that are bought and sold. This means market value can go up and down a lot in a relatively short period of time. So be prepared to drop your price fairly soon after listing if you aren’t getting much interest.

Don’t overprice to leave room for negotiation

This is a common mistake a lot of sellers make. The problem with this approach is that it will cause a lot of buyers to skip over your house right from the beginning. They’ll never even consider it because it’s overpriced.

Instead, price your home for what you really think it’s worth. If your home is priced fairly, a genuine buyer will make an offer at or very near your list price. You may need to negotiate a little, but you shouldn’t be too far apart.

Think Transactionally, Not Emotionally

When it’s time to sell your home, try to think of the process as a business transaction. We’ll be honest, that can be really hard to do. You probably love your home and have lots of happy memories there. But try to remember that your love for your home can cloud your judgement about its market value. Try to be aware of that from the beginning, and don’t take it personally if your Realtor suggests a lower price than you had in mind. Your Realtor’s goal is to help you sell your home under the best terms possible. So take a deep breath, try to step back emotionally, and trust their professional advice.

Get Ready to List

Once you have a pricing strategy, it’s time to get the house listed! Check out our post about how to host an awesome open house. If you’re in a hurry to sell, this post about how to sell your home fast is just what you need.

Ready to get your home listed? Contact us to get started!

How to Choose the Right Realtor

How to Choose the Right Realtor

Buying or selling a home is probably the largest financial transaction you’ll ever make. It can also be a very emotional process. Working with the right Realtor is critical. Read on for our advice about how to choose the right Realtor.

Choose an Experienced Realtor

It’s important to work with someone who has knowledge of all aspects of the real estate process. An experienced Realtor will guide you through the process from start to finish. They’ll let you know what to expect along the way, and they’ll make sure you’re prepared. This experience not only makes things easier for you, it will help make the financial aspects of the transaction more favorable.

Your Realtor Should Have Extensive Knowledge of the Area

Obviously, it’s helpful to have a Realtor who knows the ins-and-outs of all the neighborhoods you’re considering. They can steer you toward the areas that best suit your needs and lifestyle.

But knowledge of the area goes deeper than this. An experienced Realtor in your area will understand zoning, covenants, permitting, and regulations that may impact your use of the property. They’ll also have relationships with the local service providers and government staff. This means that they can help you troubleshoot any issues you may run into. Your Realtor’s knowledge of the area and their local relationships can save you a lot of hassle, time, and money.

Your Realtor Should be Trustworthy

Buying or selling a property is a major financial transaction. It’s also a very personal process. You are going to spend a lot of time with your Realtor. Your Realtor is going to know a lot about your lifestyle and finances by the time your transaction is complete. Make sure you’re working with someone you trust to have this information and handle it appropriately.

Your Realtor Should be Part of a Great Team

Although you’ll spend most of your time working directly with your Realtor, you’ll also be relying on their team. You need a Realtor whose colleagues can step in and help out on short notice if something comes up unexpectedly.

There’s also a tremendous amount of paperwork and legal documentation involved in any real estate transaction. So it’s important to consider the support staff at your Realtor’s firm. Are they experienced, reliable, and extremely detail-oriented? Do they hold the proper licenses and certifications to process all of the documentation?

If you’re selling your home, you also want to consider the marketing support your Realtor’s team offers. What is their approach to marketing your home? What tools do they use? Do they have a strong social media and web presence? These are all important things to evaluate when selecting your Realtor.

Make Sure Your Personalities are a Good Fit

You and your Realtor are in it together for the long haul! Your Realtor needs to be someone you like spending time with and can relate to. The process is a lot easier – and a lot more fun! – if you genuinely like your Realtor.

We have a team of more than a dozen Realtors who are knowledgeable, experienced, and love their jobs! Give us a shout if you’d like to schedule some time to interview one or more of our Realtors.

8 Tips to Host an AWESOME Open House

8 Tips to Host an AWESOME Open House

This weekend is National Open House Weekend! An open house is a great way to create interest in your home. But to have a truly successful open house, you need to do some work ahead of time. Read on for our top eight tips on how to host an open house.

Tip #1: Clean, clean, clean!

A clean home implies that your house has been well cared for and maintained. It sends a signal to buyers that this is a good house. It is well worth the investment to have a professional cleaning service make your house shine from top to bottom.

It’s also important to declutter. When your “stuff” is out of the way, it will be easy for potential buyers to picture their own things in the space. This is why it’s important to also remove your personal photos… You want visitors at your open house to feel like they’re walking through their house. If your family photos are everywhere, they will feel like they’re in your home, not their own.

Tip #2: Invest in your curb appeal and backyard.

First impressions are everything. When a potential buyer sees your house for the first time, you want them to be impressed before they even walk through the front door. A well-maintained lawn is a signal that the house has been well cared for overall. Invest in a good power washing to make your house look its absolute best.

Tip #3: Let the light in.

No one wants to live in a dark house. Open all the drapes and turn on every light in the house. This will make your home feel warm and welcoming.

Tip #4: Avoid strong scents.

You want your home to smell fresh and clean. If pet odors are an issue, do everything you can to get rid of them. Have the carpets professionally cleaned and remove old pet beds. Don’t try to mask odors with strong candles or room sprays. Strong scents can cause allergic reactions among some potential buyers, so they’re best avoided.

It can be a good idea to bake cookies just before the open house. This creates a warm, wonderful scent that will feel like home to most buyers.

Tip #5: Provide photos and documentation.

Buyers are really impressed when a homeowner is able to provide all of their maintenance records. Set out a file that shows the work that has been done to the house over the years. This gives buyers confidence that they’re buying a home that has been lovingly maintained and cared for.

It’s also a good idea to set out photos of your home taken during different seasons. This is especially important if you’re hosting an open house in the winter. If you have a beautiful yard that really shines in spring and summer, share those photos with buyers.

Tip #6: Clear out for the open house – and take your pets with you!

Again, you want buyers to walk through your house and picture themselves living there. That’s awfully hard to do if the current owner is in the house. Clear out of the house for the day and leave it to your Realtor to host and answer buyers’ questions.

And take your pets with you! No matter how friendly and cute your pets are, they’re a distraction to buyers. They may also trigger allergies among certain buyers, which can be enough for them to walk out and scratch your home off their list.

Tip #7: Help spread the word.

Your Realtor is responsible for marketing your open house, but consider using your own social media network to help get the word out. Post lots of pictures, mention any special features about your home, and include your Realtor’s contact info.

Tip #8: Be open to your Realtor’s feedback.

During the open house, your Realtor will hear lots of feedback from buyers. This information is extremely valuable! It may not be what you want to hear, but it’s direct insight into your market. Be open to your Realtor’s suggestions regarding pricing or changes to your home. If you open house didn’t result in an offer, it’s wise to make some adjustments moving forward. Ultimately, this will help you sell your home more quickly and for top dollar.

Interested in scheduling an open house? Our Realtors would love to help! Shoot us a message and we’ll start planning.